Haleakala Crater is waiting for families to enjoy it’s unique environment.  If you have older children the steep switch back trail or Halemau’u Trail that begins below the summit has dramatic scenery into Ko’olau Gap and it’s rainforest. The trail bottoms out in shrub land and lava where it passes Holua Cabin 3.7 miles in, which is a great place for wilderness camping or an overnight stay in the cabin. If you’re wilderness camping overnight you can get a free permit at the Parks headquarter from 8am-3pm. Go to https://fhnp.org/wcr for cabin reservations.

If you have young children, Hosmer Grove, just inside the park’s entrance has a fun 10 minute bird watching trail. A quick jaunt down the Sliding Sands Trail at the summit will take some energy out of their little muscles. There’s also a hike from Hosmer’s into the Waikamoi Preserve that is great for children. The National Park Service leads hikes through Waikamoi Preserve every Monday and Thursday morning at 8:45 am on the Bird Loop Trail, and on the 3rd Sunday of every month at 11:45 on the Boardwalk Trail. Reservations are required. Call 572-4459 between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm  for more information.To find out more of what the park has to offer at both the summit and at the ocean in Kipahulu go to www.nps.gov/hale/index.htm