Backpacking on Maui
The hiking on Maui is excellent;
most times you have the trails to yourself, and the wide possibility
of hikes range from a family saunter to a strenuous trek. The
trails are mostly on public lands although some cross private
property. With the latter, the more-established routes cause no
problems, but for others you'll need special permission.
most spectacular hikes on Maui are through Haleakala Crater's 30 miles
of trail. You can try 10-mile long Halemauu Trail, descending
1400 feet to the crater floor, or 10-mile Sliding Sands Trail which
begins from the visitors center and ends at Paliku Cabin. Kaupo
Gap Trail begins at Paliku Cabin and descends rapidly through the
semi-ghost town of Kaupo.
The most frequented trails on West
Maui are at Iao Needle. 2-mile Tableland Trail gives panoramic
views and secluded swimming holes, while Waihee Ridge Trail is a
three-mile trek leading up the windward slopes of the West Maui
Mountains, revealing spectacular views of Waihee Gorge. The
Kahakuloa Valley Trail begins from Kahakuloa on Maui's backside ,
starting from the schoolhouse, and passes burial caves and fruit
trees. Lahaina Pali Trail is a Na Ala Hele (Hawaii Trails and
Access System) trail. Five miles long, it starts near mile
marker 11, west of the Lahaina Tunnel, follows an old established
trail that crosses the Kealaloloa Ridge at 1,600 feet, and descends to
an access road that meets the highway near the junction of highway 30
6.5-mile Skyline Trail starts atop
Haleakala at 9,750 feet, passing through the southwest rift and
eventually joining the Haleakala Ridge Trail, 1.6 miles, at the 6,500
foot level, then descends through a series of switchbacks. You
can join the Plum Trail or continue to the shelter at the end.
Both the Skyline and Ridge trails offer superb vistas of Maui.
Others throughout the region include Polipoli, 0.6 miles, Boundary
Trail, 4 miles, Waiohuli Trail, Waiakoa Trail, 7 miles, and Waiakoa
Loop Trail, 3 miles. All of these trails offer intimate forest
views of native and introduced trees, and breathtaking views of the
Maui coastline far below.
Along Maui's southernmost tip the
King's Highway Coastal Trail, 5.5 miles, leads from La Perouse Bay
through the rugged and desolate Lava Flow of 1790. The Hana
Wainapanapa Coastal Trail is on the opposite side of East Maui.
You start from Wainapanapa State Park and follow King's Highway.
All these trails and more are
described in detail on the sites listed in the table below.
If you're nervous about going out on
your own, or you just would like someone there to tell you about the
native species that you'll see, a guide service is a good idea.
There are many guide services on Maui, and several are listed below.
Before making any reservations with the guide services, visit our
Discounts & Bargains
page to find some killer deals.