Haleakala National Park Elopement Guide
Haleakala National Park encompasses the highest and lowest parts of Maui’s east side. The Haleakala elopement locations are split into two districts: the Summit district and the coastal Kipahulu district. These areas are as vastly different as they are stunningly beautiful. Join me as I take you on a tour of these places and hopefully inspire you to elope here! See a Hawaiian engagement session on Maui here!
The Hawaiian Islands & Being ‘Pono’
Hawaii is a sacred place. The history of Hawaii, and the USA’s colonization of the islands, is a brutal but important read. When visiting the islands, it’s vital to understand and practice being Pono. Pono means putting your innate conscience first. Always deciding to do the right thing in terms of self, others, and the environment. It is an understanding that we all have, akin to following your gut feeling. We must always tread lightly and with respect. Getting married in the wild comes with other conscious decisions to leave the land better than we found it. No confetti, litter, noise, or other impact to the land shall be allowed. I have taken the Hawaiian Pono Pledge. I hope that you will also take this pledge when you choose to elope on Hawaii.
Haleakala’s Summit District
The Summit district is up the world’s steepest road. In just 37 miles, the road climbs from nearly sea level up to over 10,000 feet. On the way up or down, don’t miss a stop at Hosmer Grove if you’re a nature lover. While the eucalyptus trees aren’t native to Maui, the forest is gorgeous. The Hawaiian i’iwi bird, a bright red honeycreeper, will make your heart flutter when you see it. At the top of the winding road, the payoffs are huge. The land here may look tough, with its black and brown lava rock crumble substrate. But it’s actually an extremely fragile ecosystem. The Haleakala Silversword is found nowhere else on earth, so tread carefully here! You will feel like you are walking on the moon in this unique place.
Summit District Elopement Locations
There are five elopement sites in the Summit district, and most overlook the Haleakala crater. You can elope at the Visitor Center Overlook, which is fenced. Red Hill is the busiest area, and where you’re most likely to see a dramatic cloud inversion. Pā Ka’oao hill is my favorite location, where a short spiral rock staircase takes you to a cleared area overlooking the vast volcanic area. Kalahaku lookout is a great second choice. And the covered Leleiwi Overlook location has a black cliff and is reached after a half mile hike.
Kipahulu District Elopement Locations
This coastal area of Haleakala National Park can only be reached after your choice of long and winding road. Either the popular Road to Hana or “the back way” around the volcano. I’ve done both ways and I’d be happy to let you know which one I prefer. This area is not for swimming, so don’t be fooled by the gorgeous waters. The pounding surf is best enjoyed from the cliffs. The short, coastal hike to the Pools of Oheo / Seven Sacred Pools will make you feel like you’re in paradise. This is a great spot to stop for photos after your elopement at the nearby Kuloa point or Kipahulu campground. These Haleakala elopement locations are best for couples who want an ocean background.
Pipiwai Trail & Waterfalls
While you can’t elope here in the National Park, you can and should include this world class hike in your elopement day. Culminating in the incredible Waimoku falls, this trail is enough to get you sweating without taking all day. The boardwalk through the Bamboo forest was a huge highlight for me. Elsewhere on the coast, you can enjoy a black pebble beach and a waterfall that tumbles directly into the ocean.
How to elope at Haleakala National Park
Most months and seasons will be possible in this tropical island. Because most visitors to the park are already on vacation, there may be no significant advantage to eloping on a weekend. The permit to elope here is just $150 and you can start the process and learn more here. Make sure to apply for your ceremony permit in advance, and get your sunrise reservations as early as possible if you want a morning elopement. So, which of these Haleakala elopement locations is your favorite? If none of these spots seem quite right for you, stay tuned for my Maui Elopement Guide for more ideas.
I’m a nomadic and colorful elopement photographer with an obsession for mountains, hiking, and my cats. My photography style emphasizes the epic landscape of your dreams and the authentic moments that make you two.. well, you two! I love my job and my nature-loving clients. Haleakala is an extremely diverse National Park unlike any other. Maybe I’ll see you there!
I offer full day, 1.5 day and 2 day elopement photography in National Parks and the wild lands outside of them. See my pricing and package details here. I would love to chat with you and help see if an elopement with me is what you’ve been dreaming of. Get in touch below!
Here’s a preview of my interactive Haleakala elopement locations map for my booked clients:
This map is like a virtual tour of Haleakala National Park with color photos I’ve taken of each place. So you can see all the great spots without leaving your living room. If you’re planning from afar, this is a visual key to picking out the elopement spot that works for you. Details like what seasons and time of day are best for each location are included. So this will help you plan your activities, accommodations, and your day’s itinerary. Lastly, it’s easy to have a great backup location picked out with this map in front of you. Having that Plan B in your back pocket will keep your planning stress-free!