When planning for your backpacking trip to Haleakala, you’ll want to think carefully about what you bring along with you. The pounds will add up quickly, so you will only want to bring the essentials. With that said, during my four-day backpacking trip through Haleakala, there were a few items that I was very thankful that I brought along and other things that I wished I had. Here’s a list of 10 non-essential luxury times that will likely make your hike in the crater a lot more comfortable.
After having driven to and from Hana to take Sheryl to do the Pipiwai Trail to Waimoku Falls, I knew I wouldn’t be up for driving at 3 in the morning the next day to go up Haleakala to view the sunrise. I browsed Hawaii’s official tourism site and decided to pay for a “Spectacular Haleakala Sunrise Tour.”
It’s been a while since I’ve done a timelapse video. I had these stills sitting on my hard drive and had completely forgotten about them. Decided to put together a timelapse of the first sunset of of our first day hiking through Haleakala National Park. It was an unforgettable sunset, that I got to enjoy with wonderful company.
Although I have seen a lot of Haleakala National Park, I have not seen it all. In fact, it is likely that I will never be able to see all that this Hawaiian volcano has to offer. But I can try. I was eager to return to Haleakala after having hiked through the volcanoes most prominent hiking trails on a four-day backpacking trip. This time, though, I would be exploring upcountry Haleakala by hiking through the Pipiwai Trail which leads to the spectacular Waimoku Falls. This hike was also special because we did it on my wife’s birthday. I though that it would be cool to give her a 400-foot waterfall for her birthday.
A Note (10/6/2016): Local’s have stated that they don’t like tourists driving this back road. Also, keep in mind that driving through the unpaved portion of this road may void your rental contract. The unpaved road and pot holes will make driving through this area during heavy rains very difficult. Be respectful of the area and do not stop and park where you are not supposed to. Pack out what you pack in…don’t leave your trash around!
Hana is a sleepy, quiet town, but driving to get there via State Highway 36 can be challenging for some. The drive through Hana Highway features many hidden waterfalls, but is also well known for its narrow single vehicle lanes and bridges. Of course, I would be remiss if I failed to mention the number of twists and turns that define the Road to Hana. It’s no wonder that most visitors to Hana leave the town with a t-shirt declaring that they Survived The Road to Hana.
One of the most interesting aspects of Holua Cabin is the nearby lava tube. There are two routes to the lava tube, with each route bringing you to a different entrance. We ended up choosing the route that takes you pass the pit toilets and toward an open lava rock field. The alternate route is about 100 yards east of the cabin, and then from there you will turn right and follow a faint trail, according to some write-ups. In the past, there used to be a ladder that people could use to descend into the lava tube. Now, though, there is only a sign indicating that the area has been closed and the ladder has been removed. For this reason, we decided to start at the opposite end, in order to avoid any dangerous down climbing.
The last day. By this time, I was more than ready to go home. The only thing standing in my way was the famous Halemauu switchbacks. I’ve read and have heard hikers describe the switchbacks as never ending. I was eager to leave Haleakala and pop open of a can of Coca-Cola, but I was not looking forward to the switchbacks that I would have to pass through first.