Sunrises, Sunsets, and a Million Rainbows in Between: Hawaii’s National Parks
It hit me out of nowhere.
I was heading down the path. Working steadily up the inclines, but still taking time to look around and enjoy the views. That’s when I sensed it approaching. The crunching footsteps, increasing in amplification and pace. I sped up as well, breaking a sweat, trying in vain to increase the distance between us, but it was no use… my 40th birthday was coming for me, whether I was ready for it or not.
Once I actually accepted this fate, I decided to embrace it. If you’ve kept up on my Hashtag 59 blogs, you’ll know that my husband and I are on a quest to visit all of the U.S. national parks. It just so happened that we would be on park #38 as my birthday approached. An epic birthday deserves an epic trip, so we chose to check off our parks #39 and #40 as I transitioned from 39 to 40 years old. And we decided to do so in paradise.
There are two national parks on the Hawaii islands—Hawaii Volcanoes on the big island and Haleakala on Maui. Our 11-day trip involved visits to several other spots and a quick 24 hours on Oahu. Here are just some of the highlights.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Lava flows may not have been active in the park, but we were! The following photos show some of the areas we visited.
Haleakalā National Park
After our time on the big island, we island hopped to Maui for several days of adventure. Here are a few of the sights we enjoyed at Haleakalā.
When you visit Hawaii, consider checking out some of these outdoor experiences off the national park path
Papakolea green sand beach
Punalu’u black sand beach for beautiful sand and—if you’re lucky—sunning sea turtles!
‘Akaka Falls State Park for a tremendous waterfall
Iao Needle State Monument to see a lush monolith and its surrounding beauty
Waiʻānapanapa State Park for black sand and an awesome sea cave
Kaihalulu, the Red Sand Beach (I’ve heard nude people hang out there, butt I didn’t see any)
Pride of Maui’s Molokini Crater snorkel excursion
Thanks Holly for the tour of Hawaii through your amazing photographs! Have you been to Hawaii? Let us know your thoughts and additional stories below!