Blog: A taste of what you may find on Maui

Stargazing up high on Haleakala!

Have you checked out Maui’s volcano, Haleakala? Just looking at it from the base it doesn’t look so impressive. But its gentle slopes rise to 10,023 feet above sea level (approx. 30,000 feet from its base on the ocean floor). The crater valley at the top is impressive to look at, whether you drive up for sunrise or during the day to look around or go for a hike.

For my next drive up Haleakala I want to go at night. I’ve heard so much about the stargazing up there. In fact, one of the world’s largest telescopes can be found on Haleakala (sadly in a high-secure area, I’m not aware of any telescope tours). But you can still see the stars! Just make sure you bundle up warm and bring food and warm drinks (there is none to buy inside the national park). 
Alternatively, you can go stargazing with a local astronomer Jan Roberson from Maui Stargazing who brings her high-powered telescope and will explain what you are seeing.
courtesy of Jan Roberson of Maui Stargazing

Our friends Dan and Angie connected with Jan from Maui Stargazing last spring. Jan brought her telescope and they had an amazing time checking out galaxies, nebulae, star clusters and planets on Haleakala. Dan is an amateur astronomer – this was one of the highlights of their trip!

Jan meets guests in Pukalani, and then you follow her up Haleakala to 6500 ft elevation. You enjoy the sunset while Jan sets up her 12
inch aperture Dobsonian telescope, and as the dusk settles, she point out the
constellations and brighter stars and planets. Once it’s totally dark, you observe galaxies and nebulae, as well as open and globular star clusters. The
observing sessions last from 60 to 90 minutes. You can then either follow her back down to Pukalani or stay. Haleakala National Park is open 24 hours a day, though the visitor centers are not.

Jan has jackets, hats and gloves for those on her tours to borrow, but you definitely want to wear your warm mainland clothes when going up.

Check out this neat time-lapse video of the sky seen from Haleakala. Don’t you want to go?