Check out the Waihee Ridge Trail or Makawao Forest as an alternative.
Sliding Sands trail in Haleakala "crater" is spectacular. A very different landscape to most trails. The hike down is easy, but going up gets tiring. Double the time to go up as it takes going down, so keep that in mind when deciding on where to stop and turn around. I wouldn't suggest it with young kids unless you want to hear them whine about how tired/hot they are on the way back up. It's an exposed trail with no shade or water. Despite near freezing temps at night, it can be quite warm in the afternoons.Edited: 17 June 2013, 17:56
The Pipiwai trail is a great hike to a spectacular destination. If you don't stop along the road to Hana it will not take you all day to get there, but it will take over 2 hours anyway, one way.
The Kapalua Coastal Trail is much easier and very scenic, but very hot! There's no shade on it. We did it in the hot afternoon, but if I were to do it again it would be early morning. Very different from the Pipiwai trail which has plenty of shade, a stream crossing and the fabulous falls at the end. I didn't find it particularly difficult either but it is mostly all up hill on the way to the falls - bonus being that it is mostly downhill on the way back. Trail took us about 2 hours round trip.
Thanks for all the great suggestions!!
Have a wonderful vacation!!!
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