There is an observatory that is not open to the public just off to the south of the visitors center. Not very big compared the complex of building on top on Mauna Kea on the big island. There is a a slightly higher overlook area you can visit just above the visitor’s center. We had a great view of the big island while we were there.
There are some great views of the crater from here as well.
After taking some pictures and enjoying the sun we headed back down the road. We made one last stop at Kalahaku Lookout,
Captain Dan’s Tips
If you are on Maui and planning to visit Haleakalā, give yourself at least half a day if you don’t do any hiking.
Dress in layers or at least bring a jacket or additional clothes with you. I have been on Haleakalā and Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa and have experienced everything from warm and sunny to windy and cold with snow.
There is no food or lodging at Haleakalā. Bring plenty of water if plan to hike.
Remember you will be hiking down hill first. The park service recommends that you plan on double the time to walk out and it takes to hike down.