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Hiking & 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.  

Haleakala's CraterThe 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 and 380.

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.  


Backpacking in Hawaii Hiking Haleakala Crater Maui Hiking Trails
GORP Haleakala National Park Hiking Trails on Maui Natural Hawaii: Maui Hiking
Haleakala is No Honey of a Hike HTMC Hiker's Guide to Maui  Wildernet Hiking in Hawaii
Haleakala National Park Maui Hiking Info Pack Waimoku Falls Hike

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.


Guides of Maui J.J.'s Hawaii Expeditions Maui Hiking Safaris
Hike Maui Maui Eco-adventures South Pacific Hiking Adventures
Hiking Paradise Maui Hiking Adventures  

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