• A view of the cinder desert

    Haleakalā

    National Park Hawai'i

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  • For your safety

    The Summit and Kīpahulu Districts are remote. An ambulance can take up to 45 minutes to arrive at either district from the nearest town. People with respiratory or other medical conditions should also be aware that the summit of Haleakalā is at 10,000 ft.

  • Drive cautiously - Endangered birds land on roadway

    Nēnē (Hawaiian geese) are nesting in the park and may land on or frequent park roads and parking lots. Drivers are reminded to drive at the posted speed limits and exercise caution.

Nature & Science

The native hawaiian goose, nene
Nēnē, the native Hawaiian goose, can usually be seen near park headquarters.
NPS photo by Bryan Harry
 

Isolated in the mid Pacific, the Hawaiian Islands are the most remote major island group on earth. They were formed as the Pacific Plate moved across a volcanic "hot spot" within the earth's mantle. Lying 2,400 miles (3,862 km) from the nearest continent, they have never had connection to any other land mass. Natural crossings across this great expanse of ocean by animals and plants were extremely rare and very surprising occasions. After such accidental arrivals, and isolated from mainland populations, these pioneer organisms took strange courses of evolution and allowed a unique biota to develop.

Unaccustomed to mainland competition, however, these remote native island ecosystems are defenseless against mainland alien species, and have been decimated by new grazers, predators and diseases.

Haleakalā National Park, and its East Maui Watershed Partner neighbors, still harbor an astonishing relict of these native island ecosystems. The major effort of Haleakalā's resource stewardship is to preserve intact this superb example of the Hawaiian Islands' native ecosystems.

Did You Know?

These freshwater pools are fed by streams originating in the rainforest higher up the mountain, so the water flow changes daily.

The Kīpahulu District of Haleakalā National Park is home to many freshwater pools that were created as the Pīpīwai, Palikea, and ʻOheʻo streams carried water down the mountain from the rainforest above. More...