The road to the summit of Haleakala is about 36 miles from sea level to slightly over 10,000 feet. It is a scenic ride going through several micro-climates and a very noticeable drop in temperature. The view from the summit is spectacular.
Haleakala, known as House of the Sun, is a dormant volcano, not extinct. The last eruption occurred sometime in the mid to late 1700’s. Haleakala is known as a ‘shield volcano’ which is ‘a type of volcano usually composed almost entirely of fluid lava flows. It is named for its low profile, resembling a warrior’s shield lying on the ground. This is caused by the highly fluid (low viscosity) lava erupted, which travels farther than lava erupted from a stratovolcano, and results in the steady accumulation of broad sheets of lava, building up the shield volcano’s distinctive form. From the summit one looks down into a massive depression some 7 miles across, 2 miles wide, and 1/2 a mile deep. The surrounding walls are steep and the interior mostly barren-looking with a scattering of volcanic cones. The volcano is about 75% of the land mass, with the other 25% being the volcano Mauna Kahalawai, aka West Maui Mountains. ‘(Wikipedia)
The House of the Sun has been, and continues to be, revered and attracts visitors and residents alike.