If you’re in the vicinity of Polipoli Springs State Park, you’ll want to check out the Haleakala Ridge Trail, a 1.6 mile moderately difficult hike offering amazing views in all directions.
The trail starts above Polipoli Springs State Recreational Area on the skyline switchback at 6,550 feet elevation and works down the crest of the southwest rift of Haleakala past the Plum Trail junction to the lower forest reserve boundary at 5,600 feet elevation.
The great views are due to much of this trail is not being forested, so allow plenty of time for enjoying the scenery.
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What to Expect
Haleakala Ridge Trail winds its way through grassy tracts, rough cinders, native scrub brush, and a non-native forest of pine, eucalyptus, and other species of trees. The trail joins the end of the Polipoli Trail leading back to the park 0.3 miles from the top.
At the 0.7 mile point a short spur trail leads down into a cinder cone at the bottom of which is a cave that has been developed into a trail shelter.
At 1.2 miles there is a junction with the Plum Trail which heads north across the mountain slope.
After winding through the last stretch of forest, the Haleakala Rudge Trail leads you out of the trees to the crest ridge where you'll enjoy stunning views of the rift valley the pastures below.
Note that the Haleakala Ridge, Polipoli, Redwood, and Plum Trails form a 3.5-mile loop that is more than worth your time.
For your safety as well as for the well-being of the area’s delicate ecosystem, always stay on marked trails and do not touch or disturb plants or wildlife in any way.
You should also wear bright colors in the area so you can be easily spotted by any hunters that may be off the marked trails.
As with all Haleakala National Park hikes, be prepared with adequate hiking apparel and, of course, plenty of sunscreen. Even on a cloudy day the sun's rays are very strong. Be sure to check out our Haleakala backpacking and camping packing list so you can hit the trail safely and comfortably.
How to Get There
From Kahului, take Highway 37 past Pukalani to the second junction of Highway 377. Turn left on 377 for about 0.3 miles, then right on Waipoli Road. This becomes Polipoli Access Road at the first cattle guard and climbs up the mountain through a long series of switchbacks until it enters the forest at 6,400 ft. elevation, where the pavement ends. A four-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended when driving this road.
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