Photographer's Note

This photo was taken near the top of the Ka Lu'u o ka' O'o hike which descends 1400 feet into the Haleakala Crater. The elevation here is about 9,400 feet, not far below the peak at 10,023 feet. As you hike into the crater, the views are so similar to the images of Mars returned by the NASA rover that you expect to encounter the vehicle behind one of the many rocks. There is 20% less oxygen at this altitude and the hike back up can be exhausting. NASA astronauts trained on this site.

Haleakala means House of the Sun. It is the tallest mountain on earth that is not part of a range. Although it is referred to as a crater, it is actually a volcanic valley carved from the dormant volcano by erosion. From time to time, Haleakala erupts gently, and lava flows down the slope to the rim. The last eruption was in 1790.

The crater is 3,000 feet deep, 7.5 miles long, 2.5 miles wide, and 21 miles in circumference.

Polynesian legends say that Maui leapt from his hiding place here and lassoed the sun, Kala, which he beat for racing across the sky so quickly each day and not providing the people with enough light. Maui broke some of Kala's strongest legs leaving only his weakest ones with which to crawl across the sky, thus providing the people more daylight.

If you want to see the view up there right now, check the Haleakala Webcam.

More information is available on the Haleakala Park web site.


NeatImage used but I think most of the loss of detail or smoothing noticed by some people is from reducing the resolution to fit TE. The details are just very small on such a large landscape.

Thanks for all the great comments.

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Additional Photos by Peter Jennings (Geo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 208 W: 55 N: 183] (1245)
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