Drive cautiously - Endangered birds land on roadway
Nēnē (Hawaiian geese) are nesting in the park and may land on or frequent park roads and parking lots. Drivers are reminded to drive at the posted speed limits and exercise caution.
For your safety
The Summit and Kīpahulu Districts are remote. An ambulance can take up to 45 minutes to arrive at either district from the nearest town. People with respiratory or other medical conditions should also be aware that the summit of Haleakalā is at 10,000 ft.
The summit of Haleakalā is a wahi pana - a legendary place. Many of the legends associated with Haleakalā center around the demi-god Maui. It was Maui who pulled up the island chain we call Hawai`i with his skillfully made fishhook and line. It is here on the summit of Haleakalā that Maui snared the sun, in order to slow its passage through the sky, so that his mother could dry her kapa (bark cloth).
Although never a place of permanent habitation Hawaiians journeyed to the summit of Haleakalā for a variety of reasons. Some came to honor the gods, or to say farewell to the deceased. Some came to hunt birds for feathers or for food. Others quarried the fine-grained basalt rock to create stone adzes (a type of axe) and for other tools. All who ventured to the summit of Haleakalā considered it to be a sacred place. For Native Hawaiians past and present it was, and still is, wao akua - the wilderness of the gods.
Did You Know?
You pass through as many ecological zones on a two hour drive to the summit of Haleakalā as you would on a journey from Mexico to Canada.