Maui, Hawaii’s Best Hiking Trails and Gear to Rent
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Maui’s Best Hikes
Haleakala Volcano Crater-Kaupo Gap Trail Hike 8.3 mile hike
More information: https://www.nps.gov/hale/planyourvisit/hiking.htm
The most popular attraction in Upcountry Maui. Stunning sunrises, panoramic out-of-this-world landscapes, birds-eye views of the Maui central valley, and flora and fauna that exist nowhere else in the world.
Haleakala National Park covers the summit area of the larger of the two volcanic mountains that make up Maui. The National Park’s boundary has fingers that extend down the Hana side of the mountain, all the way to the ocean.
‘Iao Valley State Park, Central Maui, 1/2-1.8 mile hike
More information: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/the-iao-valley--2
‘Iao Valley State Park is on virtually every guidebook and tourist pamphlet’s short-list of must-see places – and for good reason. It is easily accessible by car or tour companies, has paved walkways, steps, and signage with historical information.
The second wettest place in Hawai’I, the summit of the valley receives an average of over an inch of rain per day. Much of this water flows into the `Iao stream – and virtually every drop is drained by a massive diversion that Wailuku Water takes off just outside the park.
The main attraction here is the ‘Iao needle (Kuka’emoku) – a 1200′ (2250′ from sea level) high peak created by erosion of the softer rock around it over many millennia. In Hawai’ian culture, it is known as the phallic stone of the god of the ocean (Kanaloa.)
Twin Falls & Caveman Falls, North Shore / Ho'olawa Valley, 1/2-2 mile hike
More information: http://www.mauiinformationguide.com/twin-falls.php
Ho'olawa Valley is home to multiple waterfalls. The lower falls are close to the entrance and relatively easy to access. They're a bit smaller, but picturesque and often overlooked. To view the lower falls there are two overlooks. The first is a short walk past the portable toilets, then a trail to the left off the gravel road next to a log bench. This is the "Twin Falls" waterfall. The second is a little farther up the gravel road. Look for another log bench as a landmark to find the second overlook. These overlooks are recommended because of their close proximity to the parking lot. Traveling further, you can get to the waterfall that is in most of the images (Caveman Falls). This pool is much larger, and usually more crowded than the previous falls.
Makahiku Falls/ Waimoku Falls/ Bamboo Forest, Pipiwai Trail, Kipahulu, 1 - 4 mile hike
More information: https://www.nps.gov/hale/planyourvisit/kipahulu.htm
Mahahiku Falls is along the Pipiwai Trail, above Seven Sacred Pools as it heads towards the majestic Waimoku Falls. Makahiku Falls is at 185 foot falls, which is one of the most beautiful on Maui.
It is approximately a half-mile from the trailhead. The trail follows the Pipiwai Stream and is a fantastic hike on Maui. It is 4 miles roundtrip, gaining 650-feet in elevation. It takes 2 1/2 - 5 hours to hike, depending on how much nature loving you do. The final destination is Waimoku Falls, which is ever larger than Makahiku Falls. Both falls are absolutely beautiful and more than well worth the hike to get to it. The bamboo forest is about the mid way point, you'll know when you're there. It's like you've left the island for Thailand because of all the bamboo.
Waihou Spring Trail Loop, Olinda-Upcountry, 1-2.4 mile hike
More information: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/hawaii/waihou-spring-trail
Nestled below the cloud line of Mount Haleakala at 3,820 feet of elevation is a 186 acre grove of pine trees with a looping trail that provides peaceful walking amidst the songs of birds and cool mountain air. The Waihou Spring Forest Reserve was created by a proclamation from governor of the Hawaiian territory in 1909, and the modern day populace likes to use this cool refreshing upcountry trail loop for exercise and trail running. The air at this higher elevation provides a great change of climate for an afternoon walk in the forest, and is only 10 miles from the beaches of the North Shore.
Polipoli Spring State Recreational Area & Forest Reserve, Kula, 1/2-7 miles pending hike trail
More information: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/parks/maui/polipoli-spring-state-recreation-area/
It covers about 10 acres of the 21,000-acre (85 km2) Kula Forest Reserve. Located at about 6,200 feet (1,900 m) above sea level, it extends through the fog belt of the mountain forests. The high-elevation climate can be cold, with nighttime temperatures below freezing. The terrain is rough and use of a four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended.
There are four main trails. The Haleakalā Ridge Trail enters the recreation area. It features scrub, grassland, and forest habitat with cinder substrates. The adjacent Plum Trail is planted with plumand other trees. The Polipoli Trail, which starts within the recreation area, features various conifers. The Redwood Trail is used for mountain biking. Visitors can view redwoods and an old ranger's cabin.
Waihee Ridge Trail, Wailuku, 5 mile hike
More information: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/hawaii/waihee-ridge-trail
Walking so far up into the clouds along steep switchbacks and knife-edge ridges that the view below is hard to distinguish between sea and sky. This is the Waihee Ridge Trail on Mauna Kahalawai, also called the West Maui Mountains. The 2.5-mile hike is known as one of the most scenic treks on the island, and it deserves every bit of that praise, beginning at 1,000 feet and zigzagging upwards to 2,563 feet. The three-hour, round-trip journey is challenging, but worthy of each of the miles you walk and all of the 1,500 feet you ascend.
Hosmer Grove & Supply Trails, Upper Kula, 2-5.9 mile hike
More information: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/hosmer-grove-and-supply-trail-hikes
Hosmer Grove Trail is located (just barely) inside Haleakala National Park. At approximately mile marker 10.5 on Highway 378, just after entering the park, you'll want to turn left to the start of the Hosmer Grove trail.
At about 0.3 miles down the road (on the right) you may notice one of Hawaii's famous sandalwood trees. The sandalwood has a long history in Hawaii and was once very precious in China for making incense and aromatic woodcarvings. In the 1800s the Pacific sailing ship trade practically obliterated the Hawaiian sandalwood forests. Today, you can still find sandalwood pits in Hawaii where the trunks of the trees were stored. The pits were made to resemble the cargo areas of the ships the trees were transported in.
Supply Trail starts on the road that leads to Hosmer Grove Trail. Start off by parking your car in the Hosmer Grove campground, where you’ll find a few parking spots along the road. From there, walk back along the road to the trailhead sign. Note that we have heard from folks who say there is no sign here; however, we were lucky enough to spot one on our last hike. If you don’t see one, you’ll still be able to distinguish the trail as you leave the paved road and head into the open field.
Haleakala - Sliding Sands Trail, Haleakala Crater, 10 mile hike
More information: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/hawaii/sliding-sands-trail
The views from the Haleakala Crater are sweeping and majestic. However far you travel along the red dirt of the Sliding Sands Trail will be a treat as you navigate past huge cinder cones and cliffs. Start from the second Haleakala Visitor Center (the one that is near the summit). Signs mark the beginning of the Sliding Sands Trail (also called Keonehe'ehe'e). After an initial section close to the road, the path switchbacks downhill from the crater rim. The stark landscape with little vegetation continues as you head eastwards through multicolored hillsides. At about 2 miles, a rockier area marks the turnoff for the Ka Lu'u o ka 'O'o Cinder Cone Trail to the north.
Halemauu Trail, Haleakala Crater, 10 mile hike
More information: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/hawaii/halemauu-haleakala-overlook-trail
The Halemauu Trail in Haleakala starts from the west side of the crater summit down switchbacks towards the crater floor, and finally towards the east end of Haleakala Crater. The beginning part of this hike is pretty calm, as it travels through level-ish areas where hikers can experience an ever-changing volcanic eco-zone with loose lava rock and native shrubs. The switchbacks travel down through an approximately 1,500-foot long cliff area. From here, hikers will be pleased that they chose to wear sturdy and comfortable shoes as they marvel in views of the Koolau Gap leading all the way to the Pacific Ocean.