The Park preserves the outstanding volcanic landscape of
the upper slopes of
Haleakala on the island of Maui and protects the unique and fragile ecosystems of Kipahulu Valley, the scenic pools along Oheo Gulch, and many rare and endangered species. Haleakala, originally part of Hawaii National Park, was redesignated as a separate entity in July 1961. Haleakala National Park was designated an International Biosphere Reserve in 1980. Of its 30,183 acres, 19,270 are wilderness.
Basic Information for Haleakala National
Operating Hours and Operating Seasons for Haleakala National Park
Park Headquarters, Haleakala Visitor Center and Kipahulu Ranger Station
are open daily year round, subject to staff availability. Hours are:
Park Headquarters Visitor Center 7:30 am to 4:00 pm.
Haleakala Visitor Center Sunrise to 3:00 pm.
Kipahulu Visitor Center 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
PLANE - The main airport is in Kahului, in central Maui.
Major airlines fly
from the U.S. mainland and inter-island flights are common between the
main Hawaiian islands.
CAR - 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. 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. The Kipahulu area of the Park
is at the east end of Maui between Hana and Kaupo. It can be reached via
Highway 36, a curvy, often wet road. Kipahulu is about 90 miles from the
resort areas of Wailea or Kaanapali, and 60 miles from central Maui. Driving
time is about 3-4 hours each way. An extension of this road, Highway 31,
goes around the dry side of the island, past Kaupo and on to Ulupalakua.
It is only partially paved and can be hazardous or closed during periods
of stormy weather.
Weather & Climate
Summit Area: 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. NOTE: 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.
Kipahulu Area: The weather in Kipahulu is usually
warm, and rain is common. Flash flooding of the pools and streams can
be hazardous to swimmers and hikers. Always check with the Park Rangers
before entering the pools and never swim if flood warnings are posted.
Mosquitoes can be prevalent in this area.
Camping at Haleakala National Park
Open All Year
This small campground is located just below the 7,000 foot level in the Summit area. Space is available without a permit on a first come, first served basis. The campground has picnic tables, BBQ grills, drinking water and pit toilets. Sites are close together in a partially forested area with a central parking lot. Self-guided nature trail begins and ends at the campground.
Open All Year
Primitive campground near the ocean that is available without a permit on a first come, first served basis. No drinking water is available: you must bring your own water supply. The campground has picnic tables, BBQ grills, and pit toilets.
Open All Year
Three wilderness cabins are maintained by the National Park Service for visitor use by advanced reservation lottery. To reach the cabins, you must hike a minimum of 4 miles to Holua, 6 miles to Kapalaoa, and 10 miles to Paliku. Each cabin is allocated to one party as a unit, with a capacity of upto 12 people per night. Fees for the cabins are based on the number of people in the party: 1-6 people = $40.00, 7-12 people = $80.00. At least one member of the party must be 18 years of age or older. To enter the reservation lottery, write to Haleakala National Park, Attention Cabins at least 90 days prior to your trip. Include your first and alternate choices of dates and cabin preferred. The more flexible your request, the better your chance of winning a reservation. Keep in mind that weekends are more requested than weekdays. We occasionally have cabin cancellations available. To fill a cancellation, call the Park at (808) 572-4400 between 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm (HST) daily to check on availability. You will need a Visa or Mastercard to secure a reservation by phone. For both wilderness camping and cabins, stays are limited to 3 nights per month, with no more than 2 consecutive nights at any one cabin or campground.
Open All Year
There are also two Wilderness campgrounds - Holua is a 4 mile (one way) hike down the Halemau`u trail and Paliku is 10 miles (one way) down either the Sliding Sands Trail or the Halemau`u Trail. Both are primitive with only pit toilets and non-potable water. Campers should have provisions and equipment appropriate for possible cold, wet weather. There are no open fires allowed in the Wilderness, so portable campstoves and a fuel supply are recommended. Some form of water treatment is required. These campgrounds require a free, backcountry permit, available at Park Headquarters between 8:00 am and 3:00 pm daily. Space at both campgrounds is limited, and no advance reservations are taken for wilderness camping.
Activities and More Information at Haleakala
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.
Also bike riding down from the top of the mountain is popular. Many private concessioners provide this service at a fee.
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