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Haleakala National Park – Maui

Located on the island of Maui in Hawaii, Haleakala National Park is a true outdoor lovers paradise. It is also the site of the world’s largest dormant volcano, which is quite an amazing thing if you think about it. Hiking and exploring the area is the big draw for most, but the beauty that the Park offers is second to none. For this reason alone it should be at the top of your “to do” list while on Maui.

Haleakala Hiking

 Lets get right down to it, the main attraction of Haleakala is the hiking aspect. However, you don’t have to go on a huge hike to enjoy the scenery, as there are places to drive that will allow for great views. That being said, to fully enjoy the over 33,000 acres of Haleakala, 19,000 of those being wilderness, you will really want to think about setting out on a hike.

The total elevation change on the main hike from top to bottom is 3,000 feet. This is quite a number, so come ready. However, if you enter into the wilderness area and really start to explore, then you will definitely be going much higher than 3,000 feet.

The wilderness area of Haleakala national Park can be accessed by two mountaintop trailheads: Halemauʻu Trailhead at 8000 feet, and Keoneheʻeheʻe (or Sliding Sands) near the summit at 9740 feet. As you can see, the elevation change is quite severe if you choose to tackle the wilderness area. Be prepared, and it is wise to have some hiking experience if you are going to do this.

Overnight Camping

 Overnight camping is allowed at the Park, though you will have to get a permit and pay a small fee. However, if you really want to get out and explore, then you will need to stay overnight, as the area is much too big to explore in a day.

You will have two choices in sleeping overnight in the Park. You can rent one of the historic log cabins on the main trail, or you can take your own gear up. Either way, this will give you a better starting point for the next day.

Operating Hours and Fees

 Haleakala National Park is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The park is open on all major holiday, and only closes due to very bad weather. That being said, the visitor centers and headquarters all keep steady operating hours. Those are as follows:

 

  • Park Headquarters Visitor Center – 7:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. (Beginning March 10: 8:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.)
  • Haleakalā Visitor Center – Sunrise to 3:00 p.m.
  • Kīpahulu Visitor Center (coastal) – 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

 

There are fees to be paid, and the amount you pay will be based on vehicle and persons. You can also pay per day, or buy annual passes that will allow you to access the park at anytime throughout the year.

Hawaii Tourism