Many years ago I accompanied Cindy on a lengthy business conference trip to the Big Island of Hawai’i, and afterward we spent a week exploring Maui. Being extreme introverts, we didn’t do any of the usual daytime beach and surf scene, or the evening dance and clubbing scene – no, we went for nature fixes. And the best one I found was the Keoneheʻeheʻe (Sliding Sands) Trail that began near the summit of Haleakalā and meandered some 11 miles (17.8 km) through the 24,719 acres (100 km²) of remote Wilderness Area.
Wow – talk about surreal! At the top, it’s so cold that you need warm clothes and a jacket. At the floor of the crater, it’s so hot that you need shorts and a T-shirt. And during the climb out, it’s so damp and foggy that you need rain protection. There’s arid desert and damp jungle terrain. There’s wildly colored volcanic processes throughout the entire hike. Critters. Spectacular flora. This hike has it all.
If I ever make it to Maui again, this hike is one I plan on repeating.
Photo info: The view from the summit of Haleakalā Haleakalā National Park Maui, Hawai’i April 2009 Leica D-LUX 4 digicam
Many years ago, Cindy had a week-long business conference in Hawai’i. Wow! I tagged along as her personal baggage handler and it was wonderful. We stayed in some really nice places and I explored all over the place while she had to attend tedious meetings that began early and didn’t end until late in the evening. This was one of my many day trips – the summit of Haleakalā to witness the spectacular sunset. You can read all about the AEOS telescope here.
Photo info: AEOS telescope Summit of Haleakalā Maui, Hawai’i April 2009 Leica D-LUX 4 digicam
One of the many hidden gems on the Big Island of Hawai’i is Pu’u Wa’awa’a Ahupua’a, a state forest reserve with a volcanic pumice cone on the north rift zone of Hualalai. The summit of Pu’u Wa’awa’a stands at 3,967 feet (1,209m) in elevation and the base is just over 1 mile (1.6 km) in diameter — which is short enough in round trip distance and altitude to make for a wonderful day hike.
The cool thing for me — upon reaching the summit of the Pu’u Wa’awa’a cone — was looking to the north and seeing the summit of Mauna Kea (13,803 feet/4,207.3m) some 24 miles away. Being a native of eastern Idaho, I’m no stranger to volcanoes (think Craters of the Moon National Monument), but the volcanic cones on Hawai’i are in a completely different league of their own.
Should you ever find yourself on the Big Island and wanting a change of pace from all the usual tourist haunts, try this one. It’s highly recommended.
Photo info: Pu’u Wa’awa’a Ahupua’a Pu’u Wa’awa’a State Forest Reserve Kailua-Kona, The Big Island, Hawai’i April 2009 Leica D-LUX 4 digicam