Getaway Compass

Haleakala National Park Guide

Haelakala National park

Haleakala National Park in Maui, Hawaii is composed of Haleakala Crater at the Summit District and the Kīpahulu District on the eastern coast. These districts are very different while both offering incredible views and experiences.

Fee: $25 valid for 3 days for both districts
OR $80 for America the Beautiful Annual Pass (accepted at all US national parks)

Recommendation: Do not visit both districts on the same day. Instead, spend one day at the summit district and visit the Kīpahulu district during the day you do Road to Hana.

Note: There is no food, water, or gas in the park

Summit District

The summit district is a crater at 10,023 feet that has large cinder cones. It takes about 30 minutes to drive up a windy road to the summit from the national park entrance. If you are entering the park between 3:00 AM and 7:00 AM you must purchase a summit sunrise reservation online ($1.50 reservation fee). Reserve early because spots can sell out.

Drive Up to the Summit

Haleakala National Park Clouds

Walk along the short trail at the summit and enjoy the view above the clouds. There is also a small exhibit here.

Hike the Sliding Sands Trail

Haleakala Crater Maui
Blooming Silversword
Sliding Sands Trail Maui

The Sliding Sands Trail is a unique hike that offers incredible views of the crater, cinder cones, and silverswords. You should hike as much of the trail as you are able to. Don’t skip this hike if you don’t want to do the whole trail, doing part of the trail is still worth it. 
Start: At the end of the visitor center parking lot next to the information board by the road
Length: 11 miles
Elevation Change: 2795 ft
Difficulty: Hard
Recommendations:

  • Wear hiking boots
  • Bring layers as the weather can change rapidly
  • There is no food, water, or gas in the park so make sure to fill up gas before and bring plenty of water and snacks
  • Stop at the visitor center for advice on where to hike to if you are unable to do the whole trail. There might be a blooming silversword along the trail that would be worth hiking to.
  • The high elevation makes it more difficult to hike if you are not used to the elevation so take it slow and remember that whatever you hike down you will need to hike back u

If you don’t have hiking boots, I highly recommend purchasing hiking boots for this trip. They will come in very useful, and if you enjoy national parks and hiking you will get a lot of use out of them. Start finding your perfect pair of boots by searching in Amazon below.

Kipahulu District

Seven Sacred Pools

Follow the half mile Kuloa Point Trail to the Seven Sacred Pools.
Make sure to check the status of the pools on the national park site to see if you are able to swim.

Pipiwai Trail

Distance: 4 miles roundtrip
Elevation: 800 ft
Difficulty: Moderate
Highlights:
Makahiku Overlook: At 0.5 miles, view of Makahiku falls
Bamboo Forest: At 1 mile
Wamoku Falls: At 2 miles, waterfall at the end of Pipiwai trail
Note: The trail gets very muddy so make sure you bring appropriate shoes.

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links for products and services I recommend. At no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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