Best Time to View Sunrises in Maui

By Ashley Friedman

Morning in Maui: The perfect start to a day in paradise

Best Time to View Sunrises in Maui

Sunrise in Maui treats early risers to spectacular gold and pink skies over crystal blue water, white-sand beaches and swaying palm trees. The Hawaiian Islands have some of the most unique topography and landscapes of any of the 50 states in the U.S., and from its perch in the middle of the Pacific, Maui is a near-ideal location to watch the sun come up over the ocean. You won't have to worry about light pollution, view-blocking skyscrapers or smog. All you have to do to enjoy a Hawaiian sunrise is set your alarm, head to the perfect spot and settle in to watch the dawn break over the water.

Sunrise times by season

Maui's sunrise times change with the seasons, so check the predicted sunrise times for the time of year that you plan to visit. In the springtime, following the vernal equinox in mid-March, the sunrise begins around 6:20 a.m. In the summer months, the days get longer and the sunrise happens earlier in the morning, close to 5:40 a.m. in June. As summer turns to fall, the daylight hours shorten, and by late October, the sun comes up around 6:30 a.m. After the winter solstice in mid-December, the sunrise gets even later; by February the sun rises as late as 7 a.m.

Weather and seasonal considerations

Lying as it does at the edge of the tropical zone, Hawaii really has only two seasons. Both seasons are warm and temperate, but during the rainy season from November through March, you're more likely to see storms. These storms usually pass quickly, and it rarely rains for more than a couple days in a row in any location in Maui. Stormy morning sunrises on Maui can actually be pretty striking and beautiful to behold, but rainfall can be heavy, so be warned and bring a raincoat. Check the weather report before setting your alarm for an exceptionally early hour.

Most other times of the year, particular from May through September, the weather is sunny nearly every day, so cloud cover shouldn't be a problem.

Magical places to watch the sunrise

Maui is known for its tranquil, gleaming beaches, and if you're planning to watch the sunrise, it's tough to beat the views at beaches such as eastward-facing Koki Beach Park, secluded Oneloa Beach or dazzling Makena Cove. To access Makena Cove, you'll need to travel down a path on foot, through a wall of rocks and down to the water. There you can take in the daybreak surrounded by black lava rocks and clear blue water.

One of the most popular tourist activities on Maui is taking in the sunrise from the summit of Haleakala National Park. There, you can watch the sun rise over the Pacific from a vantage point of 10,000 feet above sea level. This is a popular activity and requires a "sunrise reservation," which you can make up to 60 days in advance. Once you have a reservation, be prepared to arrive early. The park may be as far as two hours from your location in Maui, so plan to leave with enough time to arrive a good 30 minutes before the sun is scheduled to rise. Dress warmly and bring layers. The weather can be cool in the morning, and at that altitude, it's not unusual for wind to cause a chill. Visitors to the park are encouraged to stay after the sun has risen to take in the stunning spectacle of the dramatic landscape as the dawn streaks its way across the sky.

About the Author

Ashley Friedman graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and Social Sciences. She has experience writing copy for the websites of creative professionals, and regularly contributes to several blogs covering popular culture, travel, food, and social action.