“taking up over 75% of Maui island!”
Early Hawaiians applied the name Haleakalā ("house of the sun") to the general mountain. Haleakalā is also the name of a peak on the south western edge of Kaupō Gap. In Hawaiian folklore, the depression (crater) at the summit of Haleakalā was home to the grandmother of the demigod Māui. According to the legend, Māui's grandmother helped him capture the sun and force it to slow its journey across the sky in order to lengthen the day. Surrounding and including the crater is Haleakalā National Park, a 30,183-acre park, of which 24,719 acres are wilderness. The park includes the summit depression, Kipahulu Valley on the southeast, and ʻOheʻo Gulch (and pools), extending to the shoreline in the Kipahulu area. From the summit, there are two main trails leading into Haleakalā: Sliding Sands Trail and Halemauʻu Trail. The temperature near the summit tends to vary between about 40°F and 60°F and, especially given the thin air and the possibility of dehydration at that elevation, the walking trails can be more challenging than one might expect. Despite this, Haleakalā is popular with tourists and locals alike, who often venture to its summit, or to the visitor center just below the summit, to view the sunrise. There is lodging in the form of a few simple cabins, though no food, or gas is available in the park.
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