Description - Haleakala National Park extends from the 10,023 foot summit of Haleakala down the southeast flank of the mountain to the Kipahulu coast near Hana. These two sections of the Park are not directly connected by road, but both can be reached from Kahului.
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- The Park Headquarters Visitor Center is located one mile from the park entrance at 7,000' elevation. Driving time from the resort areas of Kihei and Ka'anapali is about two hours. Restrooms, public telephone, and a picnic area are available here. This is a Hawaii Natural History Assoc sales area as well as a backcountry camping/ cabin permit station. No food or gas are available.
The Haleakala Visitor Center is located near the summit of Haleakala, at 9,700' elevation, ten miles from the park entrance off the Park Road. The center includes interpretive exhibits on the natural, geologic and cultural heritage of Haleakala. Facilities include restrooms, and a Hawaii Natural History Assoc sales area. No public phone, gas or food are available.
Hiking and walking are very popular within Haleakala National Park. In the Summit area two trails lead into the wilderness: Sliding Sands Trail and Halemau`u Trail. There are also many shorter trails available in this area. Both areas of the Park offer guided walks and programs on the geology and natural and cultural history of the area.
Sky-watching is a great way to escape the world! Stop at one of the several overlooks on the Park road or take a short walk away from the traffic noise to watch the clouds. The visual horizon in many places in the Summit area is up to 115 miles out to sea. Even cloudy skies can offer amazing sights including rainbows, moonbows and halos seen around your shadow. Haleakala offers one of the most easily accessible places to watch planets, stars and moons after dark. Rent a pair of 10x50 or 7x50 binoculars at one of the island dive shops, pick up a star map at Park Headquarters or Haleakala Visitor Center, and see if you can find the moons of Jupiter.
Recreation - Visitors to this island park can participate in a myriad of outdoor activities. At Park Headquarters, Haleakala Visitor Center and the Kipahulu Ranger Station/Visitor Center have cultural and natural history exhibits. Rangers are on duty during business hours to answer questions and help you make the most of your visit. The most popular activities in the park include backpacking, camping, hiking, horseback riding, nature walks, stargazing, swimming, wildlife viewing and viewing scenery.
Climate - The weather at the summit of Haleakala is unpredictable. Temperatures commonly range between 40 and 65F, but can be below freezing at anytime of year with the wind chill factor. Weather changes rapidly at high elevations on Haleakala. Intense sunlight, thick clouds, heavy rain and high winds are possible daily. Wear lightweight, layered clothing that will keep you warm even in wet weather, and sturdy, comfortable shoes. Persons with heart or respiratory problems and pregnant women should check with their doctor before coming to the Park, given the reduced oxygen at high elevation.
The Summit area of Haleakala is a three hour round trip drive from Kahului via roads 37, 377, and 378. Follow the signs posted along the Highway.
Directions from Highway 378: Follow Highway 378 into the Summit Area of Haleakala National Park.