The Kaupo Trail is very different than the Oheo Gulch hike. You will find Kaupo’s steep trail is missing the lushness, waterfalls and swimming spots found at the Pools of Oheo Gulch . The Kaupo Trail hike is exposed so pack accordingly for this rough and steep terrain. It intersects with other trails once in the crater. Don’t kid yourself, going up into the gap is a challenging climb. In fact, it’s so challenging that most people choose to start at the summit and travel their way down. It takes a full two days to complete the entire hike. Cabins are available in the crater but they must be booked well in advance. You’ll trek through a Koa forest and be awed by the breathtaking views when looking towards the Big Island.
The Kaupo Gap is located high up on the slopes Haleakala. This side of the island is the shortest distance from sea level to the summit. Many believed the Gap was caused by a volcanic eruption similar to what happened at Mount St. Helens in Washington, but science has recently discovered this was the result of wind and rain’s power to erode. Erosion was the cause of the gap in Haleakala’s crater wall. The Gap is also home to a small moth which only thrives high up in the Gap at about the 3,400 foot level. They rely on live lichens, which can be found growing on the rocks in the Gap.