A Breathtaking Sunset on the Summit of Haleakala

The way the sun set over the sea of clouds was magical. There are few things that compare to watching the sun rise or set on a high mountain. This one tops my list.

Bec and I were on Maui for our 30th anniversary. The last time we were in Hawaii was a cruise for our 20th anniversary. We always thought we’d be back sooner because, after that first trip, we just fell in love with the place. We spent a lot of time snorkeling, any place we could find a snorkel. We saw more turtles than I could count.

The highlight of the trip was Bec’s birthday, on September 16th. We did some snorkeling in a cove next to Napili Beach. We probably ran into every kind of fish you could think of, plus a ton of huge, prehistoric-size turtles.

After the cove, we headed up the road and found another place for more snorkeling. This time we found a five-foot moray eel. We followed him for a long time; I wanted to poke at him with something, not to hurt him but to get his attention, but he had such big, intimidating jaws that we just watched from a safe distance.

I wanted to poke at him with something, not to hurt him but to get his attention, but he had such big, intimidating jaws that we just watched from a safe distance.

After that, we decided to catch the sunset on Haleakalā. The trek up to Haleakalā is long, basically from sea level to a little over 10,000 feet. There had been thunderclouds in the afternoon all week, so we weren’t sure we’d even be able to see anything. We passed the clouds at about 8,000 feet and were treated to a beautiful clear sky. People lined up as the sun started to dip. There were probably 200 people lined up around the ridge to watch, and it didn’t disappoint.

The way the sun set over the sea of clouds was truly magical. We waited around for another hour, as Bec longed to see the Milky Way. We’d never seen it in LA. On Haleakalā there are observatories too, so it seemed like our chances of seeing something were pretty good. As the sun set all the way, the stars came out, the sky was so clear, and we could see the cloud of the Milky Way spanning across horizons. It was probably the most amazing day we’d had. There are very few things that compare to watching the sun rise or set on a high mountain, so this was on the top of my list.

As the sun set all the way, the stars came out, the sky was so clear, and we could see the cloud of the Milky Way spanning across horizons.

The entire week was amazing – snokeling, hiking, and seeing the beauty of the island until we dropped. Here are some photos of the rest of the trip…