Thursday, October 17, 2013

Haleakala National Park Trails Re-Open Today

Now that the federal government shutdown is finally over, US national parks and other federal recreational lands are slowly reopening to the public in stages. On Maui, Haleakala National Park has already re-opened to visitors, although some buildings and visitors services will not resume until 24 or 48 hours from this morning, October 17.

On the Big Island, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has also reopened to the public, as has Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park. On Oahu, boat tours of the USS Arizona Memorial, part of WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument, will resume tomorrow, after the monument's visitor center and museum also re-open. Online boat tour reservations are already sold out for Friday, but a limited number of first-come, first-served tickets are available for walk-up visitors starting at 7am.

You'll find all of the information you need about Maui's national park trails in my book, Top Trails Maui: Must-Do Hikes for Everyone, published by Wilderness Press and as an Amazon Kindle ebook.

Other links you might like:
I Am a Park Ranger: Views from Behind the Federal Shutdown's Locked NPS Gates
How-to Tips for Epic One-Way Hikes in Hawaii
Do You Need GPS to Hike in Hawaii?

Photo credit: Haleakala National Park (Michael Connolly Jr.) 

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.)