7 Best Hikes in Maui

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The best hikes in Maui leave you with unforgettable memories. The dramatic landscapes make it somewhere you want to hike.

Maui offers you a breathtaking canvas filled with natural beauty. Maui’s beauty includes:

  • Pristine beaches
  • Majestic waterfalls
  • Lush rainforests.

From sun kissed coastal trails, to mountain summits that seem to touch the clouds, Maui’s day hikes are for hikers of all skill levels.

Each of the best hikes in Maui has its own charm. The trails have postcard perfect views. You will love the:

  • Panoramic ocean views
  • Dense Bamboo Forests
  • Perfect waterfalls.

Each trail offers a unique adventure. Each trail gives you a window to the island’s rich natural beauty.

Best Hikes In Maui: Overview

Welcome to Maui, a tropical paradise in the Hawaiian island chain. Maui boasts a wide range of landscapes!

Escape from daily life’s hurry and worry. Find peace as you hike Maui’s trails.

A testament to the island’s rich geology and biodiversity, the best hikes in Maui let you dive into Maui’s unique ecosystems.

Imagine green valleys dotted with sparkling waterfalls. Picture rugged volcano peaks piercing a bright blue sky. Imagine golden beaches with waves lapping on them. Picture this, and you begin to see Maui.

Maui trails offers you:

  • Breathtaking coastal views
  • Plunging waterfalls
  • Verdant rainforests
  • Stunning coastal trails to the highlands

The trails range from beginner friendly trails to challenging inclines for more experienced hikers. Each trail has captivating views that include the bright blue Pacific and Maui’s stunning inland.

Maui offers a variety of trails sure to please every hiker’s heart.

7 Best Hikes in Maui
(Credit: Rebecca Bollwitt, CC BY-NC 2.0)

Maui’s History

The island of Maui is also known as the Valley Isle. Maui has a rich history with tales of:

  • Polynesian voyagers
  • European explorers
  • American missionaries

In the course of its history, the island saw the:

  • Rise and fall of the great Hawaiian Kingdom
  • Arrival of outsiders
  • Growth of the sugar industry

These events shaped Maui’s physical and cultural landscape.

The Polynesians were Maui’s first people. They sailed from the Marquesas Islands to Maui around 450 AD.

Around 1500, Tahitians came to the island. They brought their social and religious customs. These customs form the basis of Hawaii’s traditional culture.

The British explorer Captain James Cook arrived in 1778. His arrival marked the beginning of Western influences. Missionaries came next. The two arrivals changed Maui’s traditional way of life forever.

How Did Maui Get Its Name?

The island’s name came from the demigod Maui. Legend says that Maui was fishing and hooked the ocean floor. As he reeled in what he thought was a big fish, he pulled the Hawaiian Islands from the sea.

Best Hikes In Maui: Hiking Trails’ History

Maui’s hiking trails have an interesting history. These trails let you see the island’s rich culture and dynamic landscape.

Ancient Hawaiians used these trails for:

  • Communication between villages
  • Sacred ceremonies
  • Resource exchanges

Over time, the trails were changed by:

  • European explorers
  • Missionaries
  • The booming sugar industry

The trails became:

  • Paths for horse drawn carts
  • Roads for vehicles
  • Trails for hikers

The Haleakala Crater’s Sliding Sands Trail reflects the volcanic activity that sculpted Maui’s topography ages ago. Like this trail, each of Maui’s best trails have a small piece of Maui’s past.

Maui Trails’ Locations

You will find the best hikes in Maui scattered all across the island. Each trail showcases Maui’s diverse nature.

Along the North Shore, discover the Twin Falls Trail tropical paradise. Head to the East Maui region, and explore the rugged trails in the Makawao Forest Reserve. The Sliding Trails’ stark beauty unfolds in part of a national park.

Each of the best hikes in Maui gives you a different view of the island’s enchanting appeal. These hikes make you want to explore every inch of this Hawaiian gem.

Best Hikes In Maui: Terrain Types

Each of the best hikes in Maui display nature’s beauty. Imagine hiking on trails where every turn unveils a unique view. This is what you should expect when you hike Maui’s trails.

The trails wander through lush rainforests. They brim with vivid green splendor. You might find yourself in a cool bamboo forest. Or, you might hike a gentle trail that winds around a volcano. Some trails lead to hidden waterfalls and others offer stunning coastal views.

Maui’s terrains vary from gentle, sandy pathways to steep, rocky inclines. You will also find easy trails with flat, grassy landscapes. Each trail testifies to Maui’s rich, diverse landscape.

(Credit: Dana Hutchinson)

Best Hikes In Maui: Wildlife and Plants

Mau’s native plants offer you a wild, colorful treat. The spectacular ‘āhihi-kīna’u (a native Hawaiian shrub) shows off a vibrant red color. The native mamane tree has delicate pink blossoms. The blossom’s simple beauty will captivate you.

The island’s trails offer glimpses of species not found anywhere else on the planet. The nēnē or Hawaiian goose is the state bird and often seen along the trails.

Maui Trails’ Difficulty

The best hikes in Maui offer trails for all hiking levels from beginner to experienced

Maui’s trails often become steep inclines on rocky paths. Still, hiking these heights rewards you with views of the island’s magnificent landscapes.

Safety Tips

Before you hike, be sure you know what kind of weather to expect. Weather often changes on the trail. Be prepared with clothing layers.

In case of an accident, be sure you have a first aid kit!

Stay on the trail! One of the main causes of hiking injuries or even death result from hikers leaving the trail. Stay on the trail!

Leave early. Give yourself time to hike when it’s cooler during the summer. Also, be sure you have time to return while it’s still daylight.

Follow The Leave No Trace Principles

Consider yourself one of the island’s guards. Be responsible for preserving its beauty for future generations.

Follow the “Leave No Trace Principles” to ensure nature’s beauty stays pristine. Imagine trails with no litter.

Also, respect the wildlife. Picture creatures at peace in their natural homes.

Finally, consider the importance of staying on the trail. Preserve the trail’s natural state by staying on the trail.

These principles form the cornerstone of outdoor ethics. They safeguard the trails for future generations.

Imagine leaving the trail untouched for the next hiker. Imagine every piece of trash as a trail blemish. Make it your mission to keep the best hikes in Maui as breathtaking as you found them.

Best Hikes In Maui: Trails To Hike

Explore Maui’s natural beauty by taking these best hikes in Maui.

For more information about the best hikes in Maui, see the AllTrails app. The free app has helpful information. The premium app has lots of useful hiking information including offline maps.

Iao Needle Lookout Trail and Ethnobotanical Loop

The trail has an unforgettable blend of:

  • History
  • Culture
  • Nature

The trail unfolds a captivating display of native Hawaiian plants. This makes the trail a nature lover’s paradise. The trail highlights the 1,200 feet high Iao Needle.

The lookout point lets you see the:

  • Bright green valley below
  • Needle shaped lava rock covered with emerald plants
  • Serene Iao stream

This trail has gentle inclines and well maintained paths. The trail offers a restful yet engaging hike suitable for all hikers.

7 Best Hikes in Maui
(Credit: Bernard Spragg, CC0 1.0 Universal)

Things To Know

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trail type: Loop
  • Distance: 0.6 miles
  • Elevation gain: 101 feet
  • Dogs: No

Kapalua Coastal Trail

The Kapalua trail lets you explore Maui’s rugged northwest coastline. This hike presents you with a visual feast of:

  • Stunning ocean views
  • Lush greenery
  • Volcanic rock formations

The trail begins at the shores of Kapalua Beach and treats you to scenic coastal landscapes. Most of the path is flat so it is a good hike for kids and beginners.

The tide pools offer opportunities to see marine life. The sweeping views provide a hypnotic background.

The trail ends at D.T. Fleming Beach Park. The park’s waters have perfect bodyboarding waves.

Things To Know

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trail type: Out & back
  • Distance: 2.5 miles
  • Elevation gain: 249 feet
  • Dogs: No

Makamakaole Stream: 13 Crossings

The trail begins by crossing a tranquil stream. Be ready for 12 more stream crossings! That’s the reason for 13 crossings in the trail’s name. Each crossing has a different view from serene pools to raging waterfalls.

A tropical rainforest covers the trail. You will love the trail’s green canopy above you and soft, mossy carpet beneath your feet.

The trail’s highlight is the majestic falls when you reach the eighth stream crossing. This waterfall has many tiers and cascades over rugged cliffs. Nature’s raw power and beauty will thrill you.

Things To Know

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail type: Out & back
  • Distance: 2.0 miles
  • Elevation gain: 495 feet
  • Dogs: No

Nakalele Blowhole Trail

You will notice the salty ocean air and sea sounds right away when you begin the Nakalele Blowhole Trail. The trail takes you over Maui’s northern coastline’s rocky terrain. Bring your hiking poles!

The trail’s highlight is the Nakalele Blowhole. The blowhole is a natural sea geyser. The geyser erupts and shoots sea water high into the sky. You will love this unmatched island sight!

(Credit: Courtney Collison, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Things To Know

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail type: Out & back
  • Distance: 1.2 miles
  • Elevation gain: 275 feet
  • Dogs: On leash

Seven Sacred Pools Trail (‘Ohe’o Gulch)

Particularly noteworthy is the Seven Sacred Pools Trail, also known as ‘Ohe’o Gulch. This trail presents a spectacle of cascading waterfalls and tranquil pools.

The hike through ‘Ohe’o Gulch offers a lush, green pathway covered by a dense tropical forest. Along the trail, you will see gushing waterfalls.

The waterfalls feed into the sacred pools that give the trail its name. Each pool invites you to admire its serene beauty.

This trail not only offers a brisk hike but also a chance to appreciate Maui’s natural wonders up close.

Things To Know

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trail type: Loop
  • Distance: 0.6 miles
  • Elevation gain: 75 feet
  • Dogs: No

Twin Falls Trail

The Twin Falls Trail takes you to the heart of Maui’s lush vegetation. The beginning of the trail delights you with tropical plants’ fragrant scents filling the air. As you hike, also enjoy the soothing sounds of water trickling over rocks.

You will see two spectacular waterfalls. Each waterfall has its own unique charm.

The first waterfall cascades over jagged rocks into a crystal clear pool. The pool invites you to take a refreshing swim. The second waterfall roars with its awe inspiring view.

You want to take this hike, and see these falls!

Things To Know

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail type: Out & back
  • Distance: 1.8 miles
  • Elevation gain: 357 feet
  • Dogs: On leash

Waimoku Falls via Pipiwai Trail

You will love the trail’s lush bamboo forest and the majestic Waimoku Falls. Listen to the native bird’s enchanting chorus as you hike through the dense greenery.

The trail has pretty tropical plants speckled along the way. The Pipiwai stream’s gentle trickle also follows you as you hike along the trail.

You will love the roaring 400 feet Waimoku Falls! This awesome waterfall tumbles down a sheer lava rock wall. The tumbling water creates a mysterious, misty view that you want to see.

7 Best Hikes in Maui
(Credit: Angela Sevin, CC BY-NC 2.0)

Things To Know

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail type: Out & back
  • Distance: 3.4 miles
  • Elevation gain: 1,017 feet
  • Dogs: No

Best Hikes In Maui: Conclusion

Maui offers captivating hiking trails. The best hikes in Maui offer breathtaking views and unique wildlife. Each trail teems with lush greenery and spectacular waterfalls.

Maui has hikes for every hiker. The hikes give you a perfect mix of adventure and relaxation. This tropical paradise is a hiker’s dream!

If you need hiking gear, Amazon has some very good gear and economical prices.

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