During the hour or so drive up the mountain I would practice pronouncing Haleakala. After three day trips, I think I can say it correctly now. In fact, I spent my first 3 days on Maui visiting Haleakala. I didn't see a beach until my fourth day on the island.
The sunsets are incredible and I would recommend getting to the top a good hour or 90 minutes before sunset as the parking lots fill up. People will park illegally on the side of the road.
The best place to watch the sunset is the stop just prior to the summit. The view from the very top is blocked by the observatory. If you park just a half mile below the summit, you will get a much better view of the sunset.
The drive to the top is a white knuckler in certain spots as it has sharp turns and no guard rails. The views are breathtaking.
I hiked the 3.9 mile trail down the mountain to the crater. It is very easy going down and quite strenuous coming back up. I did have trouble breathing as I worked my way up the switchbacks to the top. Bring plenty of water and take it slow.
This is one incredible place.
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