Haleakala Crater - Sliding Sands Trail to Halemau’u Trailhead
ElevationAscent: 1,725' 526 m
Descent: -3,510' -1,070 m
High: 9,771' 2,978 m
Low: 6,605' 2,013 m
GradeAvg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 38% (21°)
Current trail conditions
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“Epic volcano hike.”— wesley lummis
There is absolutely no water on the trail. This place is dry like a desert in June, and I'm assuming as dry or drier later into the summer.
It's a long way on road from the Sliding Sands Trail to the Halemau'u Trail, so unless you want to make this a roundtrip journey, you can arrange for someone to pick you up at the Halemau'u Trail, or if you've caravaned with friends, you can leave one car at each trailhead.
Continue for about 3.7 miles and take a left onto the Halemau'u Trail. Feel the calf burn as you slog through the black sandy remnant of ancient lava flows. After another 1.6 miles, turn left to go around Halali'i cinder cone. Two miles farther puts you at another junction where you can earn some extra credit on the Silversword Loop, after which you'll rejoin the Halemau'u Trail.
Get ready for a pumice foot massage as you near Holua Cabin which would be a great place to stop and rest and stay the night if only you had remembered to make reservations. You forgot, too? Guess that means you'll be finishing the next 3.7 miles up and out of the crater.
As you climb, give in to your urge to stop and turn and behold the valley below. If you're lucky, you may also be well above the clouds that typically ring the top of Haleakala. It's okay to stop and stare. It's okay to stop hiking and take a break. It's okay to cry just a little over how beautiful it all is.
Don't stop too long though, because, if you've remembered to, you've arranged for someone to meet you at the Halemau'u Trail, and you don't want to keep them waiting too long because, if they're as awesome as my wife, whom I arranged to have meet me at the trailhead, you'll find that they've set up lawn chairs and set out lunch and cold beers and are lonely and want some company.
Land Manager: National Park Service - Haleakalā