Today is the day! Ron Thomas, my husband has officially turned 32 years old on April 29th 2016! Which means he has a long day ahead of him. He’s attempting the world famous” Cycle To The Sun” 10,000 ft climb on a road bike. Ill let him describe the intensity of that ride himself in a later post because I cant even fathom trying to describe it with my own words on how insane that ride really is!
My farewell, Happy Birthday and good luck kiss goodbye!
After dropping him off in the Paia public parking lot I begin my journey alone driving up the summit to Haleakala National Park.
It took me about 30-40 minutes to the park entrance. After a mile into the park I stopped to use the restroom and watched the clouds move quickly across the land. The fields were so beautiful filled with bright yellow flowers.
I would slow down to nearly 5 mph at some points. Some of the turns felt as if I were going to drive right off the edge into the clouds! This was my first time driving the whole trip and I will admit, cliff side drives make me a nervous wreck but their always so worth it!
As I got closer to the top of the summit I began driving through the clouds!
Now for the fun part, the hike! I wanted to attempt a difficult hike but one that wouldn’t take more then 5 hours since I wanted to make sure to beat Ron to the bottom.
The Haleakalä Visitor Center made that decision really easy for me. I chose the Keoneheehee Trail aka The Sliding Sands trail which started right next to the parking lot.
Since it was 20 degrees colder and higher winds then in Paia I bundled up wearing a tank, hoodie, jacket and pants.
As I began the decent into the crater I couldn’t stop thinking as if I was wearing a space suit and walking as if I was on Mars. Sorry, you’ll only understand if you actually do the hike! But really though, it felt as if I were on another planet.
I was making good time descending into the crater. Feeling good even with wearing my open toe Tevas. I recommend wearing proper tennis/hiking shoes because I kept getting pebbles lodged underneath my feet.
The scenery got more intense with colors the further I went.
These were pretty cool along the hike. They are called Mauna Kea Silversword. Apparently, they were close to extinction, so look but do not touch and don’t get too close because their roots are short and can easily be damaged.
Taking a short break about 40 minutes into the hike I noticed a colorful crater from afar that I wanted to hike to. You can clearly see a trail around the crater. That was my mission.
About another 20 minutes into the hike there was a fork I believe “Split Rock” they call it. I headed towards the crater to the left of this rock.
The closer I got the more colorful the sands got giving off its gold, red, gray and black hues.
The crater was much smaller then I thought, but it was awesome to walk up to.
There was this large pyramid of stacked rocks from several other hikers at the end of the trail. Of coarse I decided to place my own stone on the pile as well.
I hiked back to the main trail and took a little snack break to ponder at this one of a kind hike!
I decided to head back up since it does take twice as long to hike out! Also, I felt it was probably one of the most beautiful sites to see without having to hike the whole trail and was content with how far I went.
They sure were not kidding. My pace was so slow on the way up. The layers began to come off as I started to sweat!
This is the final stretch, you can almost see the top!
Making it to the top I finished the 5.4 mile hike just over three hours. I was quite beat to say the least and ready for some food! I am glad I didn’t get over confident with hiking further down. That was plenty of a hike for me that day!
Have you been here before? I would love to hear from you! Comment below, Pin, share and subscribe to stay up to date on my latest adventures! xox
Haleakala National Park
Cost: $20 per car/ 8$ bike /$15 motorcycle valid for three days.
Distance: 5.4 miles
Type: Difficult, sandy, rocky, hot sun, hot/cold weather
TIPS: Give yourself 3-5 hours to complete the hike.
-Wear closed shoes
-plenty of water and a snack.
-Plan to take plenty of breaks on the way back up. It takes twice as long to go back up.