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Hawaii National Park_ A Guide for the Haleakala Section, Island of Maui, Hawaii

Hawaii National Park_ A Guide for the Haleakala Section, Island of Maui, Hawaii
Title: Hawaii National Park_ A Guide for the Haleakala Section, Island of Maui, Hawaii
Release Date: 2018-06-02
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
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Hawaii National Park: A Guide for the Haleakala Section

Copyright 1959 by the




Covers: Silversword in bloom

A Guide for the
Haleakala Section
Island of Maui, Hawaii

George C. Ruhle
illustrated by Donald M. Black


JUNE, 1959


On the Sliding Sands Trail



Most of us yearn to travel, and the preliminary to travel is tochoose a place that others, people or books, say is interesting, thenfind out more about it.

This guide is to help you find out more about Haleakala. It isneither a reference book nor a treatise. It sums up what many havestudied and observed. It skims over the myths that the mountainitself created in the imagination of old Hawaiians. It reflects alsothe labor and thought of the compiler. Its aim is to satisfy yourinterest while you are here on the brim, or at some other point. Forsome of you it may be the start of a deeper curiosity, to be satisfiedby further reading elsewhere.

Think of this booklet as a chatty companion along the way, and aready reminder after you have left, of your pleasant experience atHaleakala.

The system of 29 National Parks contains areas of superlative scenic and scientificgrandeur essentially in the primitive state. The National Park Service of theDepartment of the Interior administers these, as well as 152 other areas of outstandingnational significance. The law of the land enjoins us to use them in suchmanner that they may be passed unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.

The story of HAWAII NATIONAL PARK is the story of active volcanism singularlymarked by eruptions of very fluent lava. The park is in two sections; that on theisland of Maui, discussed in this guide, includes the great eroded crater of HaleakalaVolcano; that on the island of Hawaii embraces the summits of Mauna Loa andKilauea Volcanoes.



The silversword is the pride and distinction of Haleakala.

Haleakala is a great volcano, 33 miles long and 10,025 feet high. During a long periodof inactivity, stream erosion cut two deep valleys, Keanae and Kaupo, into its sides. Thesejoined near the summit. When volcanic activity once again resumed, flows of aa andblankets of cinders were spread on the valley floors. A multicolored cover, emphasized bysymmetrical cones, formed the new floor of the depression, now loosely called HaleakalaCrater.

The well chosen name, Hale-a-ka-la, means House of the Sun. Old Hawaiians associatedMaui, a trickster demi-God, with the mountain. He was a legendary figure throughoutPolynesia long before a few of its inhabitants discovered and settled in Hawaii, bringingtheir gods with them.

How Maui brought down or ensnared the sun has several versions. Maui’s mother, Hina,had trouble drying bark cloth, kapa, because the day was too short, its warmth insufficient.The sun just sped too fast across the sky. So Maui fashioned a strong net to snare it in itscourse. A slight variant, possibly less used, appeals more strongly. In early dawn, onecan watch strong streamers of light from the rising sun break through the clouds andstalk across the crater. With these spidery legs the sun progresses through the heavens. Asone by one they were placed over Koolau Gap, Maui seized them and bound them withstrong thongs to an ohia tree. Thus captured, the sun pleaded for release. This Mauigranted on promise of a slower gait, for which Hina as well as the rest of us can beeternally thankful.


Table of Contents

Preface iii
Haleakala iv
Your Vacation in the Haleakala Section 1
Access 1
What to do and see 1
Hosmer Grove Campground and Picnic Area 2
The Trail System 4
Park Cabins 4
Suggested Hiking Trips 5
An Outfit for Hiking in Haleakala Crater 7
Horseback Crater Trips 7
Numbered Points of Interest on the Map 8
Haleakala Hawaiiana 16
Maui Legends 16
The Legend of Kihapiilani 18
The Tradition of Kaoao 21
Archeological Study 22
The Historical Background 24
Important Dates 36
Geology 42
The Origin of the Scenic Features 42
The Geological Interpretation 46
Haleakala Plants 49
Plant Notes 55
The Ferns 55
The Native Grasses 56
The Sedges—Fig. 1 56, 71
Rush 57
Painiu 57
Mauu-laili 57
Orchids—Fig. 2 58, 71
Alaalawainui 58
Sandalwood—Fig. 3 58, 72
Sheep Sorrel 58
Hawaiian Buttercup 59
Hoawa 59
Hawaiian Hawthorn 59
Hawaiian Raspberry—Fig. 5 59, 73
Mamane—Fig. 4 60, 72
Nohoanu—Fig. 6, 7 60, 74
Hawaiian Holly 60
Olomea 61
Aalii—Fig. 8 61, 75
Begonia 53, 61
Tarweed 61
Ohio Lehua—Fig. 9 62, 75
Evening Primrose 62
Apeape 54, 62
Olapa—Fig. 10 62, 76
Ohelo—Fig. 11 62, 76
Pukiawe—Fig. 12 63, 77
Kolea—Fig. 13 63, 77
Selfheal 63
Puaainaka 63
Groundcherry 63
Plantain 64
Kukaenene—Fig. 15 64, 79
Pilo—Fig. 14 64, 78
Manono 64
Catchfly—Fig. 16 65, 79
Oha 65
Naupaka 65
Maui Wormwood—Fig. 17 65, 80
Kookoolau 66
Kupaoa—Fig. 18, 19 66, 81
Pamakani 67
Hairy Cat’s Ear 67
Wood Groundsel 68
Tetramalopium—Fig. 20 53, 68, 82
Silversword Cover, iv, 47, 68
Summary Lists 70
The Birds and Mammals 83
The Insect Life 85
Hawaiian Words and Place Names 89
Hui O Ahinahina 93
Additional Help 93
Mileages Inside back cover
Map Center Pages


Anticipate a restful, invigorating interlude. Islanders considervacation on the cool mountain an inexpensive, pleasant variant froma mainland trip.

Silversword Inn at an elevation of 6,800 feet is popular withluncheon guests and with those staying overnight to view sunset orsunrise from the summit of the great mountain. Attractive, friendly,comfortable, it is the loftiest hostelry in the islands. There is noformal atmosphere: warm, casual clothing is worn; it is strictly“come in as you are.”

Hiking and riding in the vicinity of the inn are favorite pastimes.Adjacent groves of trees of the Temperate Zone impart an aspectnovel to the islands. A visit is highlighted by trips into the crater andto the summit, less than thirty minutes distant by car. The cuprunneth over for photographers and nature enthusiasts. You canenjoy cool, restful nights between daytime drives to the many pointsof interest on Maui. For further details, reservations, and rates,consult the Manager, Silversword Inn, R.R. 53, Waiakoa, Maui,Hawaii, or Mr. William S. Ellis, Jr., 900 Nuuanu Ave., Honolulu 17,Hawaii.


The Haleakala road climbs through plantations and ranchlandfrom Kahului Harbor and Kahului Airport to the park entrance at anelevation of 6,740 feet. The distance by the shortest route is thirtymiles. The highway continues eleven miles further to the ParkObservatory on the western rim of Haleakala Crater and to the 10,025-footsummit. No bus service exists, but taxis and U-drive cars arehired at the airport and in the towns of Kahului and Wailuku. Thesole access into the crater is over good trails for travel on foot orby horse.


The start of a drive to the park is made by one of three pavedroutes. The shortest is Pukalani Road. The other two turn inlandat Paia or Haiku and traverse more interesting country. The three2routes converge at Pukalani Junction ten miles up the mountain.PUKALANI means a hole in heaven, which picturesquely describes thefact that the sun breaks through at this place despite a general overcastelsewhere.

As the road rises up and ever up, it unfolds distant views of fieldsof sugar cane and pineapple, of West Maui Range, 6,000 feet high,and of Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe, and Molokini Islands beyondchannels of blue sea. 100 miles southward, the tops of the snowyvolcanoes on the Island of Hawaii float on billowy clouds. 10,000feet below, the aquamarine Pacific fringes Maui with white surf.

Three viewpoints along the road overlook the great crater: Leleiwi,at the 9,000-foot switchback; Kalahaku, two miles below the summit:and the Park Observatory, near the top. The roadway extends alongthe crest one mile southwestward to a scenic point beyond the parkboundary and a communication station of the Civil AeronauticsAdministration.

Just above the park entrance, Silversword Inn, a National Parkconcession, offers meals, rooms, souvenirs, horseback riding andguided horseback trips into the crater. Across from the inn, a pavedspur road leads a half mile to Hosmer Grove Campground and PicnicArea.

Haleakala Crater is a favorite with those who like the back-country;its inspiring scenery and restful solitude are great rewardfor time and effort. The National Park Service maintains three cabinson the crater floor and 30 miles of well-marked trails for hikers andhorseback parties.


A quarter mile above the park entrance, opposite the driveway tothe inn, a paved lane, one-half mile long, leads to the Hosmer GroveCampground and Picnic Area. It has a shelter for rainy weatherthat contains two tables and two charcoal burners. Four additionaltables with adjacent charcoal burners are in an open site below theroad. Running water, parking space for eight cars, and sites forpitching tents are provided. Charcoal may be purchased at the inn.A self-guiding nature trail leads through the grove.



The grove was named for the first Territorial forester, Dr. RalphS. Hosmer, who experimented with planting temperate trees at highaltitudes on Haleakala and Mauna Kea. Trees, planted here in 1910,include the deodar, Cedrus deodara from the Himalayas; the tsugi,Cryptomeria japonica from Japan; eucalypti from Australia; andfrom the mainland a cypress, Cupressus arizonica; a juniper,Juniperus virginiana; Douglas fir, Pseudotsuga taxifolia; incensecedar, Libocedrus decurrens; two spruces, Picea canadensis, P.excelsa; and seven pines: lodgepole, Pinus contorta, Coulter or big-cone,P. coulteri, Jeffrey, P. jeffreyi, longleaf, P. palustris, ponderosaor western yellow, P. ponderosa, white, P. strobus, and Scotch, P.sylvestris. Many of these have survived and have borne fruits. Thehuge keeled cones of Coulter pines are cherished as ornaments insome homes.

Native plants associated with the area are the shrubs: Haleakalasandalwood, mamane, pukiawe, aalii, mountain pilo, ohelo, silver4geranium, kupaoa; two or three ferns; two sedges; and three nativegrasses.

Two thirds of the distance to the grove, the crater trail from theinn starts up the mountain to the left. This is a connecting link, 1¾miles long, to the Halemauu Trail which it joins a half mile below itsstart on the highway. See Numbered Points of Interest, No. 9.


The Sliding Sands Trail, the popular route into the crater, startsfrom the parking area at the Observatory. It is constructed alongthe south side of the crater to Kapalaoa Cabin six miles away. Connectingtrails go to Paliku Cabin, four miles farther. The HalemauuTrail has two upper ends, at the 8,000-foot elevation on the highwayand on the Hosmer Grove Campground Spur near Silversword Inn.Halemauu Trail goes down Leleiwi Pali, the west wall, to HoluaCabin, four miles from the road or six miles from the lodge. Thetrail continues easterly from Holua for six miles along the northside of the crater floor to Paliku. Branch trails are built to points ofinterest. The Kaupo Trail through Kaupo Gap leaves Paliku Cabinand the crater to make a rapid descent of the southern, sun-drenchedslope.


Each of the three visitor cabins within the crater, Kapalaoa,Paliku, and Holua, is equipped with running water, a wood-burningcookstove, firewood, kerosene lamps, cooking and eating utensils,twelve bunks, mattresses, and blankets. Use of these cabins by hikerson a priority reservation basis is granted free of charge by the Park.In consideration for their use cabins should be left clean and in orderby each party. The following arrangements are necessary: write thePark, giving an outline of your proposed trip, number in the party,exact calendar dates, and names of specific cabins

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