Haleakalā National Park
Guide

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Introduction

Haleakala National Park in Hawaii is a beautiful blend of the ancient and modern Hawaiian culture, endangered and thriving flora and fauna species as well as spectacular landscapes. It's the perfect destination for a refreshing and relaxing camping experience. Located on the Hawaiian Island of Maui, this 52 sq. mile national park is a special place to visit to renew you spirit and enjoy an unforgettable time away from home.

On your visit to Haleakala National Park, you will get to see native birds found only in Hawaii, hike trails that lead to waterfalls and the mountain summit, as well as swim in the park’s pools and ocean. The diverse and beautiful plants and animals in the park are also a sight to behold. In addition, park naturalists and rangers offer various guided tours to campers and visitors that range from walks and talks, to cultural demonstrations.

Haleakala National Park, established in 1961, has two districts - Summit and Kīpahulu Districts, which are remote. There are two drive-up campgrounds available at the park, but no official RV campgrounds. Picnic tables, grills, and pit toilets are available in the campgrounds.

Park Alerts (4)

[Information] Protect Our Native Species

To reduce the spread of non-native seeds and diseases, please clean your vehicles and any horse or stock trailers before traveling into the park.

[] For your safety

The Summit and Kīpahulu Districts are remote. An ambulance takes at least 45 minutes to arrive at either district from the nearest town. People with respiratory or other medical conditions should also be aware that the summit of Haleakalā is at 10,000 ft.

[Caution] Warning high number of wasps in some areas

High numbers of Western Yellowjacket wasps (Vespula pensylvanica) are currently occurring in the Summit District of Haleakalā National Park. Please take necessary precautions. For more information, stop by a visitor center or call 808-572-4400.

[Information] Wood lockers in cabins beginning November 1, 2018

On November 1, 2018, a new wood locker system will be implemented for cabin users. Each cabin will house 18 lockers, each stocked with three logs. Lockers assignments will be issued by park staff.

RV Rentals in Haleakalā National Park

Transportation in Haleakalā National Park

Driving

Access to Maui Island where Haleakala National Park is located is via an airplane or cruise ship. The park’s two sections/districts are not directly connected by road but are accessible by road from Kahului. Speed limits are in effect in various zones in the park. All parts of the park can be reached via winding, steep roads.

Parking

There are designated parking spaces available for vehicles and cars in Haleakala National Park.

Public Transport

There is no public transportation available either to or in Haleakala National Park.

Campgrounds and parking in Haleakalā National Park

Campsites in Haleakalā National Park

Reservations camping

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Hosmer Grove Campground

Hosmer Grove Campground is located in the Summit Area, high on the windy slopes of Haleakalā. The campground is accessible by cars and vehicles, but may not accommodate RVs. Picnic tables, drinking water, grills, and pit toilets are available in the campground. Tent camping is the main camping option here.

All the campsites in the campground are available on first-come first-served basis.

Kīpahulu Campground

Kīpahulu campground is located near sea level on the eastern side of the island in the wet Kīpahulu Area, accessible via the Hāna Highway. The campground is accessible by vehicles, but RVs may not be accommodated. Campsites are equipped with picnic tables and grills. There are pit toilets but no drinking water is available in the campground.

All the campsites are available on first-come first-served basis.

Seasonal activities in Haleakalā National Park

Spring

Hiking

Hiking is arguably the best way to experience Haleakala National Park, owing to the fact that the park features a variety of scenic trails. These trails are available both in the Summit Area and the Kipahulu Area.

The summit district features more than 30 miles of hiking options that range from short and easy trails to multi-day overnight hiking trips. These trails pass through a variety of habitats such as native shrublands and aeolian cinder deserts, where you can see native forest birds or the historic volcano in the park.

The Kipahulu Area features trails that lead to two waterfalls where campers and visitors may decide to swim.

Summer

Swimming

Although swimming is not a recommended activity in the Kipahulu District of Haleakala National Park, due to the violent flash floods, variation in water quality, and rock falls, safe swimming practices can still lead to an enjoyable experience in the park’s waters.

All swimmers are advised to comply with the signs in swimming areas and stay out of the closed areas. Jumping or diving into the pools is not recommended as it may result in serious or fatal injuries.

Sunrise and Sunset Viewing

The high elevation in Haleakala National Park, coupled with the lack of environmental pollution and dynamic weather patterns make the park a premier skywatching location. Among campers and visitors, watching the sun rise and set in the park is a popular event. The park in particular offers some of the best sunrise and sunset watching experiences in the entire US.

The viewing quality you can expect here usually depends on the prevalent weather condition at the time. The sun rises in the park over the crater walls and sunrise viewing reservations are mandatory. To watch the sunset, however, requires no reservation.

Fall

Flora

Featuring vibrant, lush vegetation that overlooks the spectacular coastline, Haleakala National Park is a wonderful place to enjoy the sight of resplendent flora. Of the more than 850 plant species found within the park, more than 400 are native to the area, while more than 300 plant species are prevalent in the Hawaiian Islands. The beautiful diversity within the park is a result of the varying climatic conditions and elevations that support the growth of plants. You’ll find alpine desert areas in the park as well as humid coastlines and lush rain forests, each supporting their own unique plant life.

Fauna

Haleakala National Park sits on the Hawaiian island of Maui Island, located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and features unique wildlife species. Look out for sea turtles, dolphins, monk seals, humpback whales, and seabirds in and around the park’s waters.

There are also several native birds found in the park including Hawaiian Petrel, Hawaiian Goose and six different native Hawaiian honey creepers. Most of the native animals in the park such as birds, bats, spiders, insects and snails are descendants of those that flew there or were carried there.

Winter

Guided Activities

Haleakala National Park offers insightful and fun guided activities that educate campers and visitors about the natural and cultural history of the area.

Various interpretive programs are offered by park naturalists, including ranger-led hikes and nature walks, ranger talks, cultural demonstrations, and scientific projects. On some of the cultural demonstrations in the park, participants are taken behind the scenes where they can take a look at the museum collection in the park. The park programs are open to all visitors and campers in the park.

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