Haleakalā National Park
Location: Maui, HI
Features: biking, camping, hiking, volcanic landscapes
About the Haleakalā National Park
The Haleakalā National Park is in Maui got it’s name from the dormant volcano Haleakalā within an area of 33,265 acres. The 24,719 acres is designated wilderness. Haleakalā volcano is 10,023 feet tall with magnificent land and skyscapes. It is also home to a popular Hawaiian legend with the demigod Maui. You can enjoy hiking, guided tours, and horseback rides with the park’s scenic views including red deserts, rock gardens, waterfalls and streams. The park has a coastal section called Kipahulu where you can see the waterfalls and streams. This area also offers a showcase Hawaiian cultural experiences. From the town of Hana, you can drive 12 miles along the Hana highway to reach the district of Kipahulu. When in the park, trailers are allowed to go by group of only up to 12 people with 30 minutes interval per group. In the second main region of the park, the Summit District, there’s about 30 miles of hiking trail. You can choose from native shrubland where you can spot native forest birds and endemic plants, or the aeolian cinder desert to know more about the geologic history of volcanoes. Visitors can take short or multi-days trails. There are 9 open trails in the park located in the 2 districts. There’s the 4-mile Pīpīwai Trail that reaches up to 800 ft. elevation and the shorter half mile Kūloa Point Trail both in Kipahulu. There’s more trials in Summit District including Leleiwi Overlook, Halemau‘u Trail, Supply Trail, and Hosmer Grove in the shrublands. The longest trail is the 4.6 mile Supply Trail that will take you to an elevation of up to 975 ft from sea level. Also in the Summit District are trails in the desert including Pā Ka‘oao, Kaupō Trail, and Keonehe‘ehe‘e.
Top 3 Adventure Hacks
1) Altitude sickness
Altitude sickness is common when trekking in the Summit District.
2) Humid weather
Check conditions from the rangers in the area of check online before making plans. Prepare for a tropical like weather – hot, humid, rainy. Don’t forget to bring water, sunscreen, mosquito repellent.
3) Follow signs
Swimming is not recommended in the Kīpahulu District due to a number of safety concerns. Follow signs and warnings in the park. It is specifically not allowed to swim anywhere in the Kīpahulu District.