Sun Rays at HaleakalaWaking up at 3:30am is no easy feat, but the prize for getting up is a sunrise like no other in the world. The opportunity to see an array of colors glow brightly into the sky as the sun rises for a new day is the prize. We have watched many sunrises all around the world, but one that will always standout above all the rest is the time we sat above the clouds watching the sun rise high above Maui, Hawaii on top of Haleakala.

Haleakala National Park is a sight that all adventure seekers visiting Maui should experience. “Watching the sun rise from high above the top of the mountain is a sight and an experience like no other.” Liz and I had heard this from many of the locals on the island of Maui. They also made sure to inform us to bring extra clothes. “Extra clothes and blankets!?” I asked. Well we would soon find out that morning as we head up to the top to find our spot for the epic sunrise at 10,023 feet.

Standing on top of HaleakalaAs we head up to the top of the mountain in the pitch dark we look up ahead of us and see the lights from the cars in the distance winding around the mountain as they head up to the top. Our day started off getting into the car at cool 53 degrees and as we continue up it drops and drops. Parking the car at the top we see that the tempter now is a blistering 32 degrees. Wow! You can easily forget that we are on the sunny island of Maui in Hawaii.

Stars in the sky just before sunrise on the summit of HaleakalaWe walk over in the pitch dark to the observation deck on the top. We pulled out our compass to see which direction is East and plant ourselves down to watch the sunrise. We brought up extra blankets for the occasion just in case and boy are we glad we did. The sun ever so slowly creeping up and the glow getting brighter and brighter as we witness the new day unfold. After a little bit you can start to see the clouds. Well you can start looking down on the clouds I should say. We are sitting high above the clouds watching that array of light everyone speaks of. You can actually see the curvature of the earth from this height looking down on Maui and the Pacific Ocean.

As the sun slowly creeps up your eyes are drawn to the sight of just absolute beauty. The sun rising above the crest of the ocean and then above the clouds. An amazing sight for sure.

Once the sun has brought on the new day we spent the rest of the day hiking around the beautiful landscape of Haleakala National Park. The landscape up here is like no other as well. Similar to Mars some have said. An amazing adventure for sure.

Cold & Bright at the top of Haleakala

Josh & Liz are Mountainsmith ambassadors and regular contributors to the Mountainsmith blog. Follow their world travels on their blog Peanuts or Pretzels. Josh relies on the Tour FX camera pack to keep his equipment safe and at-the-ready.


  1. This was such an amazing experience and one that we will never forget. Easily one of the best sunrises in the world!!!!! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hi guys
    Wow 3:30 am, I am speechless your pictures are absolutely stunning!
    Thank you so much for sharing your priceless moment with us 🙂
    Annie ox

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