Haleakala National Park is one of the most popular stopovers
for tourists and full of a diverse range of things
to do. The dormant volcano found in the park, The
House of the Sun, is the tallest point in Maui at more than 10,000 feet above sea level. At 3,000 feet
in depth, the idle giant draws in many sky gazers wanting
to soak up the beauty of colorful sunsets at the Haleakala
Crater. From the summit, others enjoy the exciting twists
and turns when cycling from the peak to Paia on the North
Shore. Soaring high into the clouds, the windy crest of
Haleakala has temperatures more than 30 degrees lower
than the mainland so make sure to dress warmly.
Haleakala Park comprises diverse geographical areas that cater to a number of interests. The route to the summit of Haleakala Crater is naturally sculpted and richly hued and the landscape is unlike anything you may have seen. Visually stunning, the expansive area leads to the pinnacle where the dimensions and scale of Haleakala Park in its entirety are baffling. The desert area affords hours of languid hiking among a variety of native plants and wildlife. Once the sun begins to drop the impressive daytime vistas are overshadowed by the vibrant night sky as the moon and stars begin to illuminate all of Haleakala.
Haleakala Park Map
The mountainous Wilderness Area of Haleakala Park provides terrific Maui hiking trails accessed at Halemauu Trailhead and Keoneheehee. Both trails rise to more then 8,000 feet. They amalgamate along the way and head toward the southeast side of Haleakala Crater to the coastal area of Kaupo. Be sure to take lots of film to capture the dramatic landscape of Haleakala Park. Cloud forests, vermillion cinder cone trees, lush green and red native ferns and marshy areas replete with wildlife blanket the picturesque area.
For active tourists who enjoy cycling, Haleakala Mountain
Riders offer a great way to experience the park. With
Haleakala Mountain Riders, cyclists can ride from the
7,000 foot crest at the crater down along the impressive
route with experienced professionals. Maui
attractions like the beauty of the southern coast
and the grand western Maui mountains will come into view
as guides lead you through the charming communities of
Paia, Haliliimaile and Makawao.
With almost two decades of experience as advisors in
Haleakala National Park, guides have scouted numerous
routes for cyclists of all levels. Another option for Maui tours with the Haleakala
Mountain Riders is a 26-mile day trip. Cyclists will cover
the trail beginning at 6,500 feet. Haleakala Mountain
Riders will head the group to the ending point at Paia
Bay Beach Park. The tours can be done by many levels.
The continuous downhill coasting makes the adventure good
for beginners. Haleakala Mountain Riders provide cyclists
with windbreaker jackets and pants, gloves and helmets,
transportation from Maui hotels and back and the latest cruiser bicycles.
Ten miles after the town of Hana visitors will find the verdant coastal area of Kipahulu brimming with freshwater pools, falls and 360 degrees of beautiful, tropical scenery. Self-guided hiking in the area is very rewarding and is a great alternative to guided tours in Haleakala. The Visitor Center offers cultural demonstrations and orientations for visitors who are eager to learn more details about Haleakala National Park.
Most visitors hike the ascending Pipiwai Trail that follows a sparkling stream through the Seven Sacred Pools. Watch the coastline closely for rewarding glimpses of dolphins, whales, turtles and seabirds. There are lower pools for swimming offering respite from the hot, humid weather. Follow all cautionary signs in the area as unexpected flash floods do occur and heavy rains and winds are fairly common.
Haleakala Hiking Trails
If you prefer, you can stay overnight at the Wilderness
Campgrounds and continue discovering the next day. If
you decide to camp, head to the Visitor Center first and
get a permit. Pack a variety of clothing, plenty of water
and food. The unpredictable weather can change at the
drop of a hat. The altitude can seriously affect your
health so be aware of the dangers before you plan a trip.
A Maui helicopter
tour can be a great alternative for those not up to
trekking around Haleakala National Park. From the soaring
heights of a helicopter some of the breathtaking, inaccessible
areas can be seen providing a completely unrestricted
view of the vast and visually stunning region.