Maui News

Three mules retiring from work at Haleakalā after combined 30 years of service

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Mule on Halemauʻu Trail. NPS Photo

Three mules, employed at Haleakalā National Park, are eyeing their retirement after a combined 30 years of service.

Justine, Lōkahi, and Ricki, along with their human co-worker, Anne-Marie, are moving on to other adventures. Anne Marie will transition to employment at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial.

During their time together, Anne-Marie and the mules helped to preserve and protect more than 30 miles of trails and numerous facilities throughout Haleakalā National Park. 

“During her five years at Haleakalā, Anne-Marie has made outstanding contributions to our trails program and especially to our mule packing program. Her abilities and insights help make our program more efficient, safer, and more mule-friendly,” said Maintenance Supervisor Matt Padgett. 

Horses and mules have long played a critical role in the preservation of our public lands. In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps used mules to safely transport lumber, tools, and other supplies into Haleakalā Crater. Today, campgrounds, trails, backcountry cabins, and other facilities require maintenance and repair. Employees like Anne-Marie pack and load the mules and care for them during their treks into the wilderness. 

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Due to its Congressional designation as wilderness, established roads and motorized vehicles are not legally permitted in Haleakalā Crater. A wilderness designation is given to areas with remarkable natural qualities that are relatively free from the effects of modern civilization and provide opportunities for solitude and quiet. 

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Haleakalā National Park currently has a team of nine mules.

Mule Train ascending Halemauʻu Trail. NPS Photo
Anne-Marie and Lead Mules on Halemauʻu Trail. NPS Photo

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