In March of 2016 Sara and I flew to Maui to stay with a friend for a couple weeks. We stayed in Kihei most of the time but drove around a good chunk of the island doing day hikes in various places. On a return trip, I’d definetely backpacking for a couple nights in the Haleakala crater.
Points of Interest
Haleakala towers above and accounts for a solid chunk of East Maui. Outside of a research station and the National Park facilities there isn’t much up there. It’s incredibly beautiful, known for its sunrise and sunset views. The altitude up there is ~10,000ft, but for whatever reason, the hiking didn’t feel like it was at that elevation. It’s about as close to Mars as I ever plan on getting.
Iao Valley is a rainforest Valley in West Maui. There’s a short official hike and then a popular, fun, but unofficial trail. You can find the trailhead in some Yelp reviews and easily on Google. It follows the ridge and higher ground for the most part so it has a bit of exposure and some no fall sections.
Waiʻanapanapa State Park
Wai’anapanapa State Park is on the north east part of Maui. It’s a lot different from any state parks I’ve been to in the lower 48 – there weren’t any designated campsites, just a field you could pitch your tent it. It reminded me more of a music festival type camping experience than a state park. No complaints though, there were great views, a black sand beach, and nice facilities.