Distance: Drive up
Summit Elevation: 10023'
Elevation Gain: 0'
Elevation Gain (in Empire State Buildings): 0
Round trip time: 0 minutes
Recommended water: 0 oz.
Parking/Fees: $20 National Parks (good for three days)
We had a late flight out of Maui to Oahu and had only planned a couple of things for the afternoon, including a few rounds of mini golf. We noticed the clear skies and could see the top of Haleakala. With time to kill, we decided to drive back up for another shot at sunset. Believe it or not, it wasn't even my idea. Shelby suggested it, Leisa was on board, and Parker was neutral but up for it if we brought sufficient snacks. When we decided to go, time was a factor. We would arrive near the top about 10 minutes before sunset. I knew it would be crowded, but we piled into the rental and drove up. People were parking at the 2nd visitor center and walking up and of course the top lot was overflowing. Cars were parked illegally everywhere and one was even abandoned in the right lane a quarter mile from the top. We circled the lot and I dropped Leisa off to take photos in case we didn't find a parking spot. I eventually had to drive down off the summit, but found a nice turn out on the side road to Magnetic Peak, about half way between the visitors center and the summit. From there, I jogged cross country in my tennis shoes toward the summit, sliding on lava scree. I started up the slope directly to the summit, much to the amusement of a couple at the top. With a little hand-and-foot scrambling, I topped out and the lady stated, "I didn't think you could make it up," to which I replied "no problem" through gulps of 10000' air. It gave me a few minutes get sunset photos from both the high point and other spots around the wide summit area.
Haleakala, HI (first trip)