For visitors to the island of Maui, Haleakala is a breathtaking National Park. It works to preserve the Haleakala Crater and the outstanding volcanic landscape. In addition, it works to protect the ecosystems in the park and the endangered animals that call the area home.
Haleakala National Park was originally part of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park but was reassigned in July 1961 as its own park. Today it contains over 30,000 acres of land, many of which are designated for wilderness. The park is open 24 hours per day, which allows visitors to experience a variety of activities from hikes to star watching to ranger-guided programs to sunsets. However, visitors should come prepared and know the area when coming in the evening or night, as the park headquarters, visitor centers and ranger stations are open only during the day.
A variety of activities are available to visitors, one of which is camping. Haleakala National Park offers three different types of camping including drive up campgrounds, wilderness cabins and wilderness campsites. The drive up campgrounds provide campers a place to pitch their tent without hiking or walking anywhere. Wilderness campsites are places to pitch your tent, which are only accessible by trail. The wilderness cabins are actual cabins but are only accessible by trails that range in length from three to nine miles. These cabins do have pit toilets and drinking water available nearby, although all water must be boiled before drinking. Each cabin also contains a wood burning stove with limited firewood, a two burner propane stove, cooking utensils and 12 padded bunks. The cabins do not have electricity. During times of drought, park officials do remove the cooking supplies, and all campers must backpack their water in.
Other activities offered at Haleakala National Park include individual and guided hikes, picnic areas, bird watching, and sky watching. Swimming is available in the freshwater streams but must be done at your own risk, as no lifeguard is present. The park does offer guided hikes, informational presentations and cultural demonstrations. More information about these can be found at the three park visitor's centers. These centers are great places to get information or talk to a park ranger, and they feature exhibits on the natural, geological and cultural heritage of the park.
Located on the island of Maui, Haleakala National Park offers the junior ranger program for children ranging in age from seven to twelve. When visiting the park, children can stop by the visitor's center and pick up an activity book appropriate for their age group. After completing the activities, children should return to the visitor center to meet with a park ranger and discuss what they learned. From there, the park ranger will make them an official junior ranger and award the child a junior ranger badge.
Haleakala National Park is home to six different, natural ecosystems due to its diverse depth from sea level to a 10,000 foot summit, which is where you can find the Haleakala Crater. These ecosystems are very fragile and contain many endangered animals and plants. In order to protect these from other animals such as wild pigs, goats and deer, a fence has been installed to surround the park, which you might notice if you travel to the edge of the park.
With a wide variety of plants and animals that can only be found in this park, Haleakala National Park is the perfect place for visitors looking to learn more or enjoy spectacular natural beauty. The park also contains a variety of features and programs, perfect for any traveler wanting to learn more.