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Hawaii > Maui
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Haleakala National Park- The park preserves the Haleakala Crater and protects the unique and fragile ecosystems of Kipahulu Valley and 'Ohe'o Gulch. The park protects many rare and endangered species.
Haleki'i-Pihana Heiau State Monument- This site lies on the north central shore of Maui and contains structures significant in Hawaiian history and culture.
Iao Valley State Park- This state park features unique volcanic formations and a variety of plant species. It is also a site of cultural significance for pre-contact Hawaii.
Kaumahina State Wayside- This state wayside provides a scenic rest stop for travelers on the Hana Highway. A short trail leads to a scenic overlook of the northern Maui coast.
Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge- Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge is of primary importance for endangered Hawaiian stilt and Hawaiian coot. The protected area provides suitable resting, feeding and nesting habitat for endangered waterbirds.
Makena State Park- This state park encompasses 165 coastal acres south of Wailea on Maui. The site provides access to a variety of beach activities.
Maui State Parks- Maui's state parks preserve and protect significant natural, cultural and historical sites throughout the island.
Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area- This state recreation area lies high in the mountains near the Kula Forest Reserve of east Maui. A four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended to access the site.
Pua'a Ka'a State Wayside- This small rest area lies along the Hana Highway south of Wailua Bay. Picnic tables, restrooms and scenery make is a good place to stop for lunch on the way to or from Hana.
Wai'anapanapa State Park- This state park provides access to hiking, camping, picnicking, fishing and beach activities. It lies a short distance north of Hana on the eastern coast of the island.
Wailua Valley State Wayside- Wailua Valley State Wayside is a small rest area from the Hana Highway. It provides a good viewpoint of the northern Maui coast.

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General Information

Windsurfing Kahei Bay
Copyright: Marshall Hall - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
Windsurfing Kahei Bay
Description - Maui is comprised of 122 square miles of land that began with two volcanic mountains. The island can be separated into eastern and western regions. The eastern side of Maui encompasses the younger and loftier range of mountains on the island. This range includes Mt. Hanakauhi, 8,907 feet, Puu Ulaula, 10,023 feet and Mt. Kanahau, 8,653 feet. These volcanic peaks lie dormant, but not yet extinct, as the latest eruption in this range occurred in 1790.

The eastern portion of the island is the least populated and contains five state forest reserves and one national park. The southern shore of eastern Maui can be accessed by the Piilani Highway, a rough road that may be closed due to heavy rainfall. Gas and services are not available along the Piilani Highway. Hana lies at the northeastern end of the road and Keokea lies at the southwestern end of the road.

Upcountry Maui lies north of Keokea. Within this region lies the agricultural lands of the island. This highland area contains the entrance to the western portion of Haleakala National Park and Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area. The Kula and Haleakala Highways provide access to the Upcountry.

The northern shore of east Maui is formed by a rugged and scenic shoreline. Many beaches and parks line the shore and provide access to year-round water sports. The Hana Highway provides a long scenic drive through the small communities that line the windward coast of the island. Historic sites, hiking trails and wayside lookouts line the Hana Highway and provide recreation opportunities along the route.

Moving westward along the Hana Highway visitors will reach the isthmus that connects east and west Maui. The northern shore of this land strip supports the largest communities on the island: Kahului and Wailuku. Between the two is Kahului Harbor, which is the main economic port of the island. The southern portion of the isthmus harbors Maalaea, where the winds are constant throughout the year and provide excellent windsurfing conditions.

The western Maui shoreline is heavily populated and highly developed, with the northern shore as the exception. The Honoapiilani Highway leads along the coast of western Maui from Kahului south to Kapalua. The beaches and waters from Maalaea west to Lahaina provide excellent opportunities for whale watching during the winter months. The largest community in this region is Lahaina, which was the capital of the islands until 1845. The community was also a whaling port during the mid nineteenth century. Historical sites and museums abound through out this area.

The northwestern shore of the island is mostly rural with several beach parks. Fleming Beach Park north of Kapalua provides excellent year-round swimming and snorkeling with public facilities. Famous Slaughterhouse Beach lies within this region and provides a long beach and two bays for swimming, body surfing and snorkeling. The interior of western Maui is public land protected as the West Maui Forest Reserve.

Attractions - Haleakala National Park has two sections. The summit area is a barren moonscape reached by switchbacking up the northwestern flank of the volcano on Highway 378. The unique silverswords are found here and trails drop down onto the floor of the crater. The Kipahulu area is a lush tropical paradise on the eastern flank of the volcano at sea level and features fresh water pools and a spectacular waterfall.

The road to Hana is a major driving attraction on the windward shore of the island. Allow plenthy of time as this windy road goes through spectacular scenery.

Iao State Park features a volcanic needle that rises 1200 feet above the valley floor. It is also the site where Kamehameha I's forces conquered Maui's army in an effort to unite the islands in 1790.

Maui's renown beaches allow one to escape the pressure of life in the 21st century. For the more actively inclined, Maui offers world class wind surfing, kite boarding, surfing and scuba diving.

Recreation - Maui is known for it's excellent windsurfing conditions throughout the year with instruction and equipment rentals for all abilties available on the northern coast. The western beaches usually experience calm waters for swimming, sea kayaking and general water play. Outfitters provide transportation for diving and snorkeling to Molokini, a submerged volcanic crater, and Lanai, a small island surrounded by coral reef. Whale watching excursions leave ports in west Maui during the height of the migration between January and March. Surfing conditions are best between November and March. Lessons and good waves are available throughout the year.

Hiking and backpacking opportunities abound in Haleakala National Park, Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area and other parks within east Maui. Many ranchers in East Maui outfit horseback riding excursions. Reservations are recommended for these outings, which can last for a few hours or several days.

Climate - The climate is pleasantly mild on Maui throughout the year. Temperatures vary annually between 60 and 90 degrees F. Summer temperatures range from 68 to 82 degrees F with the water usually near 80 degrees. Winter temperatures vary from 61 to 80 degrees F with the water temperature close to 77 degrees. More rainfall occurs during the winter than other seasons of the year and most of it falls on the northeastern or windward portion of the island. Temperatures on this island vary more with elevation than seasons. Expect temperatures to drop four degrees F for every 1,000 feet gained in elevation.

Location - Maui is the second largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago and lies northwest of the Big Island and southeast of Molokai. The protected island of Kaho‘olawe and the submerged crater of Molokini lie to the south of Maui. The island of Lanai lies to the east.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Maggi (Dallas, TX)
Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Neutral
Report: Biking down Haleakala seemed like a great idea when I was planning our trip to Maui earlier this year so I booked spaces for myseld and my husband. The company that lead the excursion was really great however, if you are not a speed junkie, I cannot reccommend it. The bikes are difficult to control and you will find yourself flying down the road at about 30mph. I could not manage the ride so I ended up riding down in the van with two of the guides. Seeing the sunrise over Haleakala was a Zen-like experience so if you don't mind getting up at 2:30 AM, you should definitely go for it.

More Information

Contact Information:
Maui District, Hawaii State Parks, 54 South High Street, 101 , Wailuku, HI, 96793, Phone: 808-984-8109

Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, 2270 Kalakaua Avenue, Suite 801 , Honolulu, HI, 96815, Phone: 800-GOHAWAII, Fax: 808-924-0290

Additional Information:
Hawaii - This state is comprised of eight small volcanic islands. The numerous natural areas on the islands preserve habitat for unique plant and animal species as well as beautiful landscapes.

Hawaii Activity Calendar - Maintained by the state tourism office.
Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources - Official State website with information on camping, hiking, hunting, state parks and more.


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