Maui offers fabulous hiking, from leisurely coastal paths to more challenging volcanic, rainforest, and mountain terrain
Maui’s natural beauty is best explored on foot and hiking gives visitors the chance to discover the island’s beauty from pristine coastal shorelines to some of the tallest volcanic peaks. Whether a novice or an expert hiker, you’ll be rewarded on Maui’s trails with wonderful hidden waterfalls, lush forests, rare plants, native birds, and unbelievable views. There are many types of hikes, Maui offers something for almost every skill level.
Top Maui Hiking Trails
1. ‘lao Valley State Park
This National Natural Landmark is a favorite of locals and visitors. You can discover amazing flora and fauna along a paved, 0.6-mile trail. It’s a gentle yet challenging climb with stairs to the top of a covered viewing area, but the 360-degree view is worth it. Visiting the Iao Valley State Park in the morning, well before the afternoon rain is a recommended since The Iao Valley is the second wettest place in Hawaii, and the summit receives over an inch of rain per day.
Visit the Iao Valley State Park in the morning before the afternoon rain.
Location: Iao Valley State Park
Mt. Haleakala is the largest dormant volcano in The United States, and the sunrise from its summit is incredible! The summit of Haleakala features more than 30 miles of hiking trails, the shortest being a 1/4 mile. These trails can be extremely strenuous and the high altitude, varying weather conditions, and cold temperatures make Haleakala hikes challenging. The sand inside the volcanic crater is incredibly beautiful with varying colorful layers and extremely rare plants like Haleakala Silverswords can be seen. Most start this adventure by watching the sunrise at the summit, followed by the hike down into the crater for a truly incredible and well-rounded Haleakala experience.
A trip to Haleakala Volcano is usually on people’s Maui must-do list.
3. Pipiwai Trail at Oheo Gulch
This rather remote section of the Haleakala National Park, referred to as the Bamboo Forest Trail and Seven Sacred Pools, (also known as the ‘Ohe’o Gulch) has some the best hiking in Maui that anyone that can walk 4 miles can do. Start at Ohe‘o Gulch, where multiple pools and waterfalls flow, pass a soaring banyan tree, hike through the rainforest, towering bamboo, ginger fields, and smaller falls, until you find the 400ft Waimoku Falls. It will take you between 2 1/2 to 5 hours round trip depending on how you like to hike. 7 Sacred Pools, has more than a dozen terraced waterfalls that are safe for jumping, and swimming.
Probably the best hike in Maui.
4. Twin Falls
Along the famous Road to Hana visitors will find this hike at Mile Marker #2, just past Paia. A favorite stop even with kids, Twin Falls is a couple of hours of fun hiking, swimming in a waterfall and jumping off cliffs into the pools. There are two waterfall gravel trails here, both are easy and beautiful with several falls accessible along the trail. There is also a farm stand selling fresh fruit, banana bread, smoothies, fresh-squeezed sugarcane juice, and coconut water straight from the source at the entrance. This area can get crowded at times.
This trail gets muddy after a rain so be prepared.
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
5. Waihee Ridge Trail
This is a challenging hike with breathtaking views up into the West Maui Mountains. The five-mile West Maui hike will lead you nearly 2,600ft above sea level with panoramic views of the entire island from Kahului Harbor on one side, Makamaka‘ole Falls, Haleakala, the West Maui Mountains, to the island of Molokai and the ocean beyond on the other side. Entry to the trail is located on the northern side of West Maui and trail is never crowded.
A fairly challenging hike with great views.
Location: West Maui
6. Nakalele Blowhole & Sweetheart Rock
Along Honoapiilani Highway around mile marker 38.5 is a short coastal walk leading to a pair of natural wonders. The first, known as the Nakalele Blowhole, connects to an underwater ocean cave, and during high tide, the swell spouts a jet of water high into the air. The second is just next to it: a lava rock wall with a heart-shaped hole punched through by the sea. You’ll need to scale a rocky cliff-side and follow the hand-painted signs along the trail.
Getting too close to the blowhole can be dangerous.
Location: West Maui
Difficulty: Challenging – Use Caution
7. Polipoli Spring State Recreational Area & Forest Reserve
Located on the western slopes of Haleakala is one of the highest elevation hikes other than the crater itself. On these slopes directly above Keokea is an amazing forested tapestry of many species of trees and wildlife. You will need a vehicle with good clearance to get up and down the mountain.
Bring some warm clothes because it can get in the afternoon.
8. Kapalua Coastal Trail
The Kapalua Coastal trail is a flat 3.5-mile walk over wooden boardwalk and volcanic rock trails taking you by 4 of Maui’s most beautiful bays starting at Kapalua Beach and following the path to Namalu Bay and Oneloa Bay then arriving at D.T. Fleming Beach. Enjoy the views of the islands of Lana’i, and Molokai, walking by expensive homes, golf courses, resorts, rock cliffs, tide pools, and sea turtles along some of the island’s prettiest beaches.
The spectacular scenery is worth this short outdoor adventure.