Backcountry Hikes - Halapē
Halapē is located on the southern seacoast of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park and is a favored destination of hearty wilderness hikers. The campsite is 7.7 miles from the closest trailhead. The hike to Halapē is a grueling, hot hike through predominately non-native grasses to a small sandy beach where hikers may pitch their tents near the swaying coconut trees.
The campsite may be accessed from several trailheads;
All overnight backcountry hiking and camping requires a permit. For backcountry camping, there is a $10 fee per trip, in addition to the park entrance fee. Permits must be obtained no more than 24 hours in advance from the Backcountry Office, open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fees for backcountry camping can be paid in person at the Backcountry Office, or online through pay.gov. Payments made online made be made up to one week in advance. Payments made through pay.gov require obtaining a permit number in advance by calling or emailing the Backcountry Office. You will enter this number into the pay.gov online form.
Campers may stay a maximum of 3 consecutive nights per site. A total of 16 hikers are allowed per night at Halape.
Backpackers to Halape should be adequately equipped, experienced in wilderness trekking, and physically fit.
Leave No Trace
TrailheadsServices are limited at trailheads. Water and public transportation are NOT available. 911 phones (for emergency use only) are located at Pu'uloa and Ka'u Desert trailheads. There is also a 911 phone at Kulanaokuaiki Campground off Hilina Pali Road.
During the day, temperatures can soar into the high 90s or higher. There are NO trees to provide relief from the sun. Carry and drink 3 to 4 quarts of water per person (per day). The elderly, infants, and those taking antihistamines and certain types of medication for high blood pressure or depression are especially at risk for heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
The Heat Equation: High Temperature + High Humidity + Physical Work = Heat Illness or Death.
Seismic and Volcanic Hazards
See additional information about destructive earthquakes and tsunami:
Pesky and Dangerous Animals
Protect Precious Plants, Animals, and Archeological Sites
Turtles - Endangered Hawksbill sea turtles nest and threatened Green sea turtles rest on park beaches. Do not camp in areas posted as turtle nesting areas at `Apua, Halape, and other beaches. Federal and state laws protect all sea turtles from harm.
Fishing - Fishing along the coastline from the park's eastern boundary to a point midway between Keauhou and Halape is restricted to native Hawaiian residents of the Kalapana area. It is your responsibility to understand and obey all fishing regulations.
Swimming - There are very few sheltered swimming sites along the coast. Rough seas, high surf and strong, unpredictable currents are typical of the park's coastline. Avoid entering the open ocean. Help protect the rare plants and animals that live in tidepools and brackish ponds - rinse off all soap and sunscreen before entering them.
Pets and Stock Use - Dogs (except service animals) and other pets are not allowed on park trails or in wilderness areas. Horses, donkeys, and mules are allowed at some backcountry sites with a valid backcountry permit (limit of 6 animals per site). Tether livestock at least 100 feet from campsites in an area that presents no hazard or sanitation problems to other campers. Hikers encountering horse parties should quietly step off the trail and allow the animals to pass.
Leave No Trace - Pack out everthing you pack in. Do not put rubbish in pit toilets. Keep wilderness areas beautiful and clean. Practice Leave No Trace ethics when hiking and camping.
Post your trip journal on our webpage!
Give us your feedback - Let us know about trail, cabin, or campsite conditions. Did you notice anything damaged or dangerous conditions that rangers should be aware of? File a Trip Report
Last updated: March 15, 2018