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Haleakala Wilderness

General Contacts Area Management Wilderness Laws Images
A photo from atop a peak in the Haleakala Wilderness. Clouds gather at the peaks of the mountains in this area while the sun casts its bright rays on the peaks.
Library image #2521: Cinder Cone inside crater of Haleakala

Introduction

The United States Congress designated the Haleakala Wilderness (map) in 1976 and it now has a total of 24,719 acres. All of this wilderness is located in Hawaii and is managed by the National Park Service.

Description

The mother of the demigod Maui lodged a complaint with her son: the day was too short to dry her bark cloth. So Maui went to the great mountain and snared the sun's rays and held them fast with ropes. "Give me my life," pleaded the sun. "If you promise to crawl more slowly across the sky," said Maui. And the sun still hangs long in the sky over the island of Maui, whose great mountain is called Haleakala, "the House of the Sun."

Two centuries have passed since the last lava ran from Haleakala Crater. Though dormant, the volcano is not considered extinct and, while no volcanic activity is evident today on Maui, Haleakala may erupt again. The national park that shares its name stretches from 10,023-foot Mount Haleakala north and far eastward to the cascading streams and quiet pools in Kipahulu Valley, which opens onto the sea. Within its borders you'll discover cool lava rocks, cinder cones as high as 600 feet, striking silver plants that bloom only once in their lifetime, and other rare species that grow only in this fragile ecosystem.

No roads or trails connect the Haleakala Crater area to Kipahulu Valley, but both are accessible by paved roads from Kahului.

Across the Wilderness of Haleakala Crater, 36 miles of trails access a land of stark contrasts and sudden weather changes; fog, rain, and chilly breezes are common hiking companions. Camping is limited to three nights per month and restricted to one of three reservation-only cabins and several primitive campgrounds. You must hike on trails only. Pets are not permitted anywhere in the Wilderness. Fires are only allowed in designated fireplaces.

Planning to Visit the Haleakala Wilderness?

Leave No Trace

How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Haleakala Wilderness.
  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
For more information on Leave No Trace, Visit the Leave No Trace, Inc. website.



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