Sharing some more photos from our babymoon in Maui a few weeks ago (check out our other posts here, here and here) and these are some of my favorites. On the last full day of our trip, Phil and I woke up at 2am to drive to the summit of the Haleakala Volcano to watch the sunrise. Since my morning sickness was still really bad, we had decided to pass on driving Maui’s famous Road to Hana earlier in our trip and this was our substitute adventure.
We had heard so many amazing things about the view from Haleakala at sunrise but definitely had to think long and hard about whether we wanted to get up at the crack of dawn to drive 2-3 hours. In the end, we didn’t want to experience FOMO so we committed.
Only a certain number of cars are allowed up to the summit each morning so we reserved our spot online in advance before they sold out so we wouldn’t get turned away at the National Park’s main gate (apparently, this happens often). If you’re hoping to see the sunrise, you can purchase your tickets in advance here too.
If you’re headed to Maui soon and are wondering if this sunrise adventure is for you, here’s my own personal take (and remember, as I write this, I was almost six months pregnant so the below may be bias!): the view is totally worth it BUT the drive up to the top of the summit is not fun–especially if you’re one to get carsick (or worse yet, someone who is preggers and who is experiencing extreme morning sickness). I suggest packing dramamine for sure.
Since you have to drive up to the summit while it’s still dark out, you have to drive up the steepest, curviest roads in the pitch black. You may or may not be the only car on the road for well over an hour so there is often no one ahead of you lighting up the way. The only thing I can compare the drive to is a never-ending Space Mountain at Disneyland–but a ride that feels like it potentially may never end. If you like that sort of thing, you’ll be golden. If not, you have to mentally prepare yourself.
All of this said, when you arrive at the top and see the stars above Maui turn into the most beautiful sunrise above the clouds, you forget about the drive and realize you’ve found a little slice of heaven. Photos at the Haleakala summit are especially fun to take because the lighting could not be more beautiful and even after sunrise. In the end, it’s all worth it and I’m really happy we went.
Outfit-wise, if you’re planning on going to see the sunrise, pack super warm clothes. Most people who come to Hawaii barely even bring a sweatshirt because they know they’ll be enjoying tropical weather (myself included) but it was literally in the 30’s and 40’s the morning we went to see the sunrise and we were freezing cold without enough layers. If you have any winter gear, hats, gloves, anything warm, bring them with you to Hawaii and you’ll be so happy you did.