(c) 2004 - 2007 Jim Yuen
Haleakala National Park is one of the best backpacks in Hawaii. Located on the Island of Maui, it is an area of cinder cones, lava flows, native plants and birds, and lots of silence.
Camping permits are required to stay overnight in any of the three wilderness cabin and two campsites. See the Haleakala website for more info (below). Cabins require reservations at least three month in advance. They are quite popular and costs $40-60 each depending on occupancy. Each holds up to 12 persons. Cabins have water, bunks, woodstove, and fuel.
The campgrounds in the crater are seldom filled and you can sign up at Park Headquarters upon arrival. There is also a campground in Hosmer Grove near the Halema'u Trailhead and Park Headquarters.
Two main trails enter Haleakala, the Sliding Sands Trail (4 miles) and the Halema'u Trail (9 miles).
Going counter-clockwise, a four-day, three-night trip starts at the Sliding Sands Trailhead to Kapalaoa Cabin (5 miles). The next day follows the trail to the Paliku Cabin and campgrounds at the far end of the crater (5 miles). The third day returns by the north trail to Holua Cabin and campgrounds (6 miles). The fourth day follows the Halema'u Trail to the park exit (4 miles).
Alternatively, you can go from Paliku campsite and descend through the Kaupo Gap to the coast (14 miles and hard on the knees). You are out of the park now but you can camp on the coast near Kaupo Church (a peaceful and lovely spot but lacking in fresh water). From there follow the road to the Seven Pools area where you reenter the national park and can camp again.
Jim Yuen, 2007