After our ‘rest day‘, we made one last attempt to do a hike on the Haleakala. It was also our last day on Maui. Wanting to trek the longest day trail at 11.2 miles (18 km)- Sliding Sands Trail in, Halemau’u Trail Out, we got up at 4am to make the drive up.
Right before sunrise we saw the clouds move in and soon diminished all visibility. We parked our car at 8000ft and hitch hiked up to the summit to start.
Up at the top, we can see clouds bellowing in the crater.
Sliding Sands got its name from the fine cinder cones that are on the floor, every step is like walking on a beach.
The clouds were moving in & out constantly. One minute it would be sunshine and the next we would be engulfed in fog.
Cloud rolling over a ridge, looks like a waterfall.
The Haleakalā Silversword is unique to this mountain in the high-altitude regions. It has an interesting life cycle, capable of living for up to 90 years in the harsh, desert-like climate.
Typically in the bulb form (above), the plant produces a tall stalk when the conditions are right and relies on the wind to scatter the seed. After that the plant withers and dies.
The Silverswords are protected as they can easily be destroyed when trampled on.
Hiking across a crater, about 6miles into the hike.
Turning a corner we cross into old lava flow and vegetation.
On the last two miles we have to hike up a 1,000 foot cliff.
Near the top, it is amazing to see clouds forming on one side of the ridge and not able to cross over to the other side. We finally finished the 11mile hike in 6hr30min.
We rewarded ourselves with some delicious seafood dinner at the Fish Market in Paia, then ice-cream!
After dinner we rush to the airport, return our car, and catch the 8pm flight to hop over to the Big Island.
I have never been on a 9-seater plane before. They had to weight every passenger (with their luggage) so they can distribute the weight evenly.
No waiting for luggage either!
We arrived at the Big Island at 9:30pm, we had to pick-up our rental car and drive to the guesthouse. It was a tiring day but well worth it!