Back to index Haleakala - Rim to Rim Hike
Trip Date:  06/29/2016

: 11.0 Miles

Vertical Gain: 2000'

Group Size: 3

Hike Rating:  Easy   Moderate    Hard    Strenuous
Haleakala Rim to Rim Route
Download GPX GPX for this trip
Haleakala Rim to Rim Elevation Profile
Start Coordinates:   N 20 42.843, W 156 15.062     End Coordinates:   N 20 45.161, W 156 13.723
Car Shuttle Req'd:   Yes Parking Directions:   Take the Haleakala Highway toward the summit of Haleakala.  After going through the National Park entrance, which requires a fee, continue on the road to the Halemau'u Trailhead parking at the end coordinates location.   Car shuttle the rest of the way up to the beginning trailhead at the Start Coordinates location.
Hazards of Note:   No water in the crater.  Can be extremely cold with clouds and fog rolling in during the day.   Crowd Factor:   Crowded along the first couple miles of the Sliding Sands trail.  Once past this point the number of hikers thins out to nearly nothing for most of the trip until you near the Halemau'u trail and the switchbacks up to the parking area.
General Notes:
From the trailhead at the Visitor Center at the top of the crater, head along the Sliding Sands trail down into the crater.  Over the first three miles you will drop 3000' in elevation which 2/3 of you will make up at the end of the hike.  At the first trail junction, head to the left (East) toward the Holua cabin and the Halemau'u trailhead.  Continue for about 5 miles until you pass by Pele's Paint Pots, and head toward the Holua Cabin.  Past the cabin the trail will head toward the steep switchbacks up the Halemau'u ridge, which you will climb and then finish the last mile heading gradually upward to the end parking location.

Graham heading out at the start of the Sliding Sands trail from the parking area at the Visitor Center. At the trailhead
On a reasonably clear day you can see the Big Island in the distance near the very start of the trail. Visible Big Island
Looking into the crater from near the top of the Sliding Sands trail. Top of the sliding sands trail
Some pretty amazing contrasts in colors all throughout the crater. More views
Looking down from the Sliding Sands trail into the crater with fog rolling in from the east. Fog rolling in
A classic example of a Silver Sword plant in full bloom.  These plants can take up to 30 years to bloom just one time before they die. SilverSword Plants
Glen heading along the barren trail along the edge of a cinder cone inside of the main crater. Glen along the trail
A look back the way we came including all the way up to the barely visible visitor center on the top rim of the crater in the distance. Looking back
More Silver Sword plants all along parts of the trail through the middle of the crater. More Silver Swords
Trail options to various parts of the crater allow for many options along the way. Trail Junction
Glen and Graham hiking along a particularly dry and desolate section of the crater, right around Pele's Paint Pots. Desolation
The Holua Cabin about 8 miles into the hike along the north rim of the crater. Holua Cabin
Holua cabin location in the crater. Cabin setting
At the far end of the crater is a series of impressive switchbacks which take you up 2000' and finally out to the Halemau'u trailhead parking area. Halemau'u switchbacks
GPS track of the hike. GPS track of hike