It used to be that the best way to find out whether or not the pools at Oheo Gulch in Haleakala National Park were open for swimming was to call the Kipahulu visitor center and cross your fingers that someone would pick up the phone. Now all you have to do is follow @HaleakalaNPS on Twitter. The park tweets about stream closures to save you the disappointment of driving all the way down past Hana, only to be told it's unsafe to swim today due to the possible danger of flash floods. (Of course, you can still hike the Pipiwai Trail even when the Oheo Gulch area is closed to swimmers!)
Also on Twitter, @PacificNPS is the official tweeter for all of the National Parks of the Pacific Islands, covering Hawaii, Guam, Saipan and American Samoa. Their tweets give you a daily dose of Polynesian history, culture and science. One of today's tweets linked to 60-second YouTube video introduction to the flora, fauna and landscapes of the Big Island's Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (@HawaiiNPS), another beautifully diverse destination for island hikers and backpackers.
Got any favorite YouTube videos of hiking on Maui you'd like to share? Nominate your favorites by leaving the link in a comment below. Mahalo!
Wild Weather High on Hawaii's Haleakala Volcano
Go Green, Local Style in Hawaii: Maui Edition
West Maui's Waihee Valley Trail Closed Again
Photo credit: Haleakala National Park (Michael Connolly, Jr.)