Albeit documented before the advent of the awesome GoPro HD camera, this video - slideshow was pulled from our archive, is HD (originally .MTS from a JVC), and is edited and enhanced using iMovie with success and worth posting.
This 5 mi. round - trip hike starts at the summit of Haleakala near the Visitor's Centre (elev. 10,000ft) and descends 2400 ft. into the crater, offering close views of dormant volcanic cinder cones, exotic and endemic species such as the "Silversword" plant and endangered "Nene" bird. We didn't go the entire distance of the trail due to lack of time and inclement weather, but we made the most out of it and enjoyed it. The landscape is ethereal and almost alien, especially in misty conditions . The trail is in good condition but gets difficult when wet. Consider that it will take you twice the time to hike back than it took you to descend due to a decrease in oxygen at this altitude as well. In winter months the summit is subject to winter weather advisories, including snow, ice and freezing rain. We endured cold temperatures, rain and occasional freezing rain on our way back up the trail making it even more challenging. A slideshow follows the video which shows images clearer than the video the camcorder was able to take in low light / cloudy conditions.
The drive up to and down from the summit requires alertness. There are endless hairpin turns as well as cyclists zipping down, so be cautious, especially when it's raining.
We will do this hike again in the future during the summer months. Apparently sunrise / sunsets are incredible from the summit.
Music: "I'll Fly with You" by Gigi D. Agostino (Remix), "In the face Of" and "In a dream where I'm sleeping" by Shatterfreak, and "Maps" by Emancipator.
If you're a non-resident / first time visitor or novice hiker, start with the easy - intermediate (maintained) trails and graduate yourself on subsequent visits. Do your homework and study topo maps, weather forecasts / radar / sunset times. There are numerous blogs and media posted frequently by local experienced hikers (these folks are super-friendly and will give you directions and advice). Wear proper gear and don't forget lot's of water and a fully charged cell. If hiking alone or with others, tell someone where you're hiking and keep in touch. Above all there's no shame in turning back if you don't like what you see ... better to stay alive and continue on a subsequent visit. You are solely responsible for your own safety and the risks you take . Hikers, including locals have gotten lost, suffered serious injury and even died while hiking these trails, so be careful. Mind your insurance coverage limitations as well.
Last but not least ... RESPECT THE LAND! Stay on the trails, don't litter (in fact if you come across any and are able ... take it out with you). Do not unneccessarily disturb the flora, understand and respect historical / cultural ethics, wash, brush or bag your boots upon completion of the hike, and do not intentionally tumble any loose rocks / boulders from ridges as there may be hikers / hunters on trails below or houses that you are unaware of. Be a SAFE, CONSIDERATE and RESPONSIBLE hiker. Enjoy and bask in the privilege of being able to hike some of the most beautiful and unique trails in the world ... you'll be rewarded ... and get addicted ;-)
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