By on February 22, 2016

One of our days in Maui we wanted to get some exercise and go for a long hike – so we went up to the Haleaka volcanic crater. Haleakala has one of the world’s largest dormant volcanic craters, which is formed mainly by erosion and measures about 30 km in circumference (technically not a real crater since there were no blast but that is a technicality ). In several places the rim of the crater rises more than 760 metres above the crater floor.


Haleakala was last active in the late 18th century and is the larger of the two volcanoes that form the island of Maui. The drive up to the crater was long and winding, but very scenic, and it was very special to drive through the clouds.


Only about 50 times did we have to answer no to Noah and Vitus asking if this was the highest mountain in the world. Again our “GypSy Guide to Maui” proved invaluable and told great stories about Maui’s history and legends about the volcano while we were driving as well as pointing out things of interest along the way. What a concept!



The hike down the crater was easy – and the views were spectacular.

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So we just kept on walking downwards on the sandy and slippery trail. We  wanted to get down to the bottom of the crater to see the cinder cones up close, and everybody seemed in good shape. Noah even ran the last long stretch to our pit-stop at a cliff on the bottom.


On the way and especially at the bottom we saw lots of the beautiful Silverswords – a native plant than can only be found in hawaii.

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But it turned out that we had pulled a “Line and Jesper” again and had taken our mouths “a bit” too full. We realized that we had spent more than two hours walking to the bottom – it was 4 PM and we had invited Janice, our AirBnB host over for dinner at 7 PM (it’s more than an hour and a half’s drive from Haiku to Haleakala). But we had to begin our ascent up the crater.

A long way back up to the rim of the crater:


Initially we were making great speed going up, but unfortunately that only lasted for about 10 minutes. Shortly after starting our ascent Noah started complaining, saying that he wasn’t feeling well. In the beginning we just told him to shape up and that we still had a very long way – in sand and a really steep hike. Maybe it was simply because we couldn’t handle the thought of a sick child and such a long way to go to reach the top of the crater, but more probable just a sign of bad parenting and Noah sometimes being a bit of a hypochondriac (UPS, you are really not supposed to say that about your own children, are you?). As luck would have it Noah started to throw up and we felt so sorry for him and quite guilty for ignoring his complaints.

So pretty typically us – there we were:

  • 4,5 kilometers down the trail of a volcano
  • One sick 5 year old and a very tired 3 year old
  • 4,5 kilometers hike back up with and altitude difference of almost 600 meters
  • Almost out of snacks and low on water
  • What we calculated would be a 3 hour hike back up and getting late in the afternoon


Not what you would consider a typically day out with small kids.

Well – it was getting late and we had to cover some grounds. Jesper started to carry Noah on his shoulders while Line carried Vitus or pulled him by the hand. When Jesper got too far ahead, he would put Noah down and walk back down to carry Vitus up to Noah and then carry Noah again. It was insanely hard and hot. After what seemed like forever, 5 stops on the way where Noah threw up again, we reached the rim of the crater and Noah felt better and was even able to jump around and yell the usual “we did it” (from Dora the explorer). To our big surprise and taking into account that we carried the boys at least half of the way we made it back up in just under two hours. But man we were tired at that point.


Noah got sick again in the car back to our B&B, but again, the roads are very winding. He was well and ready to eat dinner when we got home and didn’t get sick again.

Most likely Noah had just eaten some questionable coconut or other food but it could also be the high altitude (the volcano is more than 3 kilometers/10.000 feet at the highest point). We will have to watch him closely when we get high up in the mountains next time.


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