Keonehe'ehe'e Trail to Halemauu Trail

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Haleakala National Park

Keonehe'ehe'e Trail to Halemauu Trail is a 17.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Kula, Maui, Hawaii that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is accessible year-round.

Length17.6 miElevation gain3,845 ftRoute typeOut & back
BackpackingCampingHikingViewsWildlifeRockyScrambleNo shadeFeeNo dogs
Description
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Contact

Note: The National Park Service recommends confirming trails are open on their website, due to changing weather conditions and COVID-19. https://www.nps.gov/hale/index.htm The Sliding Sands Halemau'u combo is a semi-loop C-shaped trail into and out of the most picturesque portions of the Haleakala crater in Maui, Hawaii. The first part of the trail is the largely downhill but spectacular Sliding Sands trail leading into the crater that features the unique silverswords and sweeping extra-terrestrial landscapes. The trail merges into the Halemau'u trail around a central cinder cone intersection and transitions into a greener landscape with grasslands and wild flowers, leading up to a rugged climb back to the Halemau'u overlook. The trail is rates a difficult and is only recommended for experienced explorers. The trail offers a number of activity options including camping at the Holua cabin along the way and is accessible year-round.

Haleakala National Park PO Box 369 Makawao HI 96768 For general park information, call (808) 572-4400. Recorded message is available 24-hours a day and will likely contain an answer to your question. To speak to a park representative, call the same number and press 0 during office hours of 8:00 am - 3:45 pm HST. Kipahulu (Coastal Area) For information specific to the Kipahulu area of the park, call the Kipahulu Visitor Center at (808) 248-7375 during office hours of 9am-5pm HST.

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Reviews (38)
Photos (782)
Recordings (32)
Completed (110)
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Paul Z
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Hiking
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Karissa Duff
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HikingGreat!

I personally loved this trail! The wind was whipping at the top and it was freezing, but as you made your way down it got warmer. The trail was difficult to transverse in a few spots due to loose sand and rock; otherwise, fairly easy. The views were spectacular around every corner. Saw multiple animals and some unique plant species. This exhausting hike was well worth it though!

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Lhendale Dela Pena
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HikingGreat!
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Matthew Crothamel
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BackpackingNo shadeRocky
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Doreen W
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HikingMuddyScramble

A nice long trail. A bit windy and cloudy at the top in the wintertime but still gorgeous and breathtaking!

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David Platt
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Backpacking

Drop-dead stunning start to finish with colors and formations unlike any other volcanic site I've been to. Since you're at elevation, clouds may roll in and out during the day which adds to the otherwordly experience, but may also block views at times. Campsites have non-potable water you can filter. When you pick up the backcountry permit the ranger makes you watch a Backpacking 101 video about Wear Proper Shoes, Bring a Warm Jacket, etc. Seemed like overkill but I guess they've had a few hikers come in trying to punch above their weight in the past.

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Oleh Marchak
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HikingBlowdownBridge outBugsMuddyNo shadeOff trailOver grownRockyScrambleWashed out
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Ryan Moore
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Hiking

sun exposed most of the way!

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Olivier Groulx
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HikingNo shadeRocky
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Simon Guérard
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Hiking

Nice one! Terrain is very easy, so you'll do more mileage than you might be used to

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Kristen Creta
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Did this hike in November 2016 on our honeymoon. We hiked sliding sands in and Halemau’u out. Got to the hitchhiker pickup before 8am and wasn’t able to get a lift but managed to get one back up to our car afterward as there were plenty of people in the parking lot. We are intermediate hikers and still found this a very strenuous hike as others have said - full sun 100%. Start early, bring lots of water, proper shoes, and be prepared! This is the only place we found a couple Ne’nes - and we were so lucky for a clear day. There is nowhere else like this place, such a special hike! The 2000ft gain on switchbacks in under 3 miles at the end was a real test, but the views were out of this world. We hiked through sand hills. old lava flows that looked like the moon, red sand that made you think you might be on mars, and then we came back to earth with the amazing green cliffs overlooking the gap at the end.

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Michael Bard-Henke
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We parked at the Halemau'u Trailhead and hitchhiked to the summit. Actually we were lucky and met a group planning the same hike. We took their car to the summit and gave them a ride up afterwards in return. Another group waited about fifteen minutes at the pick up area for hikers. We walked down the road from the summit and then took Keonehe'ehe'e Trail and connected with Halamau'u Trail after about four miles. This hike was fabulous. Keonehe'ehe'e gently descends into the 'crater' and offers fantastic views. Sometimes the cinder is like sand but it is generally good to walk on. Here we also saw some silversword flowers. The connecting trail is well marked and follows through a desert of 'A'a-lava, circles a pu'u and meets with Halemau'u after about 1,6 miles. It is easy to find - follow the signs to Holua cabin. Continuing on Halemau'u the landscape changed. We hiked through an old lava flow where vegetation is getting more and bigger. We were lucky to have a clear day, sometimes you run into clouds here, especially in the afternoon. Holua cabin is good for a break and some Nene spotting. After we left Holua we ran into the crater rim after a mile and had to start our 3 mile ascend to the parking lot. There were a lot of switchbacks and we gained a lot of altitude but it wasn't too steep. We got great views of the crater as well as the green ocean side of Haleakala. It took us about 5,5 hours with breaks but the time is absolutely well spent. A great hike.

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Lydia Nutbrown
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Hiking

This is one of, if not the, most diverse and magical trails I've ever hiked. Down into the sliding sands, up the side and over into a crater where it feels like you're walking on the moon is just the beginning. Meadows of flowers turn into a Jurassic Park-like jungle scene, before the long climb of rocky steps to the top where (apparently) you can watch one of the best sunsets anywhere in the world. It was pouring rain by this point of our hike, so we missed it, but I'd do it all over next time. It's a long day, but one you'll never forget. And trust the sign when it says dress for changes in weather; they're not kidding.

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dean gaudet
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Hiking
First to Review

this is the hawaiian name for the sliding sands trail. it is the same trail, see the other reviews for more detail.

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Yilun Shen
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Hiking
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Mark Proulx
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Hiking
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Hedley Menzies
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Hiking
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Lisa Tang
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Backpacking
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