DISTANCE
16.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3,782 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

hiking

no shade

no dogs

11 months ago

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.