Kīpahulu District

Waimoku Falls
400-foot Waimoku Falls

NPS/Christian Del Pozzo

Closure Notice

The Pools of 'Ohe'o in our Kīpahulu District are CLOSED indefinitely due to safety concerns with landslides. We will update the condition of the pools once it becomes available. Hiking trails in Kīpahulu remain open.


The Kīpahulu District of Haleakalā National Park can be accessed by driving 12 miles past the town of Hāna, on the famous Hāna Highway that circumscribes the northeast coast of the island of Maui. This area of the coast has been inhabited by native people for hundreds of years and remains an integral part of a thriving culture. Visitors to the Kīpahulu District are treated to views of waterfalls, sweeping ocean vistas, and Hawaiian cultural experiences.


Know before you go:

The Kīpahulu District protects an intact ahupua'a, a traditional Native Hawaiian land division that protects all resources from sea to summit. The streams are home to endemic gobies and other fish species that evolved from ancient salt water ancestors. The following information will help you have a safe and enjoyable visit.

  • Dress for hot, humid, rainy weather.
  • Fill up your gas tank and bring food. Neither are available in the park.
  • Bring water, sunscreen, mosquito repellant, and wear sturdy shoes.
  • Paying the entrance fee with a credit card.
  • Kīpahulu is remote. Emergency medical assistance is at least one hour away.
  • Leave natural resources and cultural artifacts, rocks, and structures alone.
  • Flash floods and sudden rock falls can occur at any time! Swimming and wading in the streams is not recommended. Always stay out of closed areas.
 

Sights to See

Relax and enjoy your time among vibrant, lush vegetation and overlooks offering views of the breathtaking coastline. Keep an eye out for sea turtles, monk seals, dolphins, seabirds and humpback whales (December through April). Take time to spot freshwater stream inhabitants including shrimp and rock-climbing goby.

 
A rainbow forms in the mist of the ocean crashing on a rocky shore.
A rainbow forms in the mist of the ocean crashing on a rocky shore.

Chris Archer


 

Hiking

Be prepared for hot, humid weather year round. The weather can change rapidy; bring sun and rain protection. Wear sturdy, close-toed shoes on all trails. All trails are unpaved. Pets are not permitted on any trails.

 

Pīpīwai Trail

Take a hike up this 4-mile (round trip) trail that winds through a freshwater stream and diverse forest areas with views of waterfalls and other natural features. This trail is moderately strenuous with an 800-foot elevation change each way.

Pīpīwai Trail Guided Ranger Hike

The guided Pīpīwai Trail hike will now be on a reservation basis offered on Sundays at 10:00 am. Hikes cannot be booked until 9:00 am, one week prior to the hike. To reserve, please call 808-248-7375.

Kūloa Point Trail

This 1/2-mile (round trip) trail leaves the Kīpahulu Visitor Center and continues past a Hawaiian cultural demonstration area to the Kūloa Point at the mouth of 'Ohe'o Gulch. This trail is easy with an 80-foot elevation change each way.

Kahakai Trail

This 1/2-mile trail extends from Kūloa Point to the Kīpahulu Campground passing by archaeological sites and gorgeous ocean views.

Read more about hiking trails and their points of interest here.

 

Drive-Up Camping

This area offers one drive-up campground. Campers are advised that Kīpahulu is wet, remote, and far from most amenities. Come prepared: bring water, food, and a tent. There is a water-refilling station at the visitor center, and shared grills, picnic tables, and pit-toilets are provided. Permits are not required, but campers must pay the park entry fee. Camping is limited to 3 nights in any 30-day period.

Read more>>
 
Campers enjoying the coastal campground in an orange tent under hala trees.
Campers enjoying the coastal campground in an orange tent under hala trees.

Cody Roberts


 

Swimming

Swimming is not recommended in the Kīpahulu District of the park. Water quality varies and violent flash floods or rock falls can occur in the stream at any time. Injuries and deaths have occurred. Visitors should always comply with signs, heed the guidance of park staff, and stay out of closed areas. It can take an ambulance up to 45 minutes to arrive at Kīpahulu from the nearest town. You are responsible for your own safety.

Diving and jumping are prohibited.
Do not bring glass into the 'Ohe'o Gulch area.
Due to rough conditions, there is no safe ocean entry in Kīpahulu.

Learn steps you can take in protecting yourself, and protecting our reefs!

 

Guided Activities

-Explore our Schedule of Events to find out what guided hikes, talks, and cultural demonstrations are planned.
-View our list of commercial tour operators that provide horseback, hiking, and vehicle tours.
-Visit our Volunteers In Parks page for information on how you can donate your time.
-Check out what our park partner Kīpahulu 'Ohana is doing to promote Hawaiian traditions.

 
Ranger Bolly
Ranger Bolly helps visitors learn about Kīpahulu District.

NPS/Ka'uiki Lind

 

Safety

Haleakalā National Park is a changing landscape with inherent and unpredictable natural hazards. This landscape is subject to constant change from natural forces including erosion, weather, earthquakes, and currents. The National Park Service has limited ability to monitor and no ability to control these forces. Obey all posted warnings and staff guidelines.

 
low tide near the campground reveals sharp lava rock that can't be seen during high tide. 
Low tide near the campground reveals sharp lava rock that can't be seen during high tide. 

NPS/Mike Beeney


 

Be aware of the following hazards:

Trails and pools:

  • Flash flooding (water can rise as fast as 4 feet in 10 minutes, resulting in people washed out to sea and drowning). Learn more about flash flooding on the National Weather Service website.
  • High water and flow
  • Slippery rocks
  • Rock falls (in gulches and below waterfalls)
  • Fall hazards (from overlooks, ledges, jumping, and diving)
  • Water quality (Leptospirosis, E. coli)

Ocean:

  • Shore break
  • Rip currents
  • Rough surf
  • Strong currents
  • Sharks

In the event of an injury, medical assistance can take up to one hour to arrive from the nearest towns.

 
Kipahulu waves are rough and not suitable for swimming.
Kīpahulu waves are rough; not ideal for swimming!

NPS/Ka'uiki Lind

Last updated: May 10, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Haleakalā National Park
PO Box 369

Makawao, HI 96768

Phone:

(808) 572-4400

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