Top 10 Hikes on Maui
For those who may wish to explore Maui by foot, there are an abundance of trails at your disposal.
Hikes on Maui can range from easy walks along the coastline, to more advanced hikes that require more experience and stamina. Whatever experience you may be in search of, Maui has it!
Kapalua Coastal Trail
One of the perks of staying at The Ridge Villas is the easy access to the Kapalua® Coastal Trail. This 3.5-mile trail winds its way along some of the most stunning coastline in all Maui.
The trail can be accessed from several different locations. However, we suggest beginning at either the Oneloa Beach access at Kapalua Bay, or, at Fleming beach. There is free parking at both locations; however, it is a pretty easy walk from your front door.
From either access, you will see a path and signs that will direct you along the Kapalua® coastline. The trail changes from pavement to lava rock, and from time to time, a boardwalk. Along the trail you will see some of the most beautiful vistas of the island of Molokai and Lanai, of Fleming beach, and of the Oneloa and Kapalua® beaches. You will also see our Honus (sea turtles) floating in the inlets along the pathway. During whale season you are in for a special treat! Looking out from the trail, it is not unusual to see the great humpback whales at play!
Village Walking Trails
The Village Walking Trails is another wonderful hike that is a little more challenging than the Kapalua Coastal Trail. This trail will take you along the golf cart path of the old Village Golf Course in Kapalua®. There are two options, either a 1.5-mile cardio loop, or a 3.6-mile lake loop. Take a bit of bread along because once you reach the lake, there’s a surprise in store. Toss some bread out and dozens of fish, before unseen, mob the surface! And the birds are grateful for anything left over.
To access the Village Trail, simply walk or park at the Kapalua® Village Center, then walk on the paved path to the underpass. There you will find trail signs that will direct you to your preferred destination.
Mahana Ridge Trail
Another hike that is popular with guests, is the Mahana Ridge Trail which joins up with the Maunalei Arboretum Trail. Much of the mountainside was planted back in the 1920s with a large variety of different plant species from all over the world, which is what makes this round trip 20-mile hike so fascinating. D.T. Fleming was the general manager of Honolua ranch during that time, and made it his passion to preserve the watershed with the introduction of these species. During your hike, you will come across some of the most exotic flora and fauna, as well as coconut trees, guava trees, papaya and coffee trees, plus many others.
This is a strenuous hike and not for beginners. You can hike the trail on your own, or you can take a guided tour provided by the Ambassadors of the Environment at the Ritz Carlton.
The Nakalele Blowhole is a beautiful sight, and is very close to Kapalua. The drive is a gorgeous one; you are presented with views of some of the most spectacular and rugged terrain you’ll ever encounter on the island. From Kapalua head northeast on Highway 30. You will drive for around 15 to 20 minutes until you see a dirt pullout between mile marker 38 and 39. Park here and walk down the 1.2-mile trail until you see a large rocky area surrounding the blowhole next to the ocean.
DO NOT get near the blowhole. Stay away at a safe distance as it is very dangerous to get too close. Many people have lost their lives getting too close to the blowhole and the water’s edge. Make sure to wear sturdy shoes. We recommend turning around shortly after the blowhole and returning back to Kapalua the way you came. Continuing to drive clockwise from that point can be a tad hairy as there are sharp drop-offs and not a lot of places to turn out.
Lahaina Pali Trail
This beautiful and rugged hike (choose 5 or 10 mile) will show you a different side of Maui with beautiful panoramic views of the central valley and neighboring islands.
There are two access points to the trail, one on Maalaea side, and one closer to the Lahaina side where the Pali road begins at Ukumehame. You can either hike from one end and back again, or hike half way and back. If you are planning on only hiking half of the trail, we suggest beginning at the Maalaea side because of the beautiful views!
This hike is for more experienced hikers. Be sure to bring plenty of water as there is no shade and can get hot.
This trail was built in the early 1800s for foot travel between Lahaina and Wailuku. There are many historical markers along the trail as you go.
Haleakala Sliding Sands Trail
Haleakala Sliding Sands Trail features some of the most beautiful and unique views on all Maui. This 11-mile trail takes hikers inside Haleakala crater, surrounded by unworldly formations and colors.
The trail departs at an altitude of 10,023 feet, and descends into the crater. This trail is for the more experienced hikers, as weather conditions can change drastically and the trail can be rugged at some points.
For those lucky enough to spend the night in the cabins inside the crater, awarded on a lottery-based system, this trail will lead you to your cabins for the evening.
Be sure to bring plenty of water, a warm jacket if needed, hiking shoes and food.
Iao Valley State Park
Iao Valley State Monument is a historical site for Hawaii. It was here that King Kamehameha defeated the Maui army, which eventually lead to his success in uniting the Hawaiian Islands. It is said the stream running through this valley, Iao Stream, ran red with the blood of the fallen warriors.
When visiting Iao Valley, you will immediately notice its focal point, Iao Needle. This tall piece of land stands high above the valley and is one of Maui`s most famous landmarks.
Two trails are available for hiking. One short trail will take you to Iao Needle lookout; the other short trail is used to instruct visitors about the flora and fauna of the plants that were brought to Maui.
Pipiwai Trail and Waimoku Falls
Pipiwai Trail might be one of the most recognizable hiking trails on Maui. It’s simply the best!
Featuring a giant, majestic bamboo forest, stunning waterfalls, sparkling streams and lush, tropical landscapes, Pipiwai Trail offers it all!
Located off of the Hana Highway, this 4-mile round-trip trail takes approximately 2 ½ to 5 hours to complete, depending on often you stop to explore. There are several waterfalls along the way, with Waimoku Falls being the highlight. The falls drop 400 ft down a sheer lava rock cliff, a spectacular sight if there ever was one!
If you have time for just one hike, the Pipiwai Trail is it!
Twin Falls is located off of the Hana Highway outside of Paia and features 1 to 1.5 miles of walking trails. This trail is privately owned, yet the owner, Wailele Farms, keeps the trail open for the public. There is no admittance charge.
This beautiful trail is a quick and easy hike and great for families of all ages. Hike on your own, or take guided tour by Wailele Farms. Their tours last about an hour and take guests into their farm, as well as to Twin Falls.
When visiting, be sure to stop by their famous snack stand located near the entry of Twin Falls. This is a great place to grab some fresh fruit and produce from the farm, as well as smoothies, fresh baked goods and more.
These falls are small by measure compared to others awaiting in Hana, but they are a great stop on your way over.
Waihee Ridge Trail
|Waihee Ridge Trail is a breathtaking and scenic hike that begins in Wailuku and offers spectacular views deep into the valleys of the back side of the West Maui Mountains and the ocean beyond.
Waihee Ridge Trail is considered to be one of the best hikes on all Maui, and for good reason.
The 5-mile roundtrip hike ascends 1500 ft through lush, tropical forests and will have you feel as though you can touch the clouds!
This hike is considered to be moderate but it is still important to bring sturdy hiking shoes as it can get muddy and slippery. Start early in the day and leave the flip flops at home!