Maui Hike 1: Haleakala Sliding Sands Trail

I’m currently carrying out a couple of hikes in Maui while doing other things here (such as relaxing on beaches and swimming with sea turtles).  To start with, my first hike was in Haleakala National Park with my friend Charlie from back home.  We did the 11.8 mile loop hike which starts at the summit visitor center located at 9,740 feet and follows the Sliding Sands Trail down into a cinder desert with a beautiful volcanic landscape.  A spur trail then connects with the Halemauu Trail and ends by climbing some intense switchbacks with dizzying views of the landscape far below.  In order to complete the loop hike as I did it, a vehicle shuttle or park-approved hitchhiking is required.  I will publish a report later on this hike.  Here are a few teaser pictures.

View of the area we would be hiking down into for the first half of the hike
View of the area we would be hiking down into for the first half of the hike
Hiking in Hawaii for the third straight year, this time on the Sliding Sands Trail
Hiking in Hawaii for the third straight year, this time on the Sliding Sands Trail
There is a gorgeous view of Mauna Hina during most of the hike
There is a gorgeous view of Hanakauhi summit during most of the hike
Hiking across the vast Haleakala Wilderness area
Hiking across the vast Haleakala Wilderness area
Challenging switchbacks lead to the beginning of the Halmauu Trail (vehicle shuttle required)
Challenging switchbacks on the loop while heading to the beginning of the Halemauu Trail