Few people come to the Hawaiian Islands to camp or hike, but we do both. Beyond the excellent outdoor opportunities, we were married at Secret Cove in Maui and come back each year to get married again by our friend, Pastor Dennis De Rego. What started as a romantic ‘mission’ has become one of friendship and adventure as we’ve found Maui to be an excellent island for both.
After our recent hike from Haleakala Crater to Paliku Campsite in April 2012, we were back to complete the peak-to-ocean journey by completing the lower section from Paliku Campsite to Kaupo Trailhead near the beaches of Southwest Maui. We did our research and found the Kipahulu Campground in the Haleakala National Park, just 12 km (8 mi) from the Kaupo Trailhead and adjacent to the very popular Ohe’o Gulch and its ‘Seven Sacred Pools (locals will tell you they’re not at all sacred), 16 km (10 mi) beyond Hana.
When we first arrived we were almost ready to set up our campsite in the open field that makes up most of the campground. Each site has a picnic table and BBQ grill, and there is a centrally located pit toilet (but no water). We would have been perfectly happy. By chance, we happened to walk the perimeter and discovered sites that were set apart from each other and the rest of the campground and right along the cliffs over the ocean. We were fortunate to find the best campsite we’ve ever had.
The site doesn’t have easy access to the sea, but that’s not the point along this rugged coast. Watching the waves crash on the cliffs is one of the most peaceful activities we know. The steady breeze that blows past this part of Maui brings occasional showers (especially after sunset) but the breezes are steady and cool. Even in the warmest part of the day, the temperature was ideal. As we went to bed, the waves were a soothing way to fall asleep and to wake up in the morning.