Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Gap Between Ka Moa o Pele and Halali'i: Haleakala Crater

The Gap Between Ka Moa o Pele and Halali'i: Haleakala Crater
Another weekly image from the family archive. Click on it to make it larger.
It is almost impossible to describe the sheer extent of the Haleakala Crater that tops off the Hawaiian island of Maui. This image is taken virtually in the center of the crater on one of the hiking trails that course through the moon-like landscape. The trail is described in one of the Park's handouts: Ka Moa o Pele Trail branches from the foot of the Sliding Sands Trail to join the Halemauu Trail across the crater. It is a scenic route between silverswords on Ka Moa o Pele, a red cinder cone. Flowering plants can usually be seen from June to September. Pa Puaa o Pele, Pele's Pig Pen, is the rim of a spatter cone, now buried, in the low pass between Halalii and Ka Moa o Pele.
Close readers will know I lived on Maui for a while but this is taken on a subsequent vacation in 1991. Having said that the image could easily have been shot in 1891. (I’ve just had over 1,000 image of Hawaii scanned so there may be more to come). One of my other images in this series was taken at dawn from the observatory which is at an elevation of 10,000 feet. After hiking down into the crater to this point you will have descended over 2,000 feet. On this day we hiked into the crater from the observatory, then across the crater floor and up the ‘switch-back’ trail to Crater Rim road. At the point the trail meets up with the road the altitude is still about 1,000 feet below the summit and almost six miles from where you probably parked your rental. On this particular hike, we stupidly hiked the road back but on future visits we’ve done what most normal people do and thumb a ride back to the top. A long day but an incredible experience and recommended for any able bodied and hiker.
Map of the crater

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