Kipahulu Haleakala National Park – 6 Must See Sights

From its rugged coastline offering a breathtaking contrast to the softness of the surrounding flora to its soaring cliffs that seem to touch the sky. Haleakala National Park is an awe-inspiring landscape that beckons to nature lovers and thrill-seekers alike.

Nestled on the southeastern coast of Maui, Haleakala National Park is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. This park boasts dense, verdant foliage that stretches as far as the eye can see, punctuated by cascading waterfalls that glisten in the sunlight. Follow along to discover the must-see sights of Kipahulu National Park!

While famous for its peaceful sunrise and fiery sunset views, there’s much more to this park’s Kipahulu District and Summit District than meets the eye. If you’re planning a trip to Maui, make sure to add Haleakala National Park to your itinerary and witness these natural wonders that will take your breath away.

Waimoku Falls

Tucked away within the stunning Kipahulu District of Haleakalā National Park lies a mesmerizing spectacle that is a sight to behold: the majestic Waimoku Falls. This 400-foot waterfall descends in a dramatic cascade, plunging down a vibrant, emerald cliff face enveloped by a captivating tapestry of lush greenery and an enchanting bamboo forest.

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To get there, you’ll need to lace up your hiking boots and take on the thrilling four-mile Pipiwai Trail. The trail begins at the Kipahulu visitor center where you can pick up a map with the park’s hiking trails and learn about the Hawaiian cultural significance of the area which has been inhabited by Native Hawaiians for centuries.

Pssst… Looking for the perfect place to stay near the Pipiwai Trail? Look no further than these top-notch hotels. Choose from the luxurious Aston Kaanapali Shores, the charming Hotel Lahaina, the stunning Ka’anapali Beach Club, or the picturesque Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Lahaina and Napili Towers. No matter which one you choose, rest easy knowing you’re getting Tripster’s best rates online.

Aerial view of the Waimoku Falls in MauiMakahiku Falls

If you’re short on time or prefer a more leisurely hike, consider opting for a shorter trail through the Kipahulu Bamboo Forest. This trail takes you on a journey through a lush bamboo forest, where the towering trees form a natural canopy above you, and the sound of rustling leaves and trickling water fills the air.

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Plus, you’ll encounter a magnificent banyan tree that serves as a reminder of the area’s rich history and unique ecosystem.

Along this trail, you will also find the mystical Makahiku Falls elegantly cascading down the bedrock, resembling a horsetail with its narrow stream widening towards the bottom. Get ready to be awe-struck by the natural beauty, tranquil sounds, and fresh forest scent around you.

Seven Sacred Pools of ‘Ohe’o

Discover the marvels of nature in the Kipahulu District of Haleakalā National Park with a visit to the Seven Sacred Pools of ‘Ohe’o. This magnificent attraction boasts a series of crystal-clear pools and cascading waterfalls, each more captivating than the last, along the ‘Ohe’o Stream, which empties into the ocean.

To reach this spot, book a rental car or even a Jeep to drive you along the famed Road to Hana. Also known as the Hana Highway, this scenic route leading up to Haleakala National Park is an adventure in itself, with its lush rainforests, stunning waterfalls, and jaw-dropping ocean vistas.

Once you arrived at the Kipahulu Visitor Center, park your car and start the easy hike on the 0.6-mile ‘Ohe’o Gulch Trail. While it’s important to note that the area can be susceptible to flash floods during heavy rain, don’t let that deter you from experiencing the natural beauty of this wonderland.

With proper planning and caution and when weather conditions allow, you can safely explore the area and witness its stunning sights.

Take a refreshing dip in the cool waters of Seven Sacred Pools of ‘Ohe.’ Then, continue your tropical escapade on Road to Hana. Where adventure awaits at every twist and turn!

Rocks with a pool in the middle surrounded by green covered cliffs opening out to the ocean beyond
Photo Credit: Photo by Zetong Li on Unsplash

Red Hill

Prepare to be transported to another world with a visit to the Red Hill in Kipahulu National Park. This spectacular geological wonder exhibits an impressive display of rust-colored soil that resembles a Martian landscape! It is the highest point on Mauna Haleakala, with a towering height of 10,023 feet.

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Explore the area with a hike along the Halemau’u Trail, Sliding Sands Trail, or brave the Keonehe’ehe’e Trail, aka Haleakala Ridge Trail, for a more challenging adventure. Looking to get a view with as few steps as possible? The Red Hill Summit Observation Deck will treat you to vibrant shades of red, orange, and brown across the unique landscape with only a few hundred feet of walking involved.

Whether you’re a geology enthusiast or just looking for a unique experience, Red Hill is not to be missed!

Haleakala Crater

Rising majestically above the clouds, the Haleakala Crater is the crown jewel of Haleakala National Park. This now-dormant volcano, towering over 10,000 feet high, is a force of nature in every sense. Offering calming sunrises, panoramic out-of-this-world landscapes, and sweeping views of the island.

For an unrivaled view of the crater, head to the Pa Ka’oao Overlook. Or, visit the Kalahaku and Leleiwi Overlooks for equally heart-stopping vistas.

Psst… Looking for a truly unique perspective of the Haleakala Crater and the rest of the national park? Consider experiencing it from above with the Complete Island Maui Helicopter Tour. You’ll soar high above the rugged terrain, cascading waterfalls, and lush forests.

Haleakala sunrise on Maui Hawaii
sunrise from the summit of Haleakala volcano on the tropical island of Maui, Hawaii

Hosmer Grove

Hosmer Grove is a campground in the Summit District of Haleakalā National Park. Perched high on the slopes of Haleakala at nearly 7000 ft in elevation. This lush forest oasis is home to a diverse array of trees and plants, including eucalyptus, pine, and even banana trees! Stroll through the tranquil grove and breathe in the crisp, fresh mountain air as you take in the scenic beauty around you.

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The real magic of Hosmer Grove lies in the stunning diversity of flora and fauna that call this hidden gem their home. Today, the grove is known not only for its enchanting botanical wonders but also among birdwatchers. Discover its abundance of endemic honeycreepers, including the Iiwi, Apapane, Hawaii Amakihi, and the Maui Alauahio.

As you stroll through the grove, you’ll be serenaded by the sweet melodies of these beautiful birds. Whether you’re a nature lover seeking a peaceful retreat or an avid hiker looking to explore the park’s scenic trails, Hosmer Grove is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Maui.

couple with hiking backpacks looking at the sunny view at Haleakalā East Maui Volcano in Maui, Hawaii, USAAdd Kipahulu National Park to Your Maui Itinerary

To explore this breathtaking wonderland, a nominal entrance fee is required. It varies depending on your mode of transportation and the number of passengers. However, with the stunning natural beauty and unforgettable experiences at Kipahulu state park, the entrance fee is worth every penny!

Maui offers so many options for hotels and attractions. But, it can be tough to do everything on a budget. The good news is that when you book with Tripster, you can get more for your money! Make the most of your island experience with discount tickets and savings bundles. So what are you waiting for?

Plan your visit today to the Haleakala National Park and say “Aloha!” to a Maui adventure you won’t forget!

Which of These Spots Are You Most Excited to See?

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Written by Archie Villaflores

Over the years, he has won numerous national contests for news and editorial writing, but he has recently discovered that his true passion...

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