Walking on Mars in Maui | Hawaii

Maui totally wowed us today, it’s such a varied island with idyllic beaches, a sea full of wildlife, roads through rainforests, plummeting waterfalls and lush valleys. The island is over 10,000ft high and at the very top is a giant volcano crater full of cinder cones and red volcanic soil…that’s what truly wowed us.

It was an easy drive up to the car park at 7,000ft where we had to hitch a ride to the summit for the beginning of our 19km hike in Haleakala National Park. A sweet old couple from Denmark picked us up and then we set off on our trail. With most of Maui it’s great weather early morning and the winds pick up in the afternoon causing choppy sea. It’s one of the wettest places on earth and it rains in at least one area of the island everyday, but this also makes it the land of the rainbows. We started the hike at 9.45am and were already walking through a moist cloud. The sliding sands trail led us along the crater edge but eventually the clouds began to drift away. I was expecting not to get any views but it cleared up within the crater revealing multiple cinder cones and the cloud hung above them, like they’d just opened up for us to have a peek.

The further down hill we hiked the better the weather became and we had amazing vistas of the surrounding area. The scenery was out of this world. It was like hiking on Mars with these huge craters rising from a barren landscape. The unique silversword plants which are aptly named for their sword-like silver leaves were dotted amongst the land and it seemed like such a bizarre place for life to thrive.

We followed the rocky floor with what looked like lots of volcanos surrounding us and then climbed up one of them for more amazing views. I’d say it’s some of the best scenery we’ve ever seen. The loop around Halali’i Cinder Cone was one of my favourites and sandwiched us between two cones and vibrant colours. The scoria was like a rainbow with sulphurous yellows and burgundy reds. The right side was black and grey like a stormy sky and it all just blew us away. We decided to head up a slope and enjoy our pack lunch with a view.

The sun was beaming down on us and we had to lather ourselves in lotion before hitting the trail again. A few hundred meters along the track a cloud swooped down the crater floor towards us and wrapped itself around us. We were literally walking through the clouds and let me tell you, the clouds are very very wet. It then began drizzling and was the sort of rain that just drenched you in seconds. None of my waterproof gear lived up to its promising labels and everything leaked. I advise everyone against buying from Trespass unless you like soggy hikes.

We remained in the cloud for the next two hours, and most of which was hiking back up the crater rim in relentless zig zags. It took forever, there were no views but we could tell we were on some pretty sheer edges at times as the clouds were below us. It went from being our favourite hike to ‘when the fuck will this hell end’. But even still, we can’t deny how incredible the scenery was and it will remain a highlight of our world travels.

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