If you mention Haleakala – most people have been to the crater or done the hikes that go down sliding sands and up the switchback. When I was little, I had the opportunity to do the overnight hike through Haleakala from the top of the crater to the backside that comes out a few miles past the Seven Sacred Pools. To date, I’m the only one in my family that has done the hike but it’s something we’ve all been dying to do again.
My wife and I had hoped to take the same hike a few years ago – we had all our plans in place and bought most of the gear over the course of a year. . . . our tent was our Valentine’s present. . . . . backpacks for birthdays. . . . we were set and excited. That is, until the earthquake in 2006 forced the county to close the roads that go around the back of Hana to Kula.
So, we improvised and decided to do a two day Hana trip instead. Our little group stayed in the backyard of some friends in Hana and we were able to do so much more than if we had just done a quick day trip.
Even if you grow up on Maui, it’s not like you just go to Hana everyday. I can probably count on both hands how many times I had been to Hana while growing up – a few for camps but most of that was for soccer or volleyball games. It was a treat to visit Hamoa Beach, Waianapapa, Hasegawa General Store, Seven Sacred Pools, and a lot more and do it on ‘our time’ since we had two days to enjoy.
However, the highlight for me was the hike through the Bamboo Forest @ Seven Sacred Pools. It isn’t a far hike – I’d say an hour roundtrip not including how long you pitstop at the waterfall. The canopy of the bamboo forest is amazing. We got their early enough that we were all by ourselves heading to the waterfall and it was absolutely amazing.
It’s been probably six years since the visit. Since then, one of our group moved from Hawaii to the East Coast, our Hana friends are now on the mainland as well. My little family has grown with our twins but I still have this hike on a ‘checklist’ of things to do when my kids are able to hike and enjoy the opportunity to see this.
So, if you are going out to Hana Maui, get up a little earlier than everyone else and head out (if you do it early enough in your trip – you are still on Mainland time, right?). Beat the traffic heading out (which will save a TON of time) and take an extra 90 minutes to enjoy the hike!