Never will take Sliding Sand Trail again!

Trip Start Jul 02, 2013
Trip End Jul 09, 2013

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Where I stayed
VRBO, Pukalani
What I did
Sliding Sand Trail
Haleakala Visitor Center (9740 ft)
Park Headquarters Visitor Center (7000 ft)

Flag of United States  , Hawaii
Sunday, July 7, 2013

OK, I'm not going to write much about today.  Pictures will tell the story!

In a nutshell,
  • We're not fans of sliding sand trail.  7 miles one way to the valley, then same route back.  We only did 7.5 miles total, decided to turn around after agreeing the prospect is dire.  One can see trail miles ahead, it's like driving on the road in the middle of nowhere.  Kicking red dirt/sliding sand all the way down, and worse yet, one needs to take the same way back, uphill.  No shade, high elevation (9,000 feet plus), better conserve water, and put LOTS of suntan lotion & equipped with big floppy hat.  Oh, be prepared to wash the sneakers/hiking boots after the hike.  Our socks are still brown after many loads of bleach.  No wonder Hawaiian use the red dirt to dye the shirt - can't wash off!
  • Gorgeous looking silversword: cousin of CA tarweed, which one can find plenty along CA highway.  Though there's no resemblance, unless you are a floral expert and could tell if two floral species are related by looking at their petal structure.  There's a person wrote a thesis about Silversword v.s CA tarweed.  The plant flowers once in life, then die afterwards.
  • Rewards of kicking the sliding sand trail: silversword (one of the kind in the world, could only find here at Haleakala National Park), and beautiful picturesque view! 
If you're really into losing some weight and getting the beautiful tan most people envy, this will be the trail for you!  I personally prefer the Kilauea Iki Trail at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Big Island) much better.  A good mix of rainforest & rugged volcano rocks.  Or maybe it's because it was February last time we visited.......Definitely will pay the visit to the Hana side entrance next time.  A lot more lush there, which means "lots of rain"!

We're going to come back to the Park tomorrow morning and take the ranger led walk to Cloud Forest @ Hosmer Grove.  Heard it's a lot of shady, misty, and good place to observe birds.  Not looking forward to the windy road up & down, though.

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