Water shortage at summit
The visitor center nearest the summit is very low on water. Please use the toilets at Headquarters Visitor Center near the park entrance if possible.
Drive cautiously - Endangered birds land on roadway
Nene (Hawaiian geese) and 'ua'u (Hawaiian petrels) 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.
Construction Traffic - May 20
On May 20, from 6:30am to 11:00am, construction trucks will be using the park road. The road will remain open to staff and visitors.
Summit District Parking Lot Rehabilitation In Progress
During construction, parking spaces at Haleakala Visitor Center (near the summit) will be reduced by at least 50%. Construction is scheduled for May 22 through June 6. Visitors and tour operators may experience delays. More »
Natural Features & Ecosystems
NPS Photo - Stacey Torigoe
Haleakalā, rising from the sea to a 10,023 foot summit, and exposed to both the windward moist tradewinds and leeward drying air, has a variety of natural ecosystems. Wind, rain, temperature and altitude all play a role in shaping each zone, as well as bringing plants and animals here. Visit the Plant Communities page for more information on the diverse plants in each ecosystem you might see.
The alpine aeolian zone seems barren. The porous, rocky, dry surface has wide temperature range between day and night. Only a few species survive this tough environment. Silverswords stand out in this open landscape.
Subalpine shrublands cover broad areas below the alpine zone. Native shrubs like pukiawe, mamane, ohelo and pilo are dominant. Nēnē, the native Hawaiian goose, are locally conspicuous in the shrublands.
Lower, on the windward slopes with rainfall of 120 to 400 inches annually, rainforest prevails. Above 3,000 feet elevation the rainforest is largely native species with ʻōhiʻa and koa forming a closed canopy. Here, native Hawaiian honeycreepers sip nectar from native trees and flowers.
NPS Photo - Stacey Torigoe
Below the shrub zone occupies the drier leeward slopes, with less than 60 inches of rain. Fire and alien ungulates have devastated most of Maui's dry forest. Only small patches are found within the park.
The ʻOheʻo ecosystem crosses several life zones. ʻOheʻo stream, with its entire length within the national park is one of very few completely natural riparian habitats in Hawaiʻi. Native fish and shrimp are stream residents.
Did You Know?
When conditions permit, you can see across the channel to the island of Hawaiʻi while enjoying the coastal views in the Kīpahulu Area of Haleakalā National Park.