Free admission to Haleakala tomorrow!

It’s always a great time to visit Haleakala National Park, one of Maui’s greatest scenic wonders, but especially when you can experience it for free. That’s what you can do tomorrow, Saturday, Sept. 26, when the National Park Service waives the entrance fee to commemorate National Public Lands Day.

Admission to Haleakala is normally $10 per car and $5 for bikers and hikers, so if you’re staying with us this weekend and have debated going, this may be the incentive you need.

Touring Haleakala lets you enjoy the scenery as you navigate the winding Crater Road. You can choose from sunrise tours (sunrise here is a breathtaking sight), crater and summit tours, and combo tours that include biking, hiking and horseback riding. You can take unguided bike tours from the crater summit (proceed at your own risk), or guided tours that begin outside the park.

The crater and summit are Haleakala’s main attractions. Be sure to look for the endangered silversword plant that grows exclusively on the slopes of Haleakala. Listen for the honking of the endangered nene goose that lives on the wooded slopes of the volcano. You will also notice an outcropping of white round buildings. They are the Haleakala observatories.

High altitude makes hiking the volcano a challenging trek. The crater and summit have more than 30 miles of trails for your enjoyment. If you would rather descend the summit on four legs instead of two, you can also saddle up a horse and ride down into the crater.

Please note that temperatures are cold at the summit, especially at dawn, so it is recommended you bring a jacket or sweater. There also are no gas stations or convenience stores on the road to the summit. Remember to fill up on gas, snacks and drinks beforehand.

Haleakala Fast Facts

Last erupted: 1790

Summit: 10,023 feet

Crater: 3,000 feet deep

Drive to summit: Two hours

Weather information: 808-871-5054

The next free day will be Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11. There are nine fee-free days offered at national parks annually.

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