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Haleakala Sea-to-Summit Climb
Day 1
Pacific Ocean to Paliku Campsite via the Kaupo Trail
Friday, February 24
Up before dawn, we were finished with breakfast, and were putting the final touches on our packs by the time the sun rose above the horizon. By now we were used to the constant intermittent rainshowers of Hawaii, and we decided to start off with raincovers on our packs.

The first order of business was our ceremonial dip-of-the-toe into the ocean, marking the official start of our sea-to-summit climb of Haleakala. To do this, we hiked down grassy slopes to the nearby Mokulau Beach, where we carefully timed our boot wettings between the reasonably large waves that were crashing ashore. Looking up from the beach, we could see some of Haleakala's crater rim, more than 8,000 feet above us.
Leaving our seaside campsite
Silhouettes of the Big Island
Foot at the ocean
courtesy BConnell
Start of Sea-to-summit
Start of Sea-to-summit
Sea-to-summit start
We then walked along the access road for the Huialoha Church, we presently brought us back to the Piilani Highway. We stopped a few short minutes later at the bridge over the Manawainui Stream. I had done some looking on our topo map and had kept my eyes open on yesterday evening's walk to the Kaupo store, and it looked like this was the only practical place for us to get water down here.
Haleakala from Mokulau Beach
Hiking past Huialoha Church
Manawainui Stream Bridge
It was troublesome to get down to the stream under the bridge; there land right around the bridge was fenced off and the slope down to the river is filled with tangled vegetation and is somewhat steep. With some effort, we managed to get down to the water and start our filtering. There were an annoying number of tiny little mosquitoes that encouraged us to get the job done as soon as possible. Definitely one of the less pleasant water fillup locations that I've encountered.
Tank-up for the day
Yellow Oleander
Highway Hiking
Now tanked-up for the first part of the day, we scrambled back out of the stream bed and back onto the Piilani Highway. We only had to follow it for another 500 yards before we arrived at the narrow track of a road that led right, directly up the lower slopes of Haleakala. This was the road to the Kaupo Trailhead.
Piilani Supermailbox
Kaupo Tr Access Road
The walk up the road was more pleasant than I had expected. The ranch and farm land that the road passes through is quite pleasant, and the road itself is often a very nice twin track through green grass. The road passes a few tidy-looking homesteads.
Kaupo Ranchland
Pretty access road
Break in the shade
Beautiful windswept tree
Rich Kaupo Countryside
Lava wall-lined road
We walked for about a mile uphill, then turned left on the level and soon arrived at the Kaupo Trailhead, where a big National Park Service sign greeted us. A closed car gate blocked the road, but a small hiker gate was unlocked and allowed us access to the start of the trail.
courtesy JInnes
Kaupo Trailhead
The Kaupo Trailhead
Starting on the trail
Even though we were now on the Kaupo Trail, we were also on the private lands of the Kaupo Ranch. An agreed-upon access route has been established for the Kaupo Trail and the park service has placed numerous 'trail' posts to help hikers stay on the route. The first few posts were prominent and easy to follow.
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[ Return to "A Hawaiian Kaleidoscope" Home page | Introduction | Mildly complicated journey | Visit to Pearl Harbour | Downtown Honolulu | Kaua'i - The Garden Isle | Na Pali / Kalalau 1 | Na Pali / Kalalau 2 | Waimea Canyon & Kalepa Ridge | Maui - The Valley Isle | Exploring Kaupo | Haleakala Sea-to-summit 1 | Haleakala Sea-to-summit 2 | Haleakala Sea-to-summit 3 | Haleakala bike descent | Maui beach & snorkel | Flight to Big Island | Hawai'i Volcanoes NP | Mauna Loa Backpack Prep | Mauna Loa Climb | Mauna Loa Descent | Paniolo Greens | Hapuna Beach Park | Pu'ukohola Hieau | Sunset at Hapuna Beach | Ph'uhonua o Honaunau | Farewell to Hawaii | Supplemental: Kalalau Trail | Supplemental: Kalepa Ridge Trail | Supplemental: Kaupo Trail | Supplemental: Paliku to Haleakala Summit | Supplemental: Mauna Loa via Observatory Trail | Supplemental: USS Bowfin and Missouri | Hapuna Beach Sunset | Hawai'i Flora and Fauna | The Blue Pilot | Video Clip Index | GPS Data ]

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