"Haleakala National Park" Top 5 Page for this destination Haleakala National Park by BlueCollar

Haleakala National Park Travel Guide: 49 reviews and 161 photos



This photo consists of five separate photos pieced together to create a 180° panoramic view. Click here for the fullsize pic.




Haleakala is commonly translated to "house of the sun". Hale=house, a=of, ka=the (singular), la(with a macron over the a)=sun. And it is here that, according to legend, the demigod Maui used his fish net to slow the sun as it crossed the sky so as to give his people more daylight hours.

At 10,023 feet above sea level, its peak is the third highest in the State. Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa on the Big Island are first and second, respectively. The top of Haleakala is above the clouds most of the time. So the sun will most likely be shining brightly up here which will require a good sunscreen and good sunglasses if you plan to explore for any length of time.

Haleakala National Park has two main access points. There is the Alpine/Aeolian section accessed from the western side of the island via Highways 377 & 378. Then there is the Rain Forest and Lowland/Coastal section accessed from the eastern side of the island via the Hana Highway at the small town of Kipahulu. This section is called Haleakala National Park at Kipahulu and is the place where you'll find the Pools of `Ohe`o. Most people who drive the Road to Hana end their journey here.


The endangered `ahinahina (silversword) is found only on the high reaches of Haleakala. This particular plant was right near the Visitor's Center at the peak.
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The Pools of `Ohe`o located at Haleakala National Park at Kipahulu is usually the final destination of those few who make the Road to Hana roadtrip. This tropical rainforest and lowland/coastal area has some of the most beautiful sites on the island. It is here that you can hike to two of the highest, most easily accessed waterfalls: Makahiku (200') and Waimoku (400').

We chose not to make the mile or so hike back to Waimoku on this latest trip because of poor waterflow through the stream due to low rainfall. Since Makahiku was almost dry (look in the Travelogue below for photo), we decided it would not make much sense to hike all that way to see an almost dried-up Waimoku. Maybe we'll have better luck on the next trip.


  • Last visit to Haleakala National Park: Feb 2005
  • Intro Updated May 1, 2005
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  • grandmaR's Profile Photo
    Jul 22, 2010 at 8:09 PM

    nice photos and tips. The "return to..." could stand to be a bit less intrusive

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