Preparing for the Backcountry

Hikers on Sliding Sands Trail
Visitors hike into the backcountry on Sliding Sands Trail.

NPS Photo

To thoroughly enjoy your backcountry experience at Haleakalā, whether it’s for an hour, a day, or multiple days, you need to be fully prepared. Here are helpful tips for hiking in the backcountry at Haleakalā National Park:

Tip #1: Plan ahead

• Select a route and destination, keeping in mind the distance and ability of other hikers in your group, including kids.
• Hiking uphill takes about twice the time it takes to hike downhill.
• Check the visitor center for updates on weather or trail conditions.
• Always carry a map. Maps are available at or the visitor center.

Tip #2: Have the right gear and supplies

• Wear sturdy hiking shoes or boots with ankle support.
• Carry adequate amounts of water and food.
• Water is only available at remote cabins, and must be treated.
• Dress in layers for a variety of weather conditions.
• Use a comfortable backpack.
• Pack essential items in a plastic bag inside of your backpack to keep items dry.

Tip #3: Be prepared for emergencies

• There is no cell phone coverage through most of the backcountry. You must be self- reliant during emergencies. Help may not be available for hours or days.
• Carry a first aid kit, flashlight, signal mirror, and survival gear.
Your life might depend on it!

Suggested Hiking Gear:

  • Backpack
  • Hiking shoes
  • Water
  • Food
  • Raingear
  • Warm jacket
  • Synthetic clothing for layering
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Flashlight
  • Map
  • First aid kit
  • Medications
  • Survival kit (signal mirror, matches, knife, compass)
  • Warm sleeping bag
  • Water filter

Last updated: March 6, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Haleakalā National Park
PO Box 369

Makawao, HI 96768


(808) 572-4400

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