Sliding Sands Trail, Haleakala Crater

An extremely strenuous trail for experienced hikers

This particular 11.2-mile trek is ideal for experienced hikers as rugged terrain and the potential for adverse weather conditions could make the journey difficult for beginners and children.

From the Haleakala Visitor Center at an elevation of 10,000 feet, the trail winds six miles through the south base of the crater through distinctive loose cinders – part of what led to the trail earning its name – resulting from years of erosion. Hikers will come across the Kapalaoa Cabin, after which the trail smooths out a bit and includes grassy areas that break up the unforgiving rock features. 

Sliding Sands continues to Paliku Cabin and also leads to Kaupo Gap, which eventually leads travelers close to sea level – a substantial decline in elevation that can include multiple adjustments in weather and temperature.