Mount Haleakala – House of the Rising Sun

Welcome to Cloud City


I’ve seen a handful of sunrises during my time in Oahu (I would get up earlier but, no) from Yokohama Beach to Kaena Point to Pali Notches but Mount Halewackaflockala (official Hawaiian name) is in its own league when it comes to breathtaking beauty.  I was somewhat skeptical going into it because after seeing sunsets and sunrises from every angle on several islands you become jaded.  I know that’s an insane thing to say for people that have never been here but it is what it is.

I woke up with my Travel partner Laura at 4:30 AM with a pounding headache and a laundry list of regrets from the night before.  Why did I drink so much?  Why did I let my incredible, hospitable friends Tim and Diana talk me into drinking so much?  Why do I lack any semblance of self-control?  Doesn’t matter.  The alarm is blaring, we’re late, let’s jump in the car and save the hangover for later.

Thankfully, Laura was full of enthusiasm so she agreed to drive.  I promised to stay awake and lasted a full 20 minutes before breaking my promise.

90 minutes later, I awoke in a full parking lot with a large crowd already assembled in the best viewing locations.  I slipped on my woefully thin hoody, stepped out of the car, and cursed myself for not preparing better.  It was 30 degrees.  I’m freezing and also an idiot.

Anyway, we were able to sneak in between non-hungover tourists and take some photos.  And let me tell you, when the sun started rising, it was an awe-inspiring sight to behold.  It’s the closest thing I’ve seen to a real-life Cloud City. The orange and blue hues on the horizon look too crisp and clean to be real.  It was a painting come to life.  It immediately made me forget that my balls were freezing off and my head was pounding.


We walked around, took some great photos, and I had the most uncomfortable poop of my life in a 35-degree outdoor bathroom.  I’m a pretty cynical guy most of the time, but the view up there makes you believe in something.  I don’t know what that something is, and I usually side with science on these things, but it made me question my beliefs.  It’s too perfect.  And I know that’s the argument used by every God-fearing Christian in America but this time, it wasn’t so easy to refute.

Viewing Area and Crater

I mean would ya just look at it?

If you’re on Maui, you owe it to yourself to check this place out.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

All Photos in this slideshow were shot with an iPhone XXXTENTACION

Friendly Advice

  • Register in advance otherwise you cannot get in.
  • Wake your ass up early.  Get there a little before 6 to get a prime viewing spot.
  • Don’t drink the night before.  Trust me.
  • Dress warm.  If you forgot your warm clothes, go to Target the day before, otherwise, you will be FREEZING.

Leave a Reply