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National park tips: This is the Maui sunrise you need to see

Bundled-up tourists catch sunrise (and cloud effects) from the rim of Haleakala Crater in Maui's Haleakala National Park.
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)

No tourist on Maui is eager to wake up at 0-dark-thirty and dress for nearly freezing temperatures, but it’s worthwhile if you can get to the rim of Haleaka Crater in Haleakala National Park for sunrise.

When the weather cooperates, the golden rays and swirling clouds on the rugged volcanic slopes make for an unforgettable spectacle.

And then, if you’ve booked with one of the several park-approved bike-rental outfits, you hop aboard a bike and ride 26 miles downhill to the water’s edge, shedding layers of clothing as you go. Cost is usually $120-$150 per person. Here is a list of approved concessionaires.

Also, if you’re heading to the lip of the caldera in a rental car or personal vehicle, be warned that on Feb. 1, 2017, the National Park Service will implement an on-line sunrise reservation system, priced at $1.50 per car. NPS officials planned to unveil the reservation system on Dec. 1, 2016. Details here.

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This post was updated Nov. 28 to include information on sunrise reservation system.

A sunrise bike ride down Hawaii’s Haleakala volcano »

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<p>Intrepid Times staff writer Chris Reynolds goes on a 27-mile bike ride down Haleakala volcano in Maui.</p>

In honor of this year’s National Park Service centennial, the Travel section is posting 100 park travel ideas and tips based on trips staff travel writer Christopher Reynolds has taken, along with photo-op advice from Times photographer Mark Boster. We’ll post one per day through Dec. 31.

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Follow Reynolds on Twitter: @MrCSReynolds

See travel videos by Reynolds from around the world.

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