Explore the most popular camping trails near Kula with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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.

trail running
26 days ago

Quick review for any trail runners out there. Excellent trails for this.

Got up at at 3am in Lahaina today, left the house at 3:40, at the summit parking lot around 5:30. Watched the sunrise (bring lots of layers!), then ran the trail all the way down to the cabin on the crater floor, which is close to 6 miles. Most of the way, the trail is steep (you drop 600 feet on average per mile), but wide and soft on the feet. Between mile 3 and 4, the trail was too technical for me to run on so I speed walked it. Too many rocks.

But then the trail got easy again and there’s nothing better than the last 1.5 miles which are flat and on the floor through the grass, or bush, or whatever it is, with mountains all around you.

I then got to the cabin and sat down and took a break and got some food before heading back to the summit. No issue with weather or temperatures - once I started moving, I stayed warm. Mostly hiked the way back due to the grade and the fact that I’m not that good. But definitely an unforgettable experience and nothing like what I’m used to back in California.

Water wise - probably drank about two liters in total, all on the way up. Wasn’t thirsty running down.

Made it under an hour to the hut and couple of hours to hike back to the parking lot.

Awesome views! The only advice start it early cause I got caught in the rain at noon. I’ve done it for 4 hours 15 min.

This hike has views that you can’t see anywhere else, but is not for the faint of heart.

The drive to the top can be stressful and must be taken slowly if you’re not used to curvy roads. The roads are paved, but prepare to take the ride to the trail a little slower. We really enjoyed the different landscapes of Maui with the lava rock and the clouds that sunk into the valley of the craters. I agree with another user that some hikers may bite off more than they can chew in the beginning because at first, the trail seems easy. With starting in a down grade, it is a different trail than I was used to. We left a little after 7, went out approximately 6 miles, then headed back and we were able to complete the hike in less than 5 hours. Walking back to the top was more difficult in warmer temperatures and with the elevation being a factor. That being said, make sure if you plan on going out that far, have appropriate shoes, water, and sunscreen. We saw a lot of folks walking past us on our return without those things. If you aren’t interested in a more difficult hike, but want the same views, I would suggest going out 1-2 miles.

If you are interested in seeing the sunrise at Haleakalā, driving yourself, plan to go within 3 days to use the same park entrance fee. I would suggest going on the hike first, to get used to the roads in daylight. They seem less daunting in the dark when it is the second time you’ve been on the road.

This trail was a great experience, and like I said, is like nothing you will see anywhere else!

hiking
1 month ago

Really enjoyed the second half of this trail, as the first half was in the clouds and was wet with poor visibility. The trail is wide and quite safe. As you descend and the clouds disperse, the view of the cinder cones is spectacular. You do feel like you're on another planet. I did the out and back, which did get a bit tough at the top where it was again wet and you're constantly ascending. I wish I had planned better and parked the car for the Halemau'u trailhead then hitched to this trailhead, so I could do more of a loop.

trail running
1 month ago

Great walk. Some cloud at the top but no issues with views in the crater. At the first fork I stashed my bag behind a bush and completed the loop with less weight. Easy right up until the re-ascent.

hiking
1 month ago

I would say 4WD is for the muddy days only, but it is a dirt road for at least / almost 2 mi up to the trailhead. WOW for a mystical forest experience, this is the one! Trail is uncrowded just because of how far up it is. You do drop down, and into the rain forest where all the plants are dripping wet, even if it's not raining. Very misty in here. Beautiful views. There are also many more trail options that are not listed here.

this trail is absolutely

Stunning views that we haven’t seen anywhere else in the world. We didn’t do the full loop. Way back up is hard with the altitude but worth the hike. Our 8 year olds and 11 year old loved it.

I added on the loop to see Kawilinau, which is a 65 foot hole into the abyss of the earth lol. I think that out me around 14 miles and I did it in six hours. I only had 1.5 liters of water and ran out, I would've liked at least 3 liters I think.

I don't believe sliding is truly a risk, I never slid once and the trail is mostly pretty wide, you aren't going to slide off into the crater.

I think the most dangerous aspect is the trail is so easy going down inexperienced hikers may feel like they can handle the trip. Going back up in the heat, I started at 8:45am, was definitely tiresome. I think anyone could do it if you have cat meat three liters of water, food, and plan on being at it all day.

As for the cold at top, I quickly warmed up going down and hiked back up without my shirt (sports bra) because I was so hot. I didn't put my shirt back on until about 3/4 of the way up. I had a clear, sunshiny day for my hike.

we did the 11 mile loop. so quiet (one of quietest places). very scenic, challenging, rugged. took about 5 hours. nice because so few other people on the trail given difficulty.

Amazing hike! Start early tho and if you can go on a cloudy/partly cloudy day! The trail has no trees and for most of it it is dark gravel! My friend and I did the hike starting from the top of the crater which lead us back to the lower parking lot!

strenuous; but beautiful, rewarding and very impressive; would definitely do it again; be prepared to bring layers of clothes; it can get pretty cold on the way back up; I got back around 430pm in overcast conditions and it was cold. - but hike is worth every effort.

hiking
3 months ago

DO NOT ATTEMPT IF YOU ARE NOT EXPERIENCED.

I did this hike June 27,2018, the weather was nice and so was the drive up to summit, however it was a long drive. This hike is for experienced hikers only, as going down into the crater is very easy and you will think that you can go further and further. Do not be fooled though, as the hard part is getting out of the crater. I would call myself decently experienced as I was in the Boy Scouts, but even I was exhausted after getting out of the crater.

One of the names for this hike is the Sliding Sands trail, this isn’t a lie, if you start to go off the trail you will slide down into the crater. Some points on the trail can be slippery due to the sand

So here are my tips for this hike:

Bring water, it may be cold and windy on the summit, but when you get far enough into the crater it will get hotter due to the sun beating down on you

Wear sunscreen, like I said it is sunny in the crater.

Bring trail snacks, you’ll probably be in the crater for a couple hours

Wear layers, but layers you can easily take off. It will be extremely windy at the summit, but in the crater it can be hot.

Overall this hike is extremely beautiful and I definitely recommend it, but only for experience hikers.

hiking
3 months ago

#1 thing to keep in mind when walking this trail is that it’s much more difficult to walk uphill than downhill, especially at 8,000-10,000 feet.
Hiked with my wife and 10 year old daughter about half way into the crater. They headed back up at that point, while I continued down almost to the bottom. There I took a side trail that leads to the top of the westernmost cinder cone. You can look down into the steep-sided interior of the cinder cone from its peak. Although it’s well worn, safe and easy to follow, I’m not sure how legit this little trail is in the eyes of the park service. It was amazing to watch the clouds ebb and flow from the crater gaps from that vantage point an hour before sunset. This is a unique, incredible place and every time I come I remember again how impressive it is.

4 months ago

Beautiful perspective views of the crater floor. Remember sun screen.

hiking
4 months ago

Very beautiful spot. We hiked to the end of the valley and then back up the hill. Be prepared for a substantial hike, part of which is about 5.5 miles all up hill continuously if you treat this trail as an out and back. Recommend getting there early morning to avoid clouds settling into valley/crater in the afternoon obstructing views.

This hike is hard only in the spot where you'll need to climb back out of the crater. This hike is beautiful start to finish. pretty cool too that you see plants that ONLY grow right there!

hiking
4 months ago

I've done it twice: once in 1975, when I was 24, and once a year ago. (You can figure out how old I was the second time...) First time was hot, sunny and dry, and I didn't bring enough water, so the hike back out was really hard. Second time was cold, cloudy, windy and rainy; we went maybe a couple-three miles down. I got chilled on the way back up, had to put the car heater on to get warm again. But both times beautiful--a cross between the Moon and Mars.

Book tickets online early to see the sunrise! They were sold out for over a month.

Amazing scenery. We hiked 1.5hrs down to almost the base of the mountain. The trek back up was challenging but rewarding. We left from just after sunrise and we are glad we did. Haze and clouds roll in at times in the afternoon and we weren't effected. Bring lots of water and good shoes. Enjoy!

Spectacular views! The trail itself is very well maintained and clearly marked. The footing is also relative good along the entire trail. The ascent is steady but not too steep. The weather does change suddenly. We descended in the sunshine and ascended in a heavy mist. We just wore tennis shoes and we were fine. Definitely remember to carry sunblock, water and bring layers. Getting there is also easy, which is nice!

One of the highlights of our visit to the national park. We visited with the intention of going on a long hike and the wind was so awful at the summit that we couldn’t do it SO we stopped by this little loop trail on our drive out. Happy we did! A wonderful short little jaunt thru a gorgeous forest full of quiet, nothing but trees and birds chirping and nice signage describing birds and trees in the area. There are two viewing spots with big metal fixed binoculars to look thru and check out the birds (or whatever). Super easy stroll and nice setting.

Park and jaunt.

Great hike for people looking to go to the crater floor. We opted to turn back where the trail splits into a loop, which made the total hike 7.8 miles. This was a good alternative to 11-12 miles. The descent and ascent are gradual and the biggest obstacle is the weather. When I hiked it in late April the weather changed every few minutes from cloudy to windy to misty to downpour. Come prepared. There are no services along the trail. That said, weather permitting, there can be same great views of the barren landscape.

hiking
5 months ago

Use 4WD! We drove it in a car, and the potholes were very difficult to maneuver. Too risky without 4WD. We did the redwood and plum trails to make a full loop. There were several downed trees across the paths that required you to crawl over, under, or around. Be cautious because the ground is soft on the edges of the paths. It’s a touch climb back up the plum trail. Not for the faint of heart. I wore my heart monitor because I’m an avid runner and I track my rates, and I was in the red for many parts of the way up - had to take it very slow. Beautiful hike on a clear day, but I would not want to drive the dirt road if it rains.

Waaaay more difficult than moderate. Bring waterproof layers and lots of water. Tough hike but worth it!

Othwerwordly. Pack water and sunscreen. And your camera.

6 months ago

Great hike and 4wd not required if you park before the sign that says it is and start from there. Just a lot of exceptional sections of forest and flowers. Nice and cool but don’t expect views of the ocean or island. Mostly different trees (including a section knocked down by wind). If you go to the forest cabin you can take the road back to your car, although that’s not so fun

Breathtaking

hiking
6 months ago

The first mile or so is extremely overgrown; however, it’s not that hard to follow the “trail.” See pictures I am posting for examples of how overgrown it is. After the first few miles the trail becomes a lot easier to follow. Wear good shoes with ankle support. Trekking poles are helpful for both going up and coming down. Microspikes are not necessary. Bring plenty of water (I drank 3L going up and refilled at Paliku). You will need to treat or filter the water. The weather can change quickly (and you are ascending nearly 6k feet) so be prepared for everything from a hot exposed climb to rainy cold weather. There is nothing really dangerous about the hike in terms of steep drop offs, etc. there are maybe only 2 or 3 places that are even remotely large drop offs but the trail is quite wide there.

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