No Potable Water Available in Kipahulu
Due to a leak in the main waterline in Kīpahulu there is no potable water in Kīpahulu for the foreseeable future. The leak was discovered on July 23, 2014 during routine inspections. Visitors should bring their own drinking water.
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.
Three Wilderness cabins are maintained by the National Park Service for visitor use by advanced reservation. The Wilderness cabins are accessible only by trail. To reach the cabins, you must hike a minimum of 3.7 miles (5.9km) to Hōlua, 5.5 miles (8.9km) to Kapalaoa, and 9.3 miles (15km) to Palikū.
The cabin permit is NON-TRANSFERABLE. The permittee must be present on the entire trip and is legally responsible for the actions and safety of their group. Each person is limited to a maximum of 3 nights per 30-day period in Wilderness area campsites and cabins, with no more than 2 nights at any one site. Maximum group size in the wilderness is 12 persons. Groups and/or organizations with more than 12 may not split into smaller groups. Groups may not reserve back-to-back reservations exceeding 3-nights. The permittee must be an adult age 18 or older, must have photo identification, and must accompany the group using a cabin.
Requesting a Cabin:
Each person staying in a cabin is required to watch a 10-minute orientation video at Headquarters Visitor Center.
Costs & Cancellations:
It is the Permittee's responsibility to ensure that the members of their group are appropriately equipped and properly prepared for hiking at altitude and in extreme weather conditions (heavy rain, high winds) and can hike/backpack up to 10 miles one way to the reserved cabin(s).
Hōlua Cabin, the closest cabin, lies at 6,940 feet (2,115 meters) in the shrubland near Koʻolau Gap, 3.7 miles down the Halemauʻu Trail or 7.4 miles down Keoneheʻeheʻe (Sliding Sands) Trail. Visitors staying at Hōlua can enjoy day hikes into the central Wilderness Area. The landscape around Hōlua supports a native shrubland which colonized the lava flows. There is also a campground at Hōlua.
Kapalaoa Cabin, 5.5 miles down the Keoneheʻeheʻe or 7.3 miles from Halemauʻu Trailhead, lies at the base of the cliffs on the south side of the valley. The view from Kapalaoa takes in brightly colored cinder cones, subalpine plants, and dramatic cliffs. In the spring and summer months, the endangered ʻuaʻu (Hawaiian dark-rumped petrel) can occasionally be heard and seen near the high cliffs. This cabin lies at 7,250 feet (2,210 meters). There is no campsite near Kapalaoa cabin.
Palikū Cabin, at 6,380 feet (1,945 meters), is at the east end of the wilderness valley at the base of a rain forest cliff. The cabin is reached via a strenuous 9.3-mile hike on Keoneheʻeheʻe Trail, 10.1 miles on Halemauʻu Trail, or 8.6 miles up the Kaupō Trail. Clouds and fog often roll over the top of the cliffs behind Palikū. The extra moisture makes this spot exceptionally cool and lush. There is also a campground at Palikū.
Visiting the Haleakalā Wilderness is a wonderful opportunity to see native Hawaiian wildlife. As Nēnē (Hawaiian goose) are often seen near the cabins, please enjoy watching them and other wildlife from a distance.
Prepare for your trip
Allow for adequate travel time.
Packing List - Necessities:
Packing List - Suggested Items:
View Haleakalā NP's Leave No Trace™ video for a glimpse of the unique environment you will be visiting and helpful preparation tips.
Did You Know?
Bamboo is one of the non-native plants you will see when you hike the Pīpīwai Trail in the Kīpahulu District of Haleakalā National Park. The extensive bamboo forest provides a unique array of sights and sounds along the trail. More...