The following is a continuation of Hiking the Halemau’u Trail to the Paliku Campsite at Haleakala National Park.
One of the best parts of camping is sleeping when the sun sets and waking when it rises. We were awake a little after 5am with the pleasure of enormous slugs crawling on the tent’s screen. It rained extremely hard during the night, leaving us wondering if there would be a flash flood on the hillside where we were camped. Fortunately, by the light of day the rain slowed down to a drizzle.
We made our breakfast and debated the best way to pack up our soaked tent. We finally decided that the best approach wasn’t to wait for the rain to stop, but to move as quickly as possible once we emerged. We packed the backpacks first so that the tent breakdown was as simple as dropping the poles, pulling the stakes and rolling up the rest.
We were essentially dry as we left the campsite but our pants were quickly soaked as we walked through light rain and wet vegetation. It was warm enough for us to be comfortable and we were delighted with rainbows over our trail as we hiked back toward the Haleakala Crater.
Even though we’d walked this route, by morning and in a different light, it was like a new adventure. We stopped for an early lunch at the first lava flow just as we left the rain behind, and were soon hiking once again through the lunar landscape of the Haleakala Crater. Our trip on day two was significantly more uphill and we could feel it.
Once across the Crater, we once again entered the rainy area that gradually became more green and less desolate. The final nearly 7 km (4.2 miles) was entirely uphill but a great way to finish such an amazing hike. The Halemau’u Trail is an excellent adventure for those who come prepared for the many climates of this unique landscape.