Leleiwi Overlook on Haleakala.

Best Hikes in Haleakala National Park

If you’re an outdoors enthusiast, no trip to Maui is complete without tackling at least one of Haleakala’s trails. With that thought in mind, here’s a rundown of the most popular hikes, listed from shortest to longest.

The predominant foliage in Volcanoes National Park is ‘ohi‘a, which contrasts with the bleak desert surroundings.

Ka‘u Desert Warrior Footprints on the Big Island

The 1.6-mile round-trip trek across this small section of the Ka‘u Desert outside Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is fascinating, and the history of the footprints makes the experience more evocative. Because of deterioration, the footprints are faint and difficult to make out, but worth the trip to see for yourself.

Steam rises up in great white clouds from the crater of Kilauea volcano.

Kilauea’s Crater Rim Drive

The 11-mile road that circles the Kilauea Caldera and passes by nearly all the main sights in the park is Crater Rim Drive. Since you can’t circle the caldera because of a long-term road closure, we’ve divided the sights into two sections: those to the right of the visitors center and those to the left of the visitors center.

Close up of white-petaled naupaka flowers in the Oahu mountains.

Pele Legends in Hawaii

Pele, the goddess of fire, features in many Hawaiian legends, most of which showcase her fiery nature. Here are two, one to explain the curious appearance of certain flowers, and another a cautionary tale about the consequences of stealing her lava rocks.

Everyone should experience a Haleakala sunrise at least once in their lifetime.

Visiting Haleakala National Park on Maui

Hale-a-ka-la: House of the Sun. Few places are more aptly named in the Hawaiian language than this 10,023-foot volcano. The biggest question surrounding Haleakala is not if you should visit, but when: both sunrise and sunset offer truly breathtaking views.