Haleakala National Park Hiking Trails
Haleakala's summit area and its barren moon-like landscape is a real treat for the senses. But if after exploring that region you find yourself longing for the company of green trees and vegetation, a hike among the Hosmer Grove Loop Trail's cedar, spruce, pine, eucalyptus, and more will surely be a pleasant adventure.
Hosmer Grove Trail is located (just barely) inside Haleakala National Park. At approximately mile marker 10.5 on Highway 378, just after entering the park, you'll want to turn left to the start of the Hosmer Grove trail.
At about 0.3 miles down the road (on the right) you may notice one of Hawaii's famous sandalwood trees. The sandalwood has a long history in Hawaii and was once very precious in China for making incense and aromatic woodcarvings. In the 1800s the Pacific sailing ship trade practically obliterated the Hawaiian sandalwood forests. Today, you can still find sandalwood pits in Hawaii where the trunks of the trees were stored. The pits were made to resemble the cargo areas of the ships the trees were transported in.
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At this same location, you'll also find our feature attraction for this stop, a half-mile-long nature trail that winds through a very intriguing forest of introduced trees not native to Hawaii. It was back in 1910 that Ralph Hosmer planted this and other groves of trees such as eucalyptus from Australia, sugi pine from Japan, deodar from India, Douglas fir, and several species of pine from mainland United States, along with other species, in hopes of introducing a timber industry as well as reestablishing the watershed.
Today the grove presents the existing and continual dilemma of the struggle between native plants and introduced species in the Hawaiian Islands. The Haleakala National Park Service labors intensively to make sure none of the non-native plants escape the grove, and the native vegetation in the surrounding area continues to grow and thrive. A lot of the trees are labeled on the short walk through the grove. Pick up a brochure at the beginning of the trail that will guide you along. Or print a copy of the brochure and map now by downloading a copy of the NPS Hosmer Grove Brochure.
Note that the Supply Trail also begins on the road that leads to Hosmer Grove. You can read more about that hike on our Supply Trail page.
Remember to stay on the marked trail and keep an eye out for birds, as the native iiwi and apapane are both fairly common here. Happy hiking!
Other Haleakala Tours
Here at HawaiiGuide, we have explored not only the Hosmer Grove Loop Trail, but also many areas in Haleakala National Park and Upcountry Maui. And while we have enjoyed our independent adventures, we must acknowledge that a guided tour is simply the best way to see the sights. That’s why we have handpicked what we feel are the best Haleakala tours you’ll find anywhere… whether you’re looking to hike and explore the waterfalls, zipline over the rainforest, to take the bike ride of a lifetime. Make sure to book your Haleakala and Upcountry Maui tour soon, as these highly-rated adventures can fill up fast!
Upcountry Maui & Haleakala Information
Want even more information about the Upcountry Maui area? Looking for the best Haleakala summit sights? How about a nice place to birdwatch? Wondering what makes a silversword so unique? You’ll find answers to all these questions and more in this section. You’ll also notice we’ve included several articles on hiking trails we have enjoyed, as well.