Dreaming of a tropical getaway that has you getting active? Whether you’re looking for a vigorous hike that’ll take your breath away or an easy stroll through nature, Maui has the perfect hiking trail for you. With landscapes that range from lush rainforests to dramatic mountain ridges, this Hawaiian island is home to some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the world. So grab your sunscreen and water bottle, and get ready to explore some of the best hiking trails Maui has to offer!
The Waihee Ridge Trail
Start your day with a rejuvenating hike up into the West Maui mountains! The 4-mile Waihee Ridge Trail in West Maui Forest Reserve leads hikers up 1,500 feet until they reach Lanilili Peak. There are lush forests, stunning views, and a ridge-line track to keep you engaged along the way.
You’ll enjoy a less crowded hiking experience thanks to the trail’s somewhat challenging steep incline at the start. The views from the peak of the mountain are nothing short of spectacular. You’ll be able to see the entire island, from Kahului Harbor on one side to Molokai and the ocean on the other. Also, there’s also a picnic spot where you can sit and relax for a bit before making the trek back down.
Twin Falls Trail
Despite the name Twin Falls Trail, there’s a multitude of waterfalls to see on your way to the peak. This 1.8-mile trail is located off the Hana Highway in Haiku, Maui. Though the hike is a short one, Twin Falls Trail offers much more tropical breathtaking views. Most folks visit this spot to swim in the swimming holes. Some jump off the cliff into the pool, while others go underneath the waterfalls themselves.
If you’re a lone hiker, you should definitely head to Twin Falls Trail early in the morning before the crowds form. Also, don’t forget to wear wet-weather shoes, as it can get muddy and slippery when it rains.
Seven Sacred Pools Trail
Another breathtaking sight of cascading waterfalls and pools is the Seven Sacred Pools, also known as Oheo Gulch. The trail is an accessible short stretch of 0.6 miles. Even so, this setting in Kipahulu’s Haleakala National Park is a sight to see!
You’ll start off from the Kipahulu Visitors Center parking area, then head to the Oheo Gulch Valley, where many rainforest waterfalls and pools cascade into the deep-blue Hawaiian ocean on the Kipahulu beach.
Once you arrive, you may take a leisurely dip in nature’s finest waters or cliff-jump your way into one of the 20 swimmable pools. Keep in mind that the area has slippery wet rocks, so make sure to maintain a strong grip while trekking.
Sliding Sands Trail
The Sliding Sands Trail is one of Maui’s natural marvels, located at the summit of the 10,023-foot Haleakala Volcano in Haleakala National Park. While the peak provides stunning views itself, hikers can choose to descend lower into the volcano to truly appreciate how spectacular the views are from the inside. The varied colors of sand as you go down the route are an unusual characteristic that images cannot do justice.
Once you’ve reached the Haleakala crater floor, hike back up to the top for the full 8-mile mountain hike. There are several longer and shorter hikes to take as well. And if you get tired along the way, feel free to camp in the Kapalaoa cabin at about 7,400 feet. It’s one of three wilderness cabins in Haleakala National Park maintained by the National Park Service.
Save the Seven Sacred Pools day trip for a two-for-one adventure on the 4-mile Pipiwai Trail. This trail is located just above Haleakala National Park’s Seven Sacred Pools. It’s known for a dramatic hike through a mysterious bamboo forest along the way. Towards the end of the trail, you’ll see a gorgeous horseshoe-shaped valley with the 400-feet Waimoku Falls. Even in the dry seasons, Waimoku Falls always gracefully cascades down the valley, so it’s always worth the trip.
Kuloa Point Trail
Looking for a culturally enriching hike in Maui? You might want to check out Kuloa Point Trail in Haleakala National Park’s Oheo Gulch. It’s on the other side of the Pipiwai Trail, heading down towards the ocean, where gorgeous cascading freshwater pools pour into the sea.
The Kuloa Point Trail is great for families looking for a short 0.5-mile stroll with breathtaking views of the ocean. You can also find archaeological exhibits of Hawaiian culture, like thatched huts, ancient walls, and other relics, creating a learning experience of Hawaiian life. Don’t forget to enjoy the picturesque views of the ocean as well. The trail is popular among tourists, so it is best to visit early in the morning to avoid the rush.
La Perouse Bay Trails
If you prefer snorkeling, the southeast side of La Perouse Bay is ideal for you! Hike the 4.3-mile La Perouse Bay Trails to reach the location of the 1790 Haleakala eruption that created the lava rock lagoons, which are visited frequently by spinner dolphins. Once you arrive, you may snorkel, swim, or simply explore the sea estuaries and enjoy the backdrop of the blue waves.
No matter what hiking trail you choose in Maui, you’re sure to have an amazing experience. With so much natural beauty to explore, it’s hard to go wrong when picking a hike on this island paradise. So get out there and start enjoying the best hiking trails Maui has to offer!