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Visits to Haleakala declined 67.9% in 2020

Hikers make their way along the Keonehe‘ehe‘e Trail, or Sliding Sands Trail. Visits to Haleakala National Park declined 67.9 percent last year after extended closures due to the pandemic. — JIN PRUGSAWAN photo

Haleakala National Park saw a 67.9 percent decline in visitors in 2020 following extended closures because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year, 319,147 people visited the park, down from the 994,394 people who came in 2019, according to National Park Service data. The last time visitation was this low was in 1972, when there were 271,326 visits, the park said in a news release Thursday.

Of the 423 parks in the National Park System, 66 were fully closed for two months or more last year. Haleakala shut down in March at the beginning of the pandemic and reopened with limited access in May. The Kipahulu District reopened in July and all crater trails were available for day use starting in September.

All hiking trails, overlooks and open spaces are now open and available for day use, Haleakala Superintendent Natalie Gates said.

Face masks are required in all National Park Service buildings and facilities. Masks are also required on federally managed lands when physical distancing cannot be maintained, including narrow or busy trails, overlooks and parking lots.

Two people hike near Halemau‘u Trail in Haleakala National Park. All hiking trails, overlooks and open spaces are now open and available for day use. — JIN PRUGSAWAN photo

“When it is safe to do so, we look forward to resuming normal operations in the future,” Gates said. “We thank those who have come together to keep each other safe during the coronavirus pandemic. The support and patience from our local community and visitors is noticed and appreciated.”

Haleakala Crater trails are open for day use in the Summit District, while the Kipahulu District is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. All visitor centers and campgrounds remain closed.

For more information, visit www.nps.gov/hale.

To learn more about supporting the park, visit www. haleakalaconservancy.org.

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