How will the government shutdown affect a trip to Maui?
October 4, 2013 10:14 AM   Subscribe

I'll be traveling to Maui next week and just realized that there will be some closures due to the government shutdown. It looks like Haleakala will be closed - does that just cover visitor centers and bathrooms and such, or will the entire park be physically inaccessible? Any portions of the Road to Hana affected? What else should I be aware of, either on Maui or about air travel in general during this time? Thanks!
posted by mshrike to Travel & Transportation around Maui, HI (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The TSA didn't anticipate longer wait times for screenings during the shutdown. Looks like the FAA still has a lot of essential employees working. From CNN:

Airport security personnel are considered essential, so travelers please continue to follow Transportation Security Administration rules about liquids, shoes and other restrictions at the airport.

Air traffic controllers, some safety inspectors and other essential employees will "continue working in order to maintain the safety of the national airspace system," said the Federal Aviation Administration, in an e-mailed statement. "Safety is our top priority."

Most immigration, border and customs employees are also considered essential personnel, which means passport controls at U.S. borders and points of entry like airports and cruise ports -- should be unaffected by the shutdown.

Other FAA projects, including facility security inspections, routine personnel security background investigations and development of the next generation of air traffic control technology, will be placed on hold.

However, I would assume most of Haleakalā National Park will be physically inaccessible. I am guessing they will lock all the gates and parking lots for safety & security reasons.

The road to Hana is mostly state-owned or privately-owned property per Hawaii Revealed.

But if you are planning on visiting the famous Seven Sacred Pools ('Ohe'o Gulch) just past Hana, I am thinking you are also out of luck as that is also part of Haleakala National Park.

From KHON2:

All visitor facilities in the park’s Summit and Kīpahulu Districts, including buildings, overlooks, trails, campgrounds, cabins, streams, pools, parking lots, and roads, are closed to park visitors.

The park will remain closed until the government reopens.

Visitors should call 808-572-4400 for the latest updates.

A tourist in Maui who tried to go there confirms on TripAdvisor (scroll to #26).
posted by kathryn at 10:45 AM on October 4, 2013

All national parks in all 50 states are closed: that includes ALL of each park's grounds, its visitor centers, campgrounds, bathrooms, trails and anything else; no, you will not be permitted to physically enter any part of the park. (Even if a park's parking lot *appears* accessible & open, don't park there! If it's part of the park, judging by what's happening in my area you are likely to be ticketed.) Park rangers will be there --- unpaid, but they'll be there --- to enforce the closure.
posted by easily confused at 4:49 PM on October 4, 2013

We have driven the Road to Hana and since it is a public road I don't anticipate any part of it should be shut for you. Good luck!
posted by onlyconnect at 8:44 PM on October 4, 2013

kathryn has it correct. I am in Maui right now and both Haleakala National Park and Seven Sacred Pools are a no go, but there are no issues on the road to Hana.

I am here for two more days and am hoping for a quick resolution, but realize it is unlikely.
posted by Arch_Stanton at 12:04 AM on October 7, 2013

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