Help keep our trails and parks open during COVID-19 by committing to social distancing. Some trails or park services may be closed this weekend so check with local authorities before heading out.
Learn more

Sliding Sands Trail [CLOSED] is a 11 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Kula, Maui, Hawaii that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Length 11.0 mi Elevation gain 2,795 ft Route type Out & Back

Camping

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Running

Views

Wild flowers

Muddy

Rocky

Scramble

Closed

No shade

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (0)
Contact
Getting There

It has been reported that this trail is closed for COVID 19. This trail offers unique and spectacular views throughout, but this challenging hike is not for the faint of heart. The drive to the top is paved but winding, and should be taken slowly. The trail appears easy at first, starting in a down grade, but walking back to the top is more difficult, particularly in warmer temperatures with the elevation. You should bring appropriate shoes, water, food, and sunscreen. You can also go out 1-2 miles for a more challenging hike with the same views.

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. Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, 2270 Kalakaua Avenue, Suite 801 , Honolulu, HI, 96815, Phone: 800-GOHAWAII, Fax: 808-924-0290

Directions from Highway 378: Follow Haleakala Crater Road to the Haleakala Visitor Center. Park in the visitor center parking lot. The trail leaves from the eastern side of the parking area.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (478)
Photos (700)
Recordings (345)
Completed (978)
Mckayla Manyen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Mar 27 2020
HikingNo shadeRocky

This was a beautiful hike. My friend and I did not hike the whole thing as we were dummies and did not pack enough water and we realized a couple miles in that we should turn around since it was going to be a steep hike going back. So pack plenty of water as there is no shade. The view was stunning. The tiny rock/ sand like trail was slippery. I will admit I was being silly( yelling parkor) and fell right on my butt and slid down lol. The reddish sand/small rocky trail is somewhat dusty so it did make my legs and shoes all red. Luckily it did not stain and easily washed off. Next time I will be prepared and will hike this bad boy all the way Until next time.

Scott Mcconnell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Mar 16 2020
Hiking

Epic hike, I was blown away by the sheer size and Beaty inside the crater. Dozens of vibrant colors and textures make up this surreal hike. Be warned it will burn your legs and back hiking the 2700 feet out of the valley floor. Definitely worth it but train up hard for this one.

Erin Kalpin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Feb 21 2020
Hiking

Wow this trail is beautiful! The trailhead is very easy to find. It’s right off of the visitor center, which is a half mile before the actual summit. We entered the park at 7am and found plenty of parking. Our hike started at 8am. We hiked to the bottom of the crater and out to the big pit and back up, which totaled around 5 miles. (We did not hike the entire out and back). We lucked out with it being a crystal clear day. The views were amazing! Just remember you hike down the whole way out. On your way back you have to hike back up, so just keep this in mind! We didn’t seem to need much water going down, but the way up was warmer so we drank a lot of water on our way back out. Fun hike, very rugged, colorful, and beautiful!

Michael Yuan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Feb 19 2020
Hiking

Beautiful hike, you go through soooo many different types of terrain. We started from summit, hiked down sliding sands, then hiked back up to Halemauu, then hitchhiked our way back up to the summit.

View Michael's Recording
Melissa Selby-Theut
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Feb 05 2020
Hiking

Only did a bit of it although it was awesome!!!

Lindsey Knipp-Barraza
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jan 27 2020
HikingFeeRocky

This is a spectacular hike, but it is very rugged. A few tips I would have liked to know before going - 1. There is a trail here that is NOT mapped on the map that is given at the Haleakalā visitor center. It is to one of the smaller cinder cones. (Ka Lu’u o ka ‘O’o) I apparently have no sense of direction and thought it was the trail around Haleli’i. That put us back about an hour because we were pretty lost looking for the trail. It’s a nice diversion, but keep in mind if you walk around it it’ll add another mile or so to your already long hike and you do NOT want to get caught hiking up the last 3 miles of the trail at dark (trust me). With that being said.. 2. Give yourself AT LEAST 8 hours to get out of the trail before sunset. It may take less than 6 if you walk fast but between stopping for breaks and enjoying the sights, you don’t want to rush. 3. Download a satellite gps app and make sure your phone is on full battery. The trail is well marked most places but it can be very helpful especially if you want to explore a bit on the trail outcroppings. 4. Common sense, but take lots of water and put sunscreen on. 5. You HAVE to park your car at the lower parking lot and get a ride to the summit. There is a hiker pick up area so it’s not usually hard to snag a ride. You know, unless you want to do a 22 mile hike in the dark (or turn around halfway through and miss half the sights). All that being said, this is a gorgeous hike through a unique landscape. If there are some clouds during your hike, there’s a good chance it may clear up. We couldn’t see 20 feet in front of us at one point, and was blessed with an expansive view with no clouds 30 mins later. I do recommend taking this hike on a relatively clear day though - it would be a shame to be amongst thick clouds the entire time.

Sandra Ho
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jan 25 2020
HikingNo shadeRocky

Started hiking at 7:30am. It was windy and cold. Hiked in 2.5 miles and back out. Got a great view. Was hot on the way back going uphill. It will be a tough hike if you’re going in and out the whole way.

Nick Dillon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jan 24 2020
HikingNo shadeRockyScramble

Nice trail. Very cloudy for us so we didn't see much of the crater.

View Nick's Recording
Linda Chuang
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jan 06 2020
HikingNo shade
View Linda's Recording
Diana Pascual
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Dec 31 2019
HikingNo shadeRocky

beautiful hike that starts at the Haleakala summit visitor center. be prepared to layer up because it is cold and very windy, but as you descend down, the wind dies down and it starts to warm up. hiked 12/31. beautiful sunny day. cold, really windy.

View Diana's Recording
Parul Johri
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Dec 28 2019
Hiking

Beyond amazing and feels like you're not on earth. We only walked down 3 miles (i.e., 6 miles total) and wish we had planned better to do the whole thing. It's best to start from the top, and then get a ride back to where you parked the car.

Kyle Burke
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Dec 15 2019
HikingNo shade

Gorgeous views of the crater. Went to the cabin and hoped for another grand view at the end of the crater (against my understanding of the topo map) - no such view. Not bad on the way there but would instead go circle one of the cones. Overall - great hike - and the uphill wasn’t as bad as I expected, even without any shade the entire day. Started with layers on and was down to shorts and long sleeve at the bottom. Would’ve went T-shirt but didn’t want to burn.

View Kyle's Recording
Veronica Montague
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Dec 13 2019
Hiking

Only went 2 miles down because of time. Impressive view of the crater provided you get a time when there aren't clouds. It's pretty great seeing the clouds roll in past you also. Trail is mostly good on footing but obviously the loose gravel/sand makes it slippery at some points.

View Veronica's Recording
David Platt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Dec 10 2019
Hiking

Best hike in the park (and Maui)! Out of this world colors and formations you have to experience to believe. This is the most efficient way to see the highlights of the area -- further east down this path towards the Paliku campsite you'll start experiencing the vegetation, and making the loop further north you get a few more variations of volcanic structures plus a dense silversword region. The additional spurs are nice, but for a day hike this gives the most bang for your buck!

Nathan Arendall
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Dec 08 2019
Hiking

Starting from the visitor center and heading into the crater makes this hard hike pretty easy especially if you have two cars. We parked the other vehicle at the trail head where you can start the Halemau’u trail overlook then drove up to the summit where sliding sand begins. If you do this 11.6ish hike in one day I recommend going to watch the sun rise and then starting the hike. It’s a good way to kill to birds with one stone. We only passed a handful of ppl once we were in the crater and the weather cooperated with us because it was overcast most of the hike. We stopped several times and took lots of photos. This hike began at 8 and ended at 2, with all the pitstops. Highly recommend. Like nothing you’ve seen before in the mainland. Gave it 4 stars because the hardest part was at the end. (This is according to my wife. The last mile to parking lot seemed to take forever. )

Anna L.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Dec 04 2019
HikingNo shadeRocky
View Anna's Recording
Warren Barrow
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Dec 03 2019
HikingNo shadeRocky

Really unique landscape. Unfortunately it was very foggy and wet so no view of the craters. Still worth it

View Warren's Recording
Alexander Shapiro
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Dec 01 2019
Hiking

Exceptional views, fairly cold especially in shade, extremely hard on the way up due to thin air. Tip: pack lunch with you, there are picnic tables at the ranger station 2/3 way up with awesome view. We stopped by "Poi By The Pound" near the airport to get their Hawaiian plate take away - highly recommended!

View Alexander's Recording
Gaurav Walia
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Dec 01 2019
HikingNo shadeRocky
View Gaurav's Recording
Sudhakar Ayyasamy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Nov 30 2019
HikingNo shade

The easiest hard hike I have done so far. Outstanding views during the first four miles that go downhill. The next two miles are pretty flat, and views are not as great as those from above. The return was not as difficult as I expected, mostly because it was not very sunny and it was not very steep. It wasn't raining and return was not slippery. If I were to do this again, I'd walk three to four miles and return, and not do the entire ~12 miles. I'd do it again for the views. Make sure you do it when it's not too hot. The weather was amazing when I did it, that helped a lot!

Rachel P.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Nov 21 2019
HikingRocky

Fuckin dope cratery trail with many sights unseen

View Rachel's Recording
Showing results 1 - 21 of 478