The Sliding Sands to Halemau’u Trail is an 11.2 mile-long hike that starts at the Haleakalā Visitor Center, descends around 2400 feet in elevation to the volcanic crater floor where it flattens out before climbing 1400 feet back up.
Here are a couple of things to keep in mind before you head out on the trail.
The starting point for this trail is at the summit of the Haleakalā volcano near the visitor center. From there it travels for 3.9 miles along the Sliding Sands Trail into a former volcano eruption zone.
In this section you will see amazing views of the bare volcanic landscape, red hills, and volcanic cinder cones that look so unique and out of this planet.
Going down these switchbacks is fast and easy, but they can be quite misleading. If at any point you decide to turn around, the climb back up is slow and difficult and can make you feel winded from the altitude.
If you plan to visit the Haleakalā National Park I recommend staying in Kihei which is a 1.5-hour drive from the volcano summit.