The Ultimate Guide To The Best Hikes In Maui

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Maui is a beautiful island with plenty of hiking trails to offer. Whether you’re looking for a strenuous hike with incredible views or an easy stroll through the rainforest, Maui has something for everyone. This ultimate guide to the best hikes in Maui offers detailed information on some of the best trails the island has to offer.

10 best hikes in Maui

If you’re looking for the best hiking trails in Maui, you’ve come to the right place. Here are the 10 best hikes in Maui, from easy nature walks to strenuous full-day adventures. So put on your hiking boots and get ready to explore some of the most beautiful scenery in the world!

Kahakapao Loop Trail (West Maui)

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Elevation gain: 375 m
  • Distance: over 6 miles round trip
  • Hiking Time: about 3 hours
  • Location: the Makawao Forest Reserve

The Kahakapao Loop Trail is one of the best hikes in Maui, offering stunning views of the central valley and the West Maui Mountains. It is located in the Makawao Forest Reserve. The trail is an over 6 miles loop round trip that takes about 3-4 hours to complete. The trail is mostly downhill, but there are a few uphill sections.

Landscape: There is a lot of vegetation along the trail, and there are several scenic viewpoints. The trail is not very difficult, but there are some areas where it can be slippery. There is no parking at the Pali Lookout, so you will have to park in town and walk to the trailhead. 

The trailhead: The trailhead begins on the northeast side of the parking area. The trail winds through a eucalyptus forest and offers views of the Central Maui Plain and Haleakala Crater. The trail crosses a few streams and at one point descends into a deep gulch carved by water erosion. After crossing the gulch, the trail climbs back up to the ridge and returns to the parking area.

Weather: Weather conditions on Kahakapao Loop Trail can be quite variable, depending on the time of year. The trail is often quite hot and humid during the summer months, while it can be quite windy and cold during the winter.

Tips:

  • Especially the eastern leg, which gets muddy after rain. 
  • Don’t attempt this hike on a wet day.

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Kapalua Coastal Trail (West Maui)

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Elevation gain: 64 m
  • Distance: 2 miles
  • Hiking Time: 1 – 2 hours
  • Location: Kapalua

The Kapalua Coastal Trail is a beautiful, 2 miles hike that winds along the stunning coast of Maui. The trail is well-maintained and easy to follow, making it perfect for hikers of all levels. You’ll enjoy amazing views of the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding mountains, as you make your way through a variety of landscapes, from rocky cliffs to sandy beaches.

The trailhead is located at the Kapalua Bay Resort, , and can be accessed from either side of the hotel. It’s an easy hike that takes about two hours to complete. 

With a moderate climb make it easy to the hike Maui for beginners. Provides hikers with stunning ocean views the entire way and leads you through a bamboo forest. It passes some of the best beaches in Maui including Ironwoods, Kapalua Bay and Napili Bay, several coves and beach access points. Besides, you can see the nearby island of Molokai. DT Fleming Beach Park is the trail end, which offers a number of amenities including bathrooms, showers, and picnic areas.

The weather in Kapalua Coastal Trail in Maui is typically hot and sunny. However, the weather can change quickly, so be sure to check the forecast before you go.

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Photo courtesy of Tripadvisor

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Makamaka’ole Falls Trail (West Maui)

  • Difficulty:  Moderate because of the streams and hilly terrain
  • Elevation gain: 94 m
  • Distance: 2 miles out and back
  • Hiking Tim: 1 – 2 hours
  • Location: the West Maui Forest Reserve in Wailuku

*Not kid friendly

If you’re looking for an amazing hike in Maui, look no further than the Makamaka’ole Falls Trail. This trail will take you through lush rainforest and past several spectacular waterfalls, culminating in a view of Makamaka’ole Falls itself. Make sure to bring your camera – this is one hike you’ll never forget!

It’s a moderate trail that leads to a beautiful waterfall, and it’s not too difficult or strenuous so most people should be able to do it. The trailhead is located at the end of Waikamoi Road in Ha’iku-Pauwela, just past the bridge over the Makamaka’ole Stream. 

The trailhead is located near mile marker 10 on the Hana Highway, and it’s about a 2.5 mile hike to the falls to take you through a dense forest of eucalyptus trees. The first half of the trail is relatively easy, but the second half gets more challenging as you make your way up to the waterfall. There are several places along the trail where you can stop to take in the views and catch your breath.

The weather: Before you go, be sure to check the weather report, as the mist from the falls can make things pretty wet! 

Tips: If you’re lucky, you might even see some turtles basking in the sun on the rocks nearby.

makamakaole falls trail
Photo by Teresa Taylor

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Nakalele Blowhole Trail (West Maui)

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Elevation gain: over 400 ft
  • Distance: 1.2 miles
  • Hiking Tim: 41 min
  • Location: on the Northside of West Maui on Hwy. 30

The Nakalele Blowhole Trail is located in Maui and can be accessed from the west coast of the island. The trailhead is located at Mile Marker 6 on Highway 30. From the highway, the trail is a short 0.25 miles to the blowhole. 

Landscape: This trail hike in Maui is one of the most popular attractions and is a must-see for any visitor to the island. The blowhole is created when waves crash into an underwater lava tube and force water up through a small hole in the rock. The result is a geyser-like effect that can shoot water up to 30 feet in the air. 

The trailhead can be accessed from the Hana Highway, about 2.5 miles past the town of Hana. The trail is about 0.75 miles long and leads to a series of Maui waterfalls, the tallest of which is about 80 feet tall.

The weather: The Nakalele Blowhole Trail is a beautiful hike that takes you through a lush rainforest. Although the trail is mostly shaded, it can be quite hot and humid. The trail can be very slippery when wet, so it is best to avoid hiking it during or right after a rainstorm. Additionally, the trail can be quite windy, so make sure to bring a jacket or other warm clothing.

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Photo courtesy of Tripadvisor

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Pali Trail (West/Central Maui)

  • Difficulty: difficult
  • Elevation gain: 1600 ft
  • Distance: 10 miles
  • Hiking Time: 4 – 6 hours
  • Location: the West Maui

The Pali Trail is located in Maui and it goes from the town of Kahului to the town of Hana. The trail is about 10 miles long and it takes about four to six hours to hike the entire trail. The trail is considered to be one of the best hikes in Maui because of the stunning views of the coastline, the lush forests, and the waterfalls along the way.

To get to the trailhead, take Highway 30 to Honokowai and turn onto Kealaloa Avenue. Follow the road until you see the Pali Lookout sign. Park in the lot and walk to the lookout. The trailhead is at the far end of the lookout.

The Kealaloloa Ridge is a steep, rocky slope that sits between the windmills and the leeward coast of Maui. The Lahaina Pali Trail climbs up to it via a narrow path. It offers amazing views of the coast and the valley below.

The weather at the Pali Trail in Maui can be unpredictable. The trailhead is located in the Nu’uanu Valley, and because of this, the temperatures can vary greatly depending on what time of day you hike. It’s best to always bring sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water when hiking, no matter what the weather forecast says.

pali trail
Photo of Steve Renaker

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Pipiwai Trail (East Maui)

  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Elevation gain: 650 ft
  • Distance: 4 miles round trip
  • Hiking Time: 2 hours
  • Location: Kipahulu District of Haleakala National Park

Located on the slopes of Haleakalā, the Pipiwai Trail is one of the best hikes in Maui. It’s in Haleakala National Park, on the southeastern side of Maui, in Kipahulu.The trailhead for Pipiwai Trail is about 8 miles past the summit of Haleakala, on the Hana Highway. 

The trailhead: If you’re looking for an unforgettable hiking experience in Maui, look no further than the Pipiwai Trail. This 4-mile trail leads through a lush bamboo forest and towering banyan trees, ending at a spectacular view of 400-foot Waimoku Falls. Make sure to bring plenty of water, as there is no shade along the way, and be prepared for a strenuous hike.

The weather in Maui is typically warm and sunny, although it can get hot and humid during the summer months. The best time to hike Pipiwai Trail is during the fall or winter, when the temperatures are a bit more mild.

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Photo courtesy of Tripadvisor

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Seven Sacred Pools Trail (East Maui)

  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Elevation gain: over 500 ft
  • Distance: 4 miles round trip
  • Hiking Time: 2 – 4 hours
  • Location: Haleakalā National Park

The Seven Sacred Pools Trail is located in Haleakalā National Park. The trailhead is at the bottom of the park, near the Kīpahulu Visitor Center. The trail is well-marked and easy to follow.

Landscape: The Seven Sacred Pools are a series of cascading waterfalls that flow into the ocean. The pools are surrounded by lush vegetation and wildlife. The hike in Maui to the pools is an excellent way to see some of the best that Maui has to offer.

This scenic trail winds its way through some of the most beautiful landscape on the island, and culminates in a series of cascading waterfalls that make for a refreshing swimming hole.

The trailhead is located just off of Route 31 near the town of Hana, and can be easily accessed by car. However, visitors should be warned that the drive to the trailhead is quite rough, and requires a 4-wheel drive vehicle. 

The weather in Maui is typically hot and humid, with temperatures reaching the high 80s or low 90s. However, it can also be quite cool in the morning or evening, so be sure to pack clothes for a range of temperatures. It is also important to be prepared for rain, as it can rain at any time in Maui.

Parking: There is limited parking available at the trailhead for the Seven Sacred Pools Trail. Visitors are encouraged to park at the lot located near the Haiku Stairs entrance and walk to the trailhead, which is about a half mile walk.

seven sacred pools trail
Photo courtesy of Tripadvisor

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Sliding Sands (Keoneheehee Trail at Haleakala)

  • Difficulty: difficult
  • Elevation gain: 8000 ft
  • Distance: 4 miles round trip
  • Hiking Time: 2 – 4 hours
  • Location: Haleakala Summit NP

The trailhead: Sliding Sands is located in the Haleakala National Park near the town of Kula on the island of Maui. The trailhead is at an elevation of 500 feet below Haleakala summit and the hike descends 2,800 feet to the valley floor. The scenery on the hike is incredible, with views of the crater, cinder cones, and lava flows. 

The weather for hiking Sliding Sands in Maui is typically sunny with little humidity. However, it is important to be aware of the possibility of rain showers and thunderstorms, which can occur any time of year. The best time to hike Sliding Sands is in the early morning or late afternoon, as the sun can be quite intense during the middle of the day.

The parking for the hike to Sliding Sands is located just past the guard shack at the entrance to Haleakala National Park. The trailhead is about 2.5 miles down the road on the right hand side. 

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Photo courtesy of Tripadvisor

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Twin Falls (North Shore)

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Elevation gain: 500 ft
  • Distance: 0.5 miles
  • Hiking Time: 1 hours
  • Location: the North Maui

The Maui trail is a well-known stop for people driving to Hana. It’s located at mile marker 2 on the Hana Highway and it’s easy to get to from the road. This hike is perfect for families.

The trailhead: Five minutes of walking will take you to the first waterfall, which is perfect for people of all fitness levels. The path is wide enough for everybody in your group, making it one of the best hikes in Maui for families. If you have time, walk ten more minutes to reach the second waterfall–it’s taller and provides a bigger swimming area.

The weather on the north shore of Maui is typically mild, with temperatures ranging from the mid-50s to the mid-80s. 

Parking: There is no designated parking area for the Twin Falls Trail, so hikers are asked to be respectful of local residents and businesses by not parking in any driveways or blocking any entrances. There is a small lot at the end of Waipoli Road that can accommodate a few cars, or park along the side of the road.

twin falls
Photo by debbie blankenship

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Waihee Ridge Trail (West Maui)

  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Elevation gain: 1500 ft
  • Distance: 4.8 miles round trip
  • Hiking Time: 3 – 4 hours
  • Location: the North Shore of West Maui

Waihee Ridge Trail is located at Mile Marker 11 on Highway 360, just past the Waihee Valley Overlook and can be accessed from the intersection of Waiehu Beach Road and Ohulehule Road. 

The trailhead: is located on the left side of the road and is marked with a sign. The trail hike in Maui begins in a pine forest, then gradually opens up before you reach the ridge line. There are a few benches and viewpoints along the way, and it winds up the mountain with a series of tight switchbacks. When you reach the top, there’s a picnic table and small platform where you can take a break and celebrate with a victory beer.

The weather is mostly sunny with a few clouds, and the temperature is in the mid-70s. The wind is light, so it’s a perfect day for a hike.

Maui is filled with lush tropical forests, cascading waterfalls, and dormant volcanoes, but it’s also home to some of the best beaches in Maui. And what’s a better way to explore Maui’s stunning coastline than on foot?

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Photo courtesy of Tripadvisor

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Some best coastal walks in Maui

Kaanapali coastal walk (West Maui)

The Kaanapali Coastal Walk is a must-do activity when visiting Maui. This easy, paved path offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the island of Lanai. The walk is about 2 miles long and takes about an hour to complete. 

The walk begins at Black Rock Beach in Kaanapali and follows the coast southward. You’ll pass by several beautiful beaches, including Baby Beach, Puamana Beach, and Secret Cove. The walk ends at D.T. Fleming Beach Park. 

This is a great activity for people of all ages and abilities. Dogs are also welcome on the walk. Be sure to bring plenty of water, as there are no restrooms or water fountains along the way.

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Photo courtesy of Kaanapali coastal walk

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Kapalua Coastal Trail (West Maui)

With incredible views of the Pacific Ocean, Kapalua Coastal Trail is perfect for anyone looking for a beautiful and peaceful walk. 

The trailhead can be found at the end of Kapalua Bay Road, and it’s best to start early in the morning to avoid the heat. The hike is about 2 miles round trip, and takes about an hour to complete. Be sure to bring plenty of water, as there is no shade along the way. 

This trail is dog-friendly, but please be sure to clean up after your pet. Parking is available near the trailhead, and there are restrooms available nearby.

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Wailea coastal hour walk (South Maui)

The Wailea coastal walk is a beautiful, easy hike that offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. This hike is perfect for beginners or anyone looking for a relaxing stroll. 

The Wailea coastal walk begins at Keawakapu Beach and winds its way along the coast, offering amazing views of the ocean and surrounding mountains. The trail is well-maintained and relatively flat, making it perfect for hikers of all levels. The walk takes about an hour, but you can easily spend longer taking in all the beauty this hike has to offer. 

To get to the Wailea coastal walk, take Highway 30 south from Kahului until you reach mile marker 31. Turn left onto Makena Alanui Road and drive until you reach Keawakapu Beach Park. There is plenty of parking available at the beach park, so there’s no need to worry about finding a spot.

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Photo courtesy of Tripadvisor

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Tips for hiking trails in Maui

Tips when you hikes trails

When planning a hike in Maui, it is important to be aware of the potential hazards. Some of the most common dangers include losing the trail, getting lost, dehydration, and sunburn. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just looking to get out and enjoy nature, Maui has something for everyone. Here are a few tips to help make the most of your hike:

  • Start early in the morning to avoid the heat
  • Stay on the trail, as there are many dangerous drop-offs along the way
  • Hike with a partner to avoid getting lost
  • Make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your hike. Dress in layers and be prepared for any kind of weather conditions and wear sunscreen, a hat and protective clothing.
  • Checked and prepared for changing weather conditions
  • Bring insect repellent if necessary.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and stay on the trail. There are dangerous cliffs and ravines along many of Maui’s hiking trails.
  • Be prepared for changes in elevation and temperature, especially on the summit trails.

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Where should you stay if you’ll hike in Maui?

Choosing a place to stay that is close to the trailhead. There are many factors you should consider that make the hiking easier for you to get up and ready in the morning as well as avoid having to drive too far after a long day of hiking. Some of the best hikes in Maui are:

  • The Waihee Ridge Trail: Best hike in West Maui mountains.
  • The Sliding Sands: Best volcano crater hike in the Haleakala National Park near the town of Kula.
  • The Pipiwai Trail: Best bamboo forest hike in Haleakala National Park, on the southeastern side of Maui.

You’ll need to stay near popular hiking trails. Some great places to stay are in Waikiki, Paia or Kihei. You can also find some great hikes near Lahaina. Those areas will provide the best access to Maui hiking trails as well as can help you get around the island more easily. There is also a free group tour available at these lodges.

You will save time by minimizing your overall driving distance when compared with those who stay across multiple locations during their visit. So I think staying in the middle of Maui between the two main sections of the island will allow you to be more centrally located to save your maximum time.

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Guided Hikes

Maui has many guided hike tours that are some of the most popular activities on the island. A guided hike tour can take you through a lush rainforest, up a volcano, or along a coastal path with stunning views.

  • HeleWai Eco-Tours:  offers a variety of different tours, including hikes, kayak trips, and bird watching expeditions. 
  • The Maui Chapter: offers educational programs and workshops, as well as hikes and outdoor activities.
  • Dynamic Tour Maui: provides an amazing opportunity to explore the island.
  • The Kings Gardens Maui: Experience private Waterfall and Rainforest Hike in Maui.

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FAQs

Do I need a car to do these Maui hikes?

Yes, You will need a car to do these Maui hikes to park at the beginning of the trails and start maximum and convenient your journey. You don’t need a car if you want to go for a Maui tour!

Can I take Maui coastal walks without a car?

Yes, there are a few options for those looking to explore Maui’s coast without renting a car. 

One option is to take the Maui Bus from Kahului to Wailea and then walk along the ocean path to Makena. This path is about 5 miles in total, and it’s a great way to see some of the island’s more remote beaches. 

Another option is to take the bus from Kihei to Maalaea and then walk along the beach path from there. This path is about 8 miles long and offers beautiful views of Haleakala.

Conclusion

Maui is a hikers paradise with an amazing variety of trails to choose from. Whether you are looking for a strenuous hike that will take all day or an easy walk through the rainforest, you can find it on Maui. Here we have highlighted some of the best hikes in Maui, but there are many more waiting to be explored. So get out and explore the beautiful island of Maui by hiking one of its many wonderful trails.

Explore more on our website bbalessandra.com!

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