Does it Snow In Maui?
Yes, it does snow in Maui! Many people are surprised when they hear that it snows in Hawaii because the Hawaiian islands are well known for its tropical and warm weather year-round.
What many people don’t know is that out of the earth’s 14 different microclimates there are 10 that could be found in Hawaii! It can be as warm as 80 degrees Fahrenheit in one of the towns on the coast of the island and upon the mountain of Haleakala it could be a frigid 30’s-40’s degrees Fahrenheit if you were to go for the sunrise.
With that being said, Maui and Hawai’i, also known as The Big Island, do get the occasional snow, roughly once every five years for Maui according to the national weather service and almost annually for the Big Island. However, it has snowed consistently on Maui over the past three years. Could this have to do with global warming? Maybe so but that’s not what we are here to discuss.
Where Does it Snow in Hawaii?
It doesn’t just snow anywhere in Hawaii. Usually, snow in the Hawaiian islands often occurs above 8,000 ft elevation. There are only a few places on the islands that reach those altitudes and that is at Maui’s main volcano, Haleakala and the Big Islands’ two out of the five volcanoes Mauna Kea and its sister volcano Mauna Loa.
Haleakala makes up more than 75% of the island of Maui and the remainder of the island is spread across the western volcano known as Mauna Kahalawai, or better known as the West Maui Mountains.
Haleakala in Hawaiian means “house of the sun” as its peak reaches a whopping 10,023 ft elevation. It is best known on the island for its infamous sunsets and sunrises. Many tourists wake up as early as 2 a.m., depending on the time of year, to journey up for a breathtaking sunrise and weather through temperatures as cold as 15-35 degrees Fahrenheit (oftentimes excluding windshield) while others decide to take the sunset route and take advantage of the stargazing after the sun disappears from beneath the clouds and horizon.
There are many things to do upcountry, known to locals as the cities up on the mountain, these areas include Haliimaile, Makawao, Pukalani, and Kula. These are cool little towns to explore on the way up to Haleakala to enjoy some unique art galleries, shopping and delicious foods with jaw-dropping views!
Also, there are some excursions that can be done on the mountainside. One of the longest side by side ziplines in Maui with Piiholo Ranch Ziplines is located upcountry or you can choose to bike down the volcano with several vendors that offer either a sunrise bike down or a traditional midday bike down if you didn’t want to get up at 3 a.m. for the sunrise check-in time that most of the vendors have for that specific option.
On Big Island, most of the snow complies on two of their five volcanoes, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. They are both known to be some of the tallest summits in the world from sea level to the peak, they sit over an astonishing 13,000 ft in elevation thus allowing snow to easily compile on a yearly basis.
How Long Does Snow Typically last in Maui and The Big Island?
Snow on both islands usually lasts anywhere between 3-6 days depending on the length of the storm cycle. As the islands often get a lot of sun exposure it doesn’t allow the snow to sit much longer than a few days. It does give the locals just enough time to enjoy the snow and do fun activities such as snowboarding and skiing on the Big Island as it is more common to snow than Maui.
It is a beautiful opportunity for the locals to see snow as not many of them ever leave the Hawaiian islands and get to experience how it feels to play in the white fluffy flakes that many others are blessed to see on the western and eastern parts of the United States.
It is a phenomenon to many that it even snows in Maui and on The Big Island, it comes as a shock to many people including myself! I remember the first time it snowed while I was living on the Maui back in 2016 all my friends were going up the mountain to see the snow. I was baffled, and didn’t believe them until the next morning I woke up to a beautiful white cap on Haleakala. I remember feeling a tsunami of gratitude for the island and what it has to offer from the towering waves to the snow caps on the summit.
Final Thoughts on Visiting Maui during the Winter Time
Should you worry about snow in Maui affecting your vacation? I wouldn’t as it is indeed a rare phenomenon despite the recent occurrences over the past couple of years. If it did happen to snow during your vacation, it wouldn’t affect you as the snow would be up 10,023 ft away from your comfortable stay with us on the Valley Isle. Also, if it did snow during your stay here you would have bragging rights that you were able to go swim with turtles during the morning time and was able to make a snowman during sunset on the same day on the same island!
The microclimates on the island offer a wide range of activities to do for both tourists and locals; they range from playing in the waterfalls of the jungle to swimming in crystal clear Hawaiian waters with 75-90 degree Fahrenheit water, golfing in some of the finer courses that Maui has to offer and the opportunity to make a snow angel above the clouds on the summit of Haleakala.
The fun never stops on Maui as there is something to do for everyone, whether you’re an extreme surfer or hiker, a recreational scuba diver that likes to explore the liquid galaxy. Whether you’re retired and want to relax on a pineapple tour or simply enjoy a beautiful sunset on the water with a dinner cruise. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and start planning your next vacation to the Valley Isle and come experience some of the Maui Magic on your own