Sunday, October 6, 2013

Haleakala National Park Trails Closed Temporarily

During the ongoing US federal government shutdown, all National Park Service (NPS) areas are closed indefinitely. Currently you can't visit some of Hawaii's most popular visitor attractions, including the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor on Oahu, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island and Haleakala National Park on Maui.

Until the US Congress reaches agreement on the federal budget, which would allow NPS sites to reopen, many of my favorite hikes - such as the Sliding Sands Trail into Haleakala volcano and the Pipiwai Trail through the bamboo forest past Hana - are off-limits inside Maui's national park. (At least the park's resident endangered nene are safe from being hit by tourists' cars for now....) 

But island hikers still have several other trails to tackle. In Kapalua, you can stroll around an arboretum and climb to a lush cloud forest summit in the West Maui Mountains, then trek all the way downhill to the Pacific. Near Maalaea, Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge has a wildlife-watching boardwalk that's still open to the public. Outside Hana, Waianapanapa State Park's coastal hiking trail along an ancient Hawaiian footpath awaits.

You can find out more about all of these hikes and many more in my book, Top Trails Maui: Must-Do Hikes for Everyone, available in print from Wilderness Press and as an Amazon Kindle ebook.

Other links you might like:
The Best Hike on Maui Is...
Hidden Hiking Trails in West Maui
Maui's Best Walks for Wildlife Watching

Photo credit: West Maui Mountains (Michael Connolly Jr.)

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