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Pu'u'ula'ula (Red Hill) Haleakala Volcano Summit EarthCache

Hidden : 01/28/2008
1 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   other (other)

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Geocache Description:

This Earthcache is located at the 10,023 ft. summit observation and exhibition building located in the Haleakala National Park, on the island of Maui. The summit building parking lot can be reached by automobile. This EarthCache has been reviewed by the Haleakala National Park Service and issued Special Use Permit # 11-001.

Pu'u'ula'ula (Red Hill) is a cinder cone on the southwest rim of Haleakala. At 10,023 feet, the hill is the highest spot on Maui. The vistas (during clear sky conditions) take in the entire island of Maui, the offshore islands of Lanai, Molokai and Kahoolawe and the Big Island to the southeast. The 360-degree glass-enclosed observation and exhibit building located at the cache coordinates allows for weather-sheltered panoramic views. The massive Haleakala shield volcano forms the eastern portion of the dumbbell-shaped island of Maui. The summit of 10,023 feet (3055 meters) Haleakala contains a dramatic, 2.2 x 5.9 mile (3.5 x 9.5 km) summit crater that is widely breached on the north and SE sides. The “crater” is not of volcanic origin, but formed as a result of the coalescence of head ward erosion of the Koolau and Kaupo valleys. Subsequently the crater has been partially filled by a chain of young cinder cones and lava flows erupted along a major rift zone that extends across the basaltic shield volcano from the SW to the east flanks. Another less prominent rift zone that extends north from the summit. The most recent eruption of Haleakala was thought to have occurred between the exploring voyages of La Perouse in 1786 and Vancouver in 1793, but uncertainty surrounds the date of this event, which could have occurred in about 1790 AD (anthropological evidence) or several centuries earlier (radiocarbon dates).

Like all on the Hawaiian islands, Haleakala is a shield volcano. Lava flows upwards from a hot spot in the earth’s mantle as a tectonic plate moves it. Melting of the upper mantle causes magma to rise up through the ocean floor, slowly accruing over time until at last a volcanic island emerges from the sea.

As with icebergs, these volcanoes show only a small part of their total mass above water, leaving 95% below on an ocean seamount. In its prime, Haleakala may have reached a height of 15,000 feet before water and wind erosion, and possibly glaciers, began to carve two large river valleys out of the rim. Eventually, these valleys formed gaps that merged at the volcano summit to create a crater-like basin.

To claim credit for this Earthcache: you must meet the following requirements:

( If the Observation Building is closed during your visit, a photo of you at the Observation Building, or the Observation Building is all your are required to do to claim credit for this Earthcache)

  1. You must "Send Message" to me with the answers to the following questions which require you to visit the enclosed observation building and read the exhibit signs:
    (a.) On the “Weather Cycle” exhibit sign, "Send Message" to me the temperature difference from the Maui beaches and the summit of Haleakala.
    (b.) On “The Haleakala Landscape” exhibit sign, "Send Message" to me the name for “the hills within the valley.
    (c.) On the “Summit Area” exhibit sign, "Send Message" to me the name of the unique plant that has adapted to the summits climate extremes.
  2. NOW OPTIONAL - At the above coordinates, take a picture of yourself and/or your GPSr with the summit sign in the background.
  3. ALSO OPTIONAL -- If your GPSr gives elevation values, please post that value with your log. (I recorded 10086 feet during my visit)


  • Congratulations to "Koakai" for the First to Log and First to Find Honors
  • Congratulations to "Scaler50" for the First to Log and First to Find in 2009 Honors

  • Congratulations to "Schnobbel" for the First to Log and First to Find in 2010 Honors
  • Congratulations to "Bright Light 2" for the First to Log and to "U-Turners" for First to Find in 2011 Honors


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