Fun & Weird

A Drive Into the Sky: Haleakala Crater in Maui

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Reading Jeffsetter’s review of Surfing Goat Dairy reminded me of my one and only trip to Maui, which is one of my favorite travel memories. I loved Surfing Goat Dairy, though I didn’t realize until we were there that my travel companion didn’t actually like goat cheese. Oh well, it meant more awesomeness for me!

surfing goat dairy maui

But it was the drive to up to the Haleakala Crater which was so unique. We were on vacation and got a late start, making no effort to see the sunrise from the top. But while terrified, I loved the drive!

You pass through beautiful pastures and farmland which reminded me more of where I grew up than Hawaii. And then you start the climb, watching cyclists zooming down in the opposite direction. We had rented a convertible, which made it even better, though it quickly started to get cold.

haleakala drive convertible

haleakala crater drive cloud sign

You don’t always see this road signage

And because of the curves and the lack of guard rails, alot of the time it felt like I was just going to drive off into the clouds!

haleakala creater clouds no guard rails

But the most hilarious part of the drive was when we reached the top and pulled into the parking lot.

Right after we put the convertible top back up the bag of potato chips loudly popped open. Guess the change in “cabin pressure” was more than we thought. 🙂

haleakala crater drive chips

The views were amazing, but I hadn’t dressed correctly to be out and about at the top. The sundress, which was barely cool enough for the hotel, was completely inadquate, even with a light jacket.

haleakala crater view

haleakala crater keri

So is it worth driving up to the top even if you’re going to miss the sunrise or sunset? Absolutely, just dress warmly!

Full Disclosure: I may receive affiliate credit from links in this post or on this site which will help fund my travels. Thank you for your support!

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Living for the little (and big things) that make life so fun, especially mistake deals and crazy last minute weekend mileage runs across the world.


  1. A

    January 14, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    Timely post! I just booked our first Maui trip and was debating on a rental car, this helped my decision. FYI – You should host a reader meetup at vineyard in Northern Virginia.

  2. Carl P

    January 14, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    Years ago I watched the sunrise and then did a bike ride down. Very cool.

  3. Antonio

    January 14, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    Ditto… I’m glad to see this post as we will be going in March. Was it a dangerous drive? Any tips for trying to make it there for sunrise, driving from Andaz Wailea?

  4. Andrew

    January 14, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    I did this last May during my first trip to Maui (for business). It’s not a dangerous drive, but definitely take it slow. Over half of the journey was inside a cloud, so you could see maybe 10 feet in front of you. I read that it’s an open pasture, so at times there will be large animals blocking the roadway – so be on the lookout for that. I drove up for sunset, and the author isn’t kidding about the temperature difference. It was about 84 at the base of the mountain and 43 with blustery winds up at the top (10,000 feet). I was in shorts so I ended up waiting in my car for the magical sundown moment because I thought I was going to go into hypothermia!

    I’m going back this May (for pleasure) and bringing my wife to see it. Definitely worth it. Also, we both love goat cheese so we’ll be sure to check out the dairy farm!

  5. Mrs. Jeffsetter

    February 12, 2016 at 2:16 am

    Thanks for the shout out. We loved this drive as well. But, we drove up in the dark for sunrise. It was amazing to drive down and see the views we missed on the way up. Also, a little scary because we drove way to fast on our way to sunrise. 🙂

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