Arriving at the Haleakalā National Park Visitor Center, use the Sliding Sands Trailhead located by the parking lot entrance to begin your trek. Sliding Sands Trail will take you to the Ku lu'u o ka O'o Spur Trail, which leads from the Haleakalā Peak to the crater floor.
Dive into the one of the world's largest dormant volcanoes. The 5.5-mile loop navigates through colorful sands, which are ever-changing as you hike. Spectacular views can be found along the route as you descend the volcanic trail. Only a mile into the hike, the view at Na'ena'e Overlook is breathtaking as you can see the crater floor. As you near the end of the loop, you will find additional overlooks of the Ko'olau Gap and Kalahaku Pali, which are other cinder cones within the volcano.
The park opens for sunrise visits and hikes. The visitor center at the peak is quite busy during summer months, but the hike itself is not congested. Plan to have layers as the top gets brisk and windy. Once you venture into the crater, it can be hot. The elevation changes are substantial and there are few shady spots to rest. Bring plenty of water and hiking sticks, as most of the trail is sandy and a bit unsteady.