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General Information

Silver Sword
Copyright: Marshall Hall - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
Silver Sword
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.

Attractions - 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.

Location - 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.


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

Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: My father and I hiked into Holua campground in March. It was miserable and great at the same time! It rained much of the time, and the wind was so strong (later found to be up to 65 mph) that it made the rain horizontal. However, we still camped a night and went for a hike in the morning. When the clouds cleared occasionally, it showed an incredible landscape! Persons hiking this trail should be able to do a difficult hike at altitude. Weather conditions can make the hike twice as hard - be prepared!

Filed By: Spencer (Haiku, HI)
Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Having just returned from an overnight hike in the crater, I can happily report that it rivals hikes in Yosemite and the Grand Canyon. In addition to the spectacular scenery, you will find species of plants and animals found nowhere else on earth! Parts of the hike were verdant and lush, while others were more like hiking on the moon, except for the air and gravity. Any hikes to the crater floor should be considered strenuous, and not undertaken by those unable to climb 3500 vertical feet each way. The weather is highly variable and you can expect cold and rain at any time in certain parts. It even snows up there!

Filed By: Spencer (Haiku, HI)
Number of People Encountered: 50+ ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: The Kipahulu area is vastly different from the crater and summit area. The pools are a very popular tourist attraction (for good reason: you can swim below multiple waterfals), and between 11 AM to 4 PM expect many people. The hike to Waimoku falls (the tallest waterfall on Maui accessible on foot) is though a vast bamboo forest. There is also what I feel may be the best campsite in the world! Feel free to e-mail me for pics and other local info.


Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON General Parking Summit General Forest Area
Yes
ICON Backpacking Summit General Forest Area
Yes
ICON Camping Summit General Forest Area
Yes
ICON Dispersed Camping Summit General Forest Area
Yes
ICON Automobile Travel Summit General Forest Area
Yes
ICON Geology Summit General Forest Area
Yes
ICON Hiking & Walking Summit General Forest Area
Yes
ICON Horseback Riding Summit General Forest Area
Yes
ICON Plant Identification Summit General Forest Area
Yes
ICON Bird Identification Summit General Forest Area
Yes
ICON Viewing Interpretive Signs Summit General Forest Area
Yes
ICON Scenic Driving Summit General Forest Area
Yes
ICON Attending Talks & Programs Summit General Forest Area
Yes
ICON Viewing Scenery Summit General Forest Area
Yes


More Information

Contact Information:
Haleakala National Park, P.O. Box 369 , Makawao, HI, 96768, Phone: 808-572-4400
, HALE_Interpretation@nps.gov

Additional Information:
Haleakala National Park - The park preserves the outstanding features of Haleakala Crater on the island of Maui and protects the unique and fragile ecosystems of Kipahulu Valley, pools along 'Ohe'o Gulch and many rare and endangered species.

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