Haleakala National Park

Maui

On the road at 4 am, got to the top of Haleakala at 5:30 am. Worth it to go up that early to see the stars (before the sun even hints at coming up). Sunrise was around 6:45 am. Ocean of clouds.
Crater rim by the Visitors Center. The shadow Haleakala casts on the rest of Maui. Hiking down to the Visitors Center.
View from Kalahaku Overlook. Cinder cones. Pu'u o Maui in the center.
Another cinder cone. Ka Lu'u o ka 'O' o, a detour on the Sliding Sands trail. Apparently the nenes are morons who will run out in front of cars thinking they'll get food.
Some nenes we ran into near Holua. Also called the Hawaiian goose, the nene is the state bird of Hawaii. Related to the Canada goose, but not nearly as annoying.
The world's rarest goose. Around 25,000 in 1778 when Captain Cook arrived, down to a population of 30 in 1952, and as of 2004 there were 800 in the wild. Concerns of inbreeding due to the small initial population from 1952, which might explain why they like to run at cars.
The start of the 13.8 mile hike. Map of the hike. Start at the visitors center, hike down the Sliding Sands trail, detour over to Ka Lu'u o ka 'O' o, then over and out on the Halemau'u Trail. Inside the crater.
Looking back along the trail. From now on, these pictures are in chronological order.
Ka Lu'u o ka 'O' o.
The Haleakala silversword.
They are only found on Maui, and only grow between elevations of 6,900 and 9,800 feet. Detour to Ka Lu'u o ka 'O' o.
Looking down into the cinder cone.
Silversword center. On the right, some silverswords that have bloomed and died.
Silverswords dotting the slope of a cinder cone.
Hiking through a lava field.
Out of the lava flow, into an area with more vegetation. If you look closely, you can see the switchbacks that we eventually have to hike up.
The start of 2.5 miles of switchbacks.
Looking down at the switchbacks. Hiking up.
13.8 miles later - the parking lot.

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