Haleakala Crater Hiking Panoramas
At the end of June and the beginning of July, friends and I hiked the whole way through the Haleakala National Park crater trails to Paliku Cabin (and beyond). I took panoramas the whole way through the trail to document the beauty of Haleakala Crater. We proceeded to hike a few trails after our base hike as well. We also stopped in at Holua Cabin, and visited with the Nene Geese. We started at the trail “Switchbacks” and proceeded down all the way through to the beautiful lower crater. These first few pictures below are of the lava fields as viewed from the first four miles of this Haleakala Crater hiking.
These next few pictures of Haleakala National Park are of the Haleakala Crater floor looking outward. The granulated rock inside of Haleakala Crater blows around with little precipitation from the high elevation. Looking across the landscape in the very center, where the largest caldera once stood, giant black rocks shoot out of black sands left over from the extreme heat. In the center of the crater you are surrounded by bright browns and reds, and a mossy green surrounding the lip of the crater in the peripheral.
Once you pass through the caldera, and climb through the fine-stone hills with extremely vivid colors (a.k.a. Pele’s Paintbrush), you come through to a rocky, silent side of the crater. There are many Haleakala Silverswords in bloom in the summertime, what an amazing site. Some of the rock structures around the crater are reminiscent of Easter Island, rocks jutting up from violent eruptions thousands of years ago. As you pass beyond that, you reach the grassy, and beautiful Paliku, which means “Standing Cliffs”.
At Paliku, you are free to follow several side trails, if you can still walk, and view All of the Haleakala Crater and even Kipahulu and Kaupo Gap. If you are brave, you can take the almost 6000 ft. elevation drop over 8 miles down to Kaupo and hitchhike out.
This is a challenging hike, and can present very rugged and cold conditions if the weather is not perfect. That being said, this pass through the crater was one of the most incredible experiences of my life.