Maui has a diverse climate and geography that allows the much outdoor activity. The island naturally offers trails and hikes for exploring the rain forests, lava formations, mountains, and valleys. Each area has a place to get outside for the day and trek around. You can be an experienced trailblazer or just enjoy taking walks, there's something for you.
Some of the best areas for hiking are Haleakala, Hana, Kipahulu, and Upcountry. These are the cooler regions but South and West Maui also offer great hikes, although drier and more arid. Here are brief descriptions of some of the favorite places:
Haleakala: There are more than 30 miles of hiking trails in Haleakala National Park. The visitor center has a half mile guided hike twice a day.
With the high elevation, this is a recommended one for families with young children and elders.
If you are up to something more adventurous, try the Keonehe'ehe'e (commonly called Sliding Sands) Trail to check out the desert like the volcanic wilderness of cinder and lava.
On the slopes of Haleakala about 10 miles above Kula is Poli Poli State Recreational Area with a handful of moderate loop trails.
It's a magical walk through the redwood forest with sightings of native birds and plant species. There is a dense amount of cypress, cedar, and pine that ends in an open grassy swale.
Hana & Kipahulu: The most popular trail at four miles round trip is Pipiwai (Bamboo Forest). This is a lush area that takes you across a freshwater stream and through a tall bamboo forest that magically captures the sunlight. As you gradually move into the forest, the elevation climbs to 800 feet allowing fantastic views of Waimoku Falls.
Also in the East region is The Wainapanapa State Park, north of Hana Bay. Besides having a historical walk through a cave, there is a coastal hike on rugged black lava right near the ocean.
Upcountry: Just past Makawao town winding along Olinda Road is a forest hike with tall pines and natural springs.
It's cool leisurely walk amidst eucalyptus and cypress as well as native koa trees. This is a great walk for families as most people are able to comfortably find their way.
West Maui: Probably one of the most strenuous hikes due to the heat is the Pali Trail. This rises to 1,600 feet with a gorgeous panoramic view of the ocean and both Haleakala and West Maui Mountains.
It's part of the ancient Pi'ilani Trail system paved with smooth rock to travel the coastline. You'll come across dry land shrubs and endemic trees and native birds. It's 5.5 miles one way and can be accessed from Honoapi'ilani Hwy.
South Maui: From La Pe'rouse Bay past, Makena is the Hoapili Trail. This part of the ancient King's Trail follows the coastline.
The first part of the trail is along the sandy beach but soon becomes jagged lava. Although the trail continues onward, it is recommended to turn around at Kanaio Bay which is 2 miles in for a 4-mile round trip.
This is a sacred land where an ancient village used to be.
As with all outdoor adventures, be sure to dress appropriately in comfortable, covered shoes, hat and bring a light jacket to protect yourself from the sun, wind, and rain.
The weather can change quickly and it's best to be prepared and to stay on the trails. Don't forget to bring a small backpack with enough water and some snacks.
It's advisable to contact a local activity business if you have any questions prior to going out. Better to be safe. Enjoy!