Haleakalā Crater Wilderness Cabins and Reservations System Open July 1
Visitors will soon be able to reserve and stay overnight in the cabins located in Haleakalā Crater. Reservations for wilderness cabins Hōlua and Kapalaoa go live on Recreation.gov beginning July 1, 2021 at 7 a.m. HST.
Wilderness cabins were previously issued through this advance reservation system. A new change is that cabin users are no longer required to check-in at the Headquarters Visitor Center and can start their trip on the reserved date once they have acquired their permit. Cabin reservations cannot be made in park or in person and must be made online.
Due to the ongoing drought and water shortages, the remote Palikū wilderness cabin remains temporarily closed. Backpackers staying at Palikū wilderness campsites are advised to pack in water or fill up at Kapalaoa prior to arriving at Palikū campground as water may not be available. Palikū and Hōlua wilderness campsites and Hosmer Grove Campground are open and available through Recreation.gov. The drive-up Kīpahulu Campground remains closed at this time.
Reserve Your Wilderness Cabin in Advance: Visitors wishing to reserve a wilderness cabin in the park at Palikū or Kapalaoa cabins will be able to do so by visiting Recreation.gov beginning July 1, 2021 at 7 a.m. HST. Reservations can be made up to 6 months in advance and will be available on a rolling six-month basis thereafter.
Visitors must create an account on the Recreation.gov website prior to making wilderness cabin reservations. Those who already have an account are encouraged to confirm their login and password information. This is the same reservation site to obtain a sunrise reservation, wilderness campsite, and drive-up campsite at Hosmer Grove in Haleakalā National Park.
The cost is $75 per night, for a maximum stay of three nights per 30-day period. In following CDC recommendations for building occupancy standards during the COVID-19 Pandemic, cabin capacities have been temporarily reduced to a maximum of 4 occupants. There are only 4 bunks available in the cabins for use. Cabin reservation holders should not exceed this 4-person limit. Camping outside the cabin in non-designated camping space is prohibited. Cabin permits are non-transferable. A printed reservation from the confirmation email must be carried at all times by the trip leader.
Research the Wilderness Cabins in Advance: Hōlua and Kapalaoa wilderness cabins are in Haleakalā Crater within the designated wilderness area of the park. All sites are accessible by backpacking only and in areas that are extremely remote. Pit toilets and water is available near the cabin (see warnings above regarding current Palikū water shortages). All water is non-potable and must be filtered or treated before drinking. During times of drought (summer months) water must be packed in. Cabins are primitive, with each cabin containing a wood-burning stove, propane stove, and four padded bunks. There is no electricity in the cabin. Shared cookware, bedding, or extra logs are not available and must be brought in by wilderness cabin users. All wilderness cabin reservation holders must carry all gear and equipment by foot. Although some amenities, such as propane and firewood, may be available, we cannot guarantee this nor what quantities you will find when you arrive. All wilderness cabin users should be prepared for cold backcountry conditions with backup cold weather camping gear, portable light sources, and a camp cookstove. Wilderness cabins are primitive and not regularly cleaned or maintained by the NPS. Cabin users are advised to backpack in their own cleaning supplies to sanitize the cabins before and after use. Please carry out all trash and cleaning materials.
Backpacking to the Wilderness Cabins: The cabins are located in remote and primitive locations requiring strenuous hiking with elevation changes from 9,780 feet to a low of 6,380 feet. The Hōlua wilderness cabin is at 6,940 feet in elevation located in the shrubland near Koʻolau Gap. Hōlua is 3.7 miles one-way down the Halemauʻu Trail or 7.4 miles one-way from the Keoneheʻeheʻe (Sliding Sands) Trailhead. The Kapalaoa wilderness cabin is at 7,250 feet in elevation on the southern edge of the Haleakalā Crater. The cabin is reached via a strenuous 5.5 miles one-way hike on the Keoneheʻeheʻe (Sliding Sands) Trail or 7.2 miles one-way on Halemauʻu Trail.
Plan for Unpredictable Weather: The wilderness area in Haleakalā Crater is remote and subject to unpredictable weather. Temperatures vary from 40°F to 70°F during the day and 30°F to 50°F at night. Plan for rain at all times of the year. If it is stormy, winds can exceed 80 mph with temperatures dropping well below freezing. Collecting firewood in the park is not permitted.
Filter Your Water: Hōlua and Kapalaoa have non-potable water available for use via water catchment tanks (rainwater collected from metal shelter roofs). This water must be filtered or treated prior to consumption.
Leave No Trace: All hikers are required to pack out everything they pack in. Do not leave your trash in the cabins, bury your trash, or discard it in pit toilets—pack it out. Practice “leave no trace” camping. All fires are prohibited. Upon receiving your reservation, watch the Leave No Trace video for helpful tips on how you can help protect Haleakalā Crater.
Establish a Trip Plan: Cell phone connectivity in the wilderness area of the Haleakalā Crater is not available. Prior to any trip, all backpackers should leave a trip plan with another person that includes the details of the time and locations they plan to hike. Make sure this person understands that should you become lost or injured on the trail, they are your only link to help and should report you overdue if you fail to contact them by a predesignated time. If lost, stay where you are. Use bright colors and reflective materials to attract attention.
For more information on wilderness cabins in Haleakalā National Park, visit: www.nps.gov/hale/planyourvisit/wilderness-cabins.htm