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  1. #1
    Senior Member hikingjer's Avatar
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    Smile if you ever want to hang on Maui, Hawaii

    It seems Maui, Hawaii would be good for hammock hanging since the climate is warm and alot of the island is wet and forested. However, I was there last week for 7 days, with only 1 night in a hotel, and was only able to hang 1 night.

    I did a dayhike and an overnight backpack trip in Haleakala National Park. The dayhike was on the Sliding Sands Trail down/back up from the summit. I camped 2 nights at Hosmer Grove Campground. This campground stinks. It's just a small, crowded, sloping grassy area that collects a lot of water from frequent rains. You're way too close to your neighbors. Since camping is limited to the small grassy area there's no good place to pitch a hammock. But, it's the only thing around. Atleast, there was water, covered picnic tables and clean NPS outhouses. And, it's free and the only place to camp in the area.

    The backpack was out to Paliku backcountry camp on the Halemau'u Trail. Paliku was mostly windy and rainy but it did clear off for an hour or so. There's only 1 site at Paliku where you could pitch a hammock and it's close to the cabin. Unfortunately, it was occupied by a tent when I arrived. The hike out next day was soggy and windy.

    Kipahulu Campground south of Hana on the wettest side is a very nice campground. It may be possible to hang just inside the treeline on a 2-3 sites but 2 were taken. Tree size and spacing was poor. People camped in the middle of the loop had a hammock hung on the multi-branched tree but I wouldn't count on getting that one campsite. They hung their lounging hammock among several branches of the large tree in the middle of the campground. There were mosquitoes and flies in the strip of forest so I decided to deal with the wind and tent it out in the open, grassy area.

    Last 2 nights I camped at the private campground Camp Olowalu 6 miles south of Lahaina on Maui's west shore. Camp Olowalu's webpage here . I tented one night and a thorn tore a gash in my fancy new UL Therma Rest air mattress and tiny 1-person tent's floor. So, last night I was able to hang in the brushy coastal forest. Boy, was it more comfortable than sleeping on the ground!



    Camp Olowalu is cheap at $10 a night. Highly recommended to rent a kayak and paddle out to the reef and go snorkeling. There's also a cool trail running north to the old sugar mill site on Olowalu Beach. Downside on this private campground is that you can always hear the traffic on the highway and the outhouses are inadequate for the number of campers. The showers were fine. There are permanent campers living at this campground, probably beach hobos and resort employees who can't afford a place to live. They were fine and didn't cause any trouble for me.

    Pretty pictures of this week in Maui are at my Flickr set for Maui

    I don't know about hanging or camping on other areas of Maui. There's state land called Polipoli southwest of Haleakala Park with a campground. May require 4WD access (?). Don't know about the West Maui Reserve lands either.
    Last edited by hikingjer; 04-21-2010 at 23:42. Reason: add in a Kipahulu CG hanging spot

  2. #2
    mbiraman's Avatar
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    Nice pics. Some beautiful country .
    " The mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it."

    “The measure of your life will not be in what you accumulate, but in what you give away.” ~Wayne Dyer

    www.birchsidecustomwoodwork.com

  3. #3
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    I lived in Hawaii in the mid 70s. I used to do some day hikes on Oahu but never camped out. Started out getting a bit lost on some trails until I finally figured out the turns to malka or makai were not north or south east or west but toward the sea or toward the mountains.

    One of the guys on the submarine crew was an avid backpacker. We had 30 days off at the end of each sub patrol so plenty of time for a single guy to go off on long hikes.

    He started out getting space available flights to Australia and then later to New Zealand after points of interest in Australia became to long of a train ride to see much but outback desert.

    Later he started doing hikes closer to home. I still remember seeing the pictures he had taken during a hike at Haleakala park. A lot of them similar to your pictures. Rain forest on one side and desert on the other.

    He had a set of pictures with panoramic 360 degree view from some point in the park where you could see the vegetation change from green to desert and then back to green. Turning and snapping off pictures with just a slight overlap. I often wanted to join him but abandoning my wife after being gone 3 months was a price to high for me to pay. Besides the rest of Hawaii was fun for me, us , my wife and me. Though some guys never got over rock fever. For me even an island was spacious after being locked inside a steel tube for 72 days at sea.

    Great pics. Thanks for posting them. Guess if I go back for a visit I might as well leave the hammock at home though.

    D

  4. #4
    Senior Member hikingjer's Avatar
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    Yeah, the rain shadow is remarkably abrupt on Maui and the other islands. The land will go from rainforest to shrubland to dry shrub/grass within a few miles. Plus, the volcanic soils that drain water quickly make the ground even drier for vegetation. It's amazing.

    -------------------------------

    Off trail hiking is illegal in Haleakala N.P. and there's no backcountry camping in the forested part near Kipahulu which really eliminates hammock hanging.

    I took a short hike in Waianapanapa State Park northwest of Hana. There's good camping there after all the day tourists are gone. But, trees are large and spaced far apart in the camping area. I don't know if the state park staff would allow hammock hanging.

    Polipoli Spring state area has camping with potential hammock hanging. Since I didn't go there, I don't know if there are trees next to or within the camping area.

    In general, camping is limited to designated spots on Maui which drastically restricts where a hammock can be hung. It's not like other places such as mainland US national forests where you can usually camp wherever you want.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Dropping in several months later...

    I was told Polipoli requires 4WD. It's mostly scrub and timber plantations, tho, and I'd think hunters and maybe motorbikers will be the primary visitors. Apparently there are still feral cattle wandering in there, too.

    "Hosmer's Grove" is just a token offering by the park, at best. The area is cramped into a corner of the non-native timber plantation right next to a parking lot, and can be full of really loud groups on some days. No point in staying there as far as I'm concerned. Aside from the crater trails, if that's your kind of thing, Haleakala is a small and not very visitor friendly park. You're expected to drive up and gawk at the big hole in the ground for a few minutes and then go back down to Kihei just like the rest of the casual tourists. It's a shame people are locked out of the native wilderness on Maui, but they cut/grazed far too much of it down in the old days and what's left is pretty gnarly.

    Yes, generally camping is illegal in the forest reserves here. You can get away with stealth/guerilla camping on the big island if you don't use fire or piss off the hunters. (some of the hunters are very sore they can't camp anymore, and could take it personally)
    Last edited by bkrownd; 10-07-2010 at 18:39.

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