Haleakala National Park
The Halemauu Trail is a wonderful summit hike that caters to those looking for comfortable yet scenic adventure, as well visitors who are up for a challenge. Either way, it's a trek we love and recommend.
Halemauu Trail is located inside Haleakala National Park. At approximately 14.2 miles up Highway 378, you'll see the parking lot for Halemauu Trail. This rather long trail starts at 7,990 ft. in the native shrubland ecosystem and leads down into the crater before traversing back up all the way to the summit of Haleakala. You can choose to do 2.2 mile round trip hike out to the edge of Haleakala's rim and return OR use this as a starting point for an all-day hike to the summit. If you do choose the all day hike, we highly suggest you start at the summit (see below). If you stop at this location, keep your eyes open for Nene (the Hawaiian goose), as they are frequently spotted here. For their welfare, please do not feed them, even if they beg.
Starting at the Summit: This is a challenging, yet rewarding 11.2-mile hike that traverses much of the Haleakala wilderness. From this location, you are actually at the end of the trail because, as we noted above, the trailhead for Halemauu was back at mile marker 14. We highly recommended that if you hike the trail you start from here instead of at the trailhead. Of course, you'll have to leave your vehicle at the trailhead and get a ride from another park visitor to the Haleakala Visitor Center near the summit. This way, your car is waiting for you when you complete your journey. Trust us, you'll be glad it's there!
The trail starts from the House of the Sun Visitor Center parking lot as the Keoneheehee or Sliding Sands Trail. It descends 2,500 ft. in 3.9 miles to the valley floor. At this point, the trail splits and a hiker on this route would take the left fork off of Keoneheehee Trail onto a spur trail where signs lead toward Holua. This spur trail travels up past colorful cinder cones and varied terrain. From Holua, travel approximately one mile across a grassland area to the base of a 1,000-foot cliff. After hiking up two miles of switchbacks, the trail levels off and continues one more mile to the Halemauu Trailhead and parking lot. The average time to complete this route is 6-8 hours. Get an early start so you can get the most out of your hike and make it back to your car before nightfall.
Remember, for the safety of the area's delicate ecosystem (and your own safety), always stay on Halemauu's marked trail areas; and be sure to take lots of pictures!
Upcountry Maui & Haleakala Tours
Exploring on your own can be great fun, but we highly recommend booking a guided tour to get the most out of your adventure. We have learned one gains a better understanding of the sights and Hawaiian culture when in the company of a seasoned professional. Plus, you can let someone else worry about the little details- always a plus! Whether you’re looking to hike and swim, enjoy what might be the bike ride of a lifetime, watch the famous Haleakala sun dance across the sky, or even explore Central Maui, we have the prefect adventure for you. Just remember: Haleakala is a world-famous destination (with good reason), and great tours like these can fill up fast. Make sure to book as soon as possible to ensure availability.
Upcountry Maui & Haleakala Information
We understand that planning a trip to Haleakala and Upcountry Maui can raise a lot of questions: What are the best sights? Which overlooks have the best views? What plants will I see along the trail? What’s the history of Haleakala National Park? Here you find answers to all these questions and more. We also include links to several of the hiking trails we have especially enjoyed, as well.
Maui Hiking Gear
Thinking of hitting the Halemauu Trail? No matter which trail you’re about to hike one thing remains the same: you need great gear to stay safe and comfortable on your adventure. Make sure you pick up everything you’ll need along the tail before you head off to Maui, as you don’t want to waste you precious vacation time shopping for a rain poncho! Here you’ll find everything from sturdy hiking boots, water bottles, adventure cameras, travel and comfort accessories, and much more. Happy shopping!