Top 5 favorite Hawaii natural wonders: HAWAII Magazine facebook poll resultsby: Maureen O'Connell
posted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 12:00 AM
No. 4 (tie)
Haleakala, which translates as “house of the sun,” is Maui’s highest peak. From its summit — 10,023 feet above sea level — you can see up to three neighbor islands (when skies are clear) and spectacular sunrises and sunsets (from a visitor area situated above the usual cloud level). Haleakala National Park encompasses nearly 30,000 acres of public land across Maui’s southern and eastern coast areas. The park’s hiking trails traverse microclimates ranging from often-arid brown-and-red volcanic cinder cones to damp “cloudforests” filled with native ferns. The park also encompasses lush Kipahulu Valley.
DIAMOND HEAD (OAHU)
The extinct volcanic tuff cone known as Diamond Head is perhaps Hawaii’s most recognized natural wonder. British sailors arriving on Oahu in the 19th century gave the 150,000-year old monument the English name that would stick after mistaking calcite crystals lodged in its slopes for diamonds. Diamond Head's Hawaiian name, Leahi is a variant of the words lae (brow) and ahi (tuna), describing its silhouette's resemblance to the dorsal fin of a tuna. Diamond Head State Monument maintains a trail to the summit from which you can see most of Oahu’s south shore.
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