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Advice for Sunrise at Haleakala on Maui
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Jan 1, 2019 20:09:20   #
kybob
 
We have been to Maui several times before and never gone to see the sunrise at Haleakala so going to do it this time. Those out there that have experienced this have any suggestions? I know we now have to get a 'ticket' from the parks department 60 days prior just to go up or take a "tour". Also dress warm, we plan on taking winter clothes and then ship them home, since this will be our first stop of our island hopping. I know before it was a mad house crammed with people and no parking if you did not get there early. This was one of the reasons we did not do it before. Has the ticket requirement changed this dense pack of people and mad rush to get there first some? I am planning on taking a tripod but from photos of the crowd of people looks like that would be kind of in the way or if not in the 'front' next to the rail pointless. Is there a place where there are more photographers setup? (lower lot next to where the rest rooms are? or Upper lot opposite the observatory?) Or just get there before the crowd arrives and get the rail? Any tips appreciated.

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Jan 1, 2019 20:16:04   #
w_crow
 
My wife and I were there many years ago. You are correct, it is very cold and there were lots of people. Since it was so cold and crowded, and we were not dressed properly, we did not stay for the sunrise. I will be looking for your pictures.

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Jan 1, 2019 20:56:38   #
cascoly
 
check for latest status due to the shutdown - right now the park is open but that could change

we were in Utah during the shutdown in 2013 - driving the hwy thru Zion there were signs that we had to remain on the road and could not stop for pictures!!!!

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Jan 1, 2019 21:58:41   #
Wingpilot (a regular here)
 
We were there several years ago and went up to see the sunrise. What I found was that due to the high elevation the light was much brighter than down at sea level. If you plan on taking pictures, you might want to invest in some ND filters. I think the extra brilliance of the light may be due to the thinner atmosphere at 10,023' above sea level. Be sure to wear some good sunscreen.

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Jan 1, 2019 21:58:44   #
TBerwick
 
My wife & I took took hotel robes & blankets to watch that sunrise many years ago. After all the hoopla, we got to the top and were still cold. To top it off, there wasn't a cloud in the sky so all I ended up with was a crater with some color over it. In other words, you just take your chances, deal with the crowds and hope you get an interesting sky.

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Jan 2, 2019 06:26:30   #
billnikon (a regular here)
 
kybob wrote:
We have been to Maui several times before and never gone to see the sunrise at Haleakala so going to do it this time. Those out there that have experienced this have any suggestions? I know we now have to get a 'ticket' from the parks department 60 days prior just to go up or take a "tour". Also dress warm, we plan on taking winter clothes and then ship them home, since this will be our first stop of our island hopping. I know before it was a mad house crammed with people and no parking if you did not get there early. This was one of the reasons we did not do it before. Has the ticket requirement changed this dense pack of people and mad rush to get there first some? I am planning on taking a tripod but from photos of the crowd of people looks like that would be kind of in the way or if not in the 'front' next to the rail pointless. Is there a place where there are more photographers setup? (lower lot next to where the rest rooms are? or Upper lot opposite the observatory?) Or just get there before the crowd arrives and get the rail? Any tips appreciated.
We have been to Maui several times before and neve... (show quote)


My advice, go the night before and camp out. The drive up is a killer early in the morning, lots of folks get up a 3am and drive up. Avoid the rush, drive up in the afternoon, shoot sunset and then sleep in your bag and shoot sunrise. IMHO

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Jan 2, 2019 08:11:33   #
JohnSwanda (a regular here)
 
Wingpilot wrote:
We were there several years ago and went up to see the sunrise. What I found was that due to the high elevation the light was much brighter than down at sea level. If you plan on taking pictures, you might want to invest in some ND filters. I think the extra brilliance of the light may be due to the thinner atmosphere at 10,023' above sea level. Be sure to wear some good sunscreen.


Hard to believe the light is so bright that you couldn't control it with low ISO and high shutter speeds without resorting to a ND filter.

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Jan 2, 2019 08:17:17   #
fourlocks
 
As several noted, it's COLD up there. Since one wouldn't normally pack a down parka for Hawaii, my wife and I put on as many layers as possible but we were still cold. Get there real, real early as parking places evaporate quickly and you'll want to occupy a good location on the east-facing railing at least a half hour before sunrise. Again, you're just standing there as a chilly wind and mist glides up the mountain into your face so dress as warmly as possible. Once the sun's up, walk around the top of the mountain for some interesting photo opportunities in an environment that looks like the surface of Mars.

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Jan 2, 2019 08:25:40   #
jerryc41 (a regular here)
 
kybob wrote:
We have been to Maui several times before and never gone to see the sunrise at Haleakala so going to do it this time. Those out there that have experienced this have any suggestions? I know we now have to get a 'ticket' from the parks department 60 days prior just to go up or take a "tour". Also dress warm, we plan on taking winter clothes and then ship them home, since this will be our first stop of our island hopping. I know before it was a mad house crammed with people and no parking if you did not get there early. This was one of the reasons we did not do it before. Has the ticket requirement changed this dense pack of people and mad rush to get there first some? I am planning on taking a tripod but from photos of the crowd of people looks like that would be kind of in the way or if not in the 'front' next to the rail pointless. Is there a place where there are more photographers setup? (lower lot next to where the rest rooms are? or Upper lot opposite the observatory?) Or just get there before the crowd arrives and get the rail? Any tips appreciated.
We have been to Maui several times before and neve... (show quote)


If I had to buy a ticket, I wouldn't have been able to go. Times change. It is definitely cold up there, so dress warm. One thing I noticed was driving up the mountain in the dark. At every thousand foot level, there was a sign on the side of the road indicating the elevation. I went over twenty years ago, and crowds were not an issue. You will probably see bicycle tours going down the mountain after sunrise. I think I started driving at 4:30 AM.

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Jan 2, 2019 09:06:02   #
JimH123
 
kybob wrote:
We have been to Maui several times before and never gone to see the sunrise at Haleakala so going to do it this time. Those out there that have experienced this have any suggestions? I know we now have to get a 'ticket' from the parks department 60 days prior just to go up or take a "tour". Also dress warm, we plan on taking winter clothes and then ship them home, since this will be our first stop of our island hopping. I know before it was a mad house crammed with people and no parking if you did not get there early. This was one of the reasons we did not do it before. Has the ticket requirement changed this dense pack of people and mad rush to get there first some? I am planning on taking a tripod but from photos of the crowd of people looks like that would be kind of in the way or if not in the 'front' next to the rail pointless. Is there a place where there are more photographers setup? (lower lot next to where the rest rooms are? or Upper lot opposite the observatory?) Or just get there before the crowd arrives and get the rail? Any tips appreciated.
We have been to Maui several times before and neve... (show quote)


I have done the sunrise and on another occasion, the sunset. Both are fantastic. But what I liked most of all was the night sky with the stars. The sky is incredibly dark and the stars are so bright. Brighter than anything I find at lower elevations. And the mountain is usually surrounded by clouds somewhat lower than the top that block all light from below. It is incredible to watch the sun set/rise over the tops of the clouds instead of from below the clouds.

But it is really, really COLD!!!

And be sure to look at the SilverSword that grows at that elevation. But don't touch it. It is a protected species.

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Jan 2, 2019 09:33:44   #
cyclespeed
 
They don't allow the companies running downhill bike tours to start inside the park any longer. Most of us come from an earlier time zone so getting started at 4:30 a.m. on the first day of your arrival is not too difficult to achieve. Pack some food since a large or decent sized breakfast is tough to swallow before you roll and slows down the departure time.
Don't be in a hurry on the descent as there are some great hiking trails to enjoy along the route and you'll be able to put your camera to use for sure regardless if the sky at sunrise was one to shoot and keep for the ages.
Enjoy your visit.

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Jan 2, 2019 10:07:39   #
insman1132
 
Have been there/done that a couple of times. Also did the bike ride! My advice is to put up with the cold and the crowds and the inconvenience of your equipment and experience it. You will be glad you did. You may want to forget the tripod, or maybe take a monopod?

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Jan 2, 2019 10:59:21   #
ELNikkor (a regular here)
 
I camped out up there in Hosmer's Grove, so didn't have far to go at 5 am. Got a nice shot of myself on the rocky down-slope silouetted against the rising cloud with the sun breaking through. Awesome experience!

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Jan 2, 2019 11:56:13   #
Carlosu
 
We were just there. Wind factor made it around 32 degrees. We left Kaanapali at about 2:45, arrived at about 4:20. There were only a few cars there.by 5:30, there were lots more people, but not Horrible, even after the buses arrived. Do not make the mistake of going all the way to the top parking lot. No sunrise view from there. We stayed right by the visitor center, which opens at 6 am and is warm. I found a place right on the rail and set up my tripod. We were told by a park worker that there is a viewing place about two miles below the visitor center, where you can get the best views, but I can’t remember the name. Do some research about best sunrise viewing spots. There is a lot posted on-line. The sunrise was cool, when we went, but not to die for. After freezing, stop byKula Lodge, on the volcano road, for breakfast. Enjoy.

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Jan 2, 2019 12:45:45   #
Wingpilot (a regular here)
 
JohnSwanda wrote:
Hard to believe the light is so bright that you couldn't control it with low ISO and high shutter speeds without resorting to a ND filter.


You may be right. It was just a suggestion. It's very intense light. Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. Like insurance.

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