Hiking The Kaupo Gap Trail
The 22nd most popular hiking trail in Hawaii.
Tuesday 26 July 2016 05:08 GMT
On the southeast side of Maui in Haleakala National Park, the 20 mile Kaupo Gap route is an awesome trek from the summit down 10,000 feet to the ocean.
To reach the trailhead from Wailuku or Kahului, head east on SR37 (Haleakala Highway) for about 11 miles to Pukalani. Turn left heading east on SR377 (also Haleakala Highway) for about 6 miles. Turn left heading east on SR378 (Crater Road) for about 10 miles to the Hosmer Grover Trailhead.
Here are some notes on adventuring in Hawaii. First, unlike mainland forests, the tropical island forests can grow very dense and can mask dropoffs. Plus, the trails can be very wet and slick most of the year (December to February is the main rainy season, but expect rain all year round). Stay on the trail to avoid disorientation. Second, speaking of disorientation, be aware that most Hawaiian topographic maps use the Old Hawaiian Datum. When trying to use the latitude/longitude from those maps with a GPS unit, you will think you are 0.4 miles south/southeast of where you really are. Kind of important in a dense jungle. Third, the bacteria Leptospirosis is found in the local waters and mud. It causes flu like symptoms within 2-20 days of contact, and can be fatal if not treated with antibiotics. Fourth, when hiking about, walking sticks can be very helpful for stablity in the slick conditions, for probing mud hole depths and clearing webs of the tiny crab spider.
Overall, Kaupo Gap Trail is the 22nd most popular hiking trail of all 45 hikes in Hawaii. Several of the better hiking trails are nearby Kaupo Gap Trail including Sliding Sands, Mamane Trail, Piilani Trail, Hana-Waianapanapa Coast Trail, Pipiwai Trail and Polipoli Loop.