Sliding Sands Trail to Kapala'oa Cabin

Pukalani, Hawaii

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Sliding Sands (Keonehe’ehe’e in Hawaiian) is the easiest trail into and out of Haleakala, with fabulous views all the way. You can make this a day hike to the cabin and back, or make it the first leg of a multiday adventure inside the crater, spending the first night at Kapala’oa Cabin. Camping is not allowed at Kapala’oa. A sign at the visitor center points to the trailhead. Pass the hitching rail where the horses are unloaded in the parking lot, turn left for a few paces along the summit road, then swing left again toward the crater rim. A good interpretive panel shows you what the mountain looked like at its height, and reminds you that this volcano is only dormant, not extinct. Now you plunge into a different world. The excellent, well-packed, well-graded trail, with broad switchbacks, allows you to appreciate the stupendous views without watching your feet.

Sliding Sands Trail to Kapala'oa Cabin Professional Review and Guide

"Sliding Sands (Keonehe’ehe’e in Hawaiian) is the easiest trail into and out of Haleakala, with fabulous views all the way. You can make this a day hike to the cabin and back, or make it the first leg of a multiday adventure inside the crater, spending the first night at Kapala’oa Cabin. Camping is not allowed at Kapala’oa.

A sign at the visitor center points to the trailhead. Pass the hitching rail where the horses are unloaded in the parking lot, turn left for a few paces along the summit road, then swing left again toward the crater rim. A good interpretive panel shows you what the mountain looked like at its height, and reminds you that this volcano is only dormant, not extinct.

Now you plunge into a different world. The excellent, well-packed, well-graded trail, with broad switchbacks, allows you to appreciate the stupendous views without watching your feet."

Activity Type: Hiking, Horseback Riding
Nearby City: Pukalani
Distance: 11.6
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 5 to 7 hours
Season: Year-round
Local Contacts: Haleakala National Park
Local Maps: USGS Kilohana
Driving Directions: Directions to Sliding Sands Trail to Kapala'oa Cabin

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May 2018