The elusive Haleakala sunrise. Travel tip: book in advance for this at recreation.gov.
Your Haleakala experience will be enhanced by renting a camper or van for so many reasons. First, it is often very cold at the top of Haleakala, as its summit reaches 10,023 feet. Temperatures at the summit are often 20 degrees colder than at sea level. Campervan camping is warmer by far than layering it up and shivering all night in a tent. You can also make hot beverages in your mobile kitchen to warm your hands and your belly as you wait for the sun to rise.
There are four Haleakala sunrise viewing spots: the Pu`u Ula ula or Red Hill summit (10,023 ft.); Haleakalā Visitor Center (9,740 ft.); Kalahaku Overlook (9324 ft.); and Leleiwi Overlook (8840ft). Leleiwi Overlook is accessed via a 10 minute hike from its parking lot.
If you decide to stay a few days camping on Haleakala, perhaps to explore the trails through the crater, your park entrance fee lasts three days, and there are several camp site options from which to choose. You can park your van or camper at each of these to experience different areas on Haleakala, which has incredibly diverse terrain.
Camping on Haleakala (in one of our vehicles, dare we call it glamping?) is something you and your travel companions will most likely never forget.