5 Hikes in Maui to Keep You Active on Vacation
Few places in the world have the biodiversity found in Hawaii. Hikes in Maui lead to rain-forest waterfalls, breathtaking views as the sun rises and sets, and steep slopes heading out to sea and steaming volcanoes. Ecotourists and outdoor lovers will find more nooks and trails to explore than thought possible. In fact, there are dozens of scenic hikes in Maui. So we rounded up the best ones to help narrow down the search.
5 Great Hikes in Maui: Stay Active on Vacation
Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail
Meaning “trail by the shoreline,” this path was originally established to reach native people on the island, and is now a network of 175 miles of trail connecting the island. This hike, which is on the National Register of Historic Places for native culture and wildlife preservation, remains one of the most beautiful and diverse places in Maui. Accessible from many points along its stretch, see fish ponds, fishing shrines, amazing Pacific Ocean views, coral reefs, and maybe humpback whales, sea turtle habitats and birds.
Haleakala National Park
Home to Maui’s highest peak, Haleakala, this park is a favorite for sunrises. The name actually means “house of the sun.” Additionally, those staying in Maui can see the mountain’s peak from anywhere on the island.
Located about a two-hour drive from the city, the park features 30,000 acres of land available to the public and three separate visitor centers. One of the most popular and challenging hikes is Pipiwai Trail. Along this trail, hikers will see a huge banyan tree, the Makahiku Falls, a bamboo forest and the 400-foot Waimoku Falls.
‘Iao Valley State Park
One of the top hikes in Maui, this 10-mile long park features one of the most popular natural attractions, Iao Needle. Hikers enjoy a little easier hike in ‘Iao Valley State Park, with a well-marked and paved path leading to the attraction as well as below it. For a view of the needle, it’s best to start early. Families may also want to try a rain-forest walk. While visiting Iao Valley, hikers will also find streams, native plants and wildlife. Make sure to pack light rain gear, as this is the second-wettest spot in Hawaii.
Wai’anapanapa State Park
For breathtaking shore views, Wai’anapanapa State Park offers 360-panoramic views of the black-sand coastline. To see the Anchialine Pool Caves, a short-loop trail takes visitors to an overlook area to view two pools and lava tubes. To explore hidden caves, follow the trail to stone steps below. The King’s Trail ranks among the top hikes in Maui, as it has two trails that have paved and natural walkways. Stop to see the blowhole and the Ohala Heiau, and remember you should not climb on the heiau or stack stones to create your own offering.
Waihee Ridge Trail
Grab a walking stick for Waihee Ridge Trail, measuring 2.5 miles, to see Waihee Gorge and Makamakaole Gulch. Guests can hike 2,563 feet and enjoy panoramic views of Wailuku, Maui, the Kahakuloa slopes and Mount Eke. Because the weather in Maui can be somewhat predictable, visitors recommend preparing for fog. In addition, the trail can get muddy, so pack and wear proper hiking gear.