We had a wonderful 3 nights camping. Paliku and Holua are gorgeous. I just wish they'd build some tent pads, especially at Holua which is a lot of sharp volcanic rock which turns to black mud when it rain. It would also be wonderful to have some picnic tables. I know this is wilderness camping but these are reserved sites with an outhouse and tent platforms and picnic tables aren't unheard of in National Parks. The toilets had toilet paper. The sites had water access (nice and close at Paliku but a trek away at Holua) that required filtering. The cabins are kitted out with mattresses, tables, cook stove and gas, wood stoves and compressed wood logs, sinks with running water, and outdoor picnic tables which makes the lack of amenities for the campers pretty stark (They pay $75/night for the whole thing but I wish they'd open up beds to booking so the cabins don't have one or two people and empty beds; they sleep 8). A small covered area for cooking at the sites would be amazing, especially at Paliku where it is wet. There aren't a lot of spaces to string up a tarp. The hiking was lovely. The scenery was jaw-dropping. We loved the entire experience and would recommend this to anyone who can do the longer hikes while carrying gear. Pack the right gear and food. We are so happy we planned two nights at Paliku; there are some nice walks here. We loved the courting u'au' or Hawaiian Petrels at Holua; they were an added bonus we enjoyed. Bring the right gear and enough food! For $38 for 3 nights (an $8 permit plus $30 parking fee), this was the most affordable accommodation on the island!…
This place is amazing. The entrance is $25 USD per car. Go early so you can do some of the hikes. The road there is winding with beautiful views. You are literally above the clouds. I recommend to rent a car and do it your self but there are tours available. Once you are at the summit it’s like looking at a picture, just beautiful.
The Rangers are awesome, they are excited about their knowledge, give great advise for trails specific to your physical ability, are eager to teach you as much as they can in what little time they are face to face. 3000 or so visitors per hour requires extreme patience, as most are asking the same 3 questions over and over. They are stuck on the mountain so I always bring them a little snack to share from the Central part of Maui. It would be amazing to see visitors bring the rangers a pin or sticker from their own home town park
Set up camp at Hosmer, hiked the nature trail. Watched the sunset at the summit and returned to the awesome campground for dinner and wine. Returned to the summit for sunrise. All in all, I had the best seat in the house. It's croweded at the summits, if you don't like crowds, don't go.
We hiked down into Haleakala National Park and stayed in the crater. It was a very foggy hike, but well worth it. Chilly and a beautiful star filled night. It is steep but I highly recommend it. We camped a total of 16 days in Hawaii on this trip and 5 nights in hotels. A great way to see the real Hawaii