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10 Great Camping Spots for Star Gazing


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Haleakalā National Park, Hawaii
Haleakalā is such a good place to view the stars that there's an observatory there.
Haleakalā is such a good place to view the stars that there's an observatory there.
iStockphoto/Thinkstock

One of the better places to peer into the heavens is Hawaii. And Haleakalā National Park, in southern Maui, is tops. Noted for its volcanic landscape and subtropical rain forest, the park is home to a vast, nearly-25,000-acre (10,117-hectare) wilderness area made up of innumerable microclimates, plus two wilderness campgrounds and three historic 1930s-era redwood cabins [source: National Park Service].

The summit of Haleakalā is considered a world-class place to observe the sky at night. No wonder; the mountain's summit is higher than 10,000 feet (3,048 meters) [source: Park Vision]. The island dive shops rent binoculars, so grab some (the National Park Service suggests a 10x50 or 7x50 pair), grab a free star map at the Park Headquarters Visitor Center or Haleakalā Visitor Center, and head on up. It'll probably be chilly, so bring a jacket, too [source: National Park Service].

Campgrounds outside of the Wilderness Area include Kīpahulu and Hosmer Grove, both accessible by car. Hosmer Grove is a better option, as it's tucked into the slopes of Haleakalā, on the way to the summit [source: National Park Service].


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