Have you ever wanted to stand at the top of a mountain in utter silence and commune with the clouds? That is exactly what you'll be able to do on the Waihee Ridge Trail. The 5-mile round trip trail ascends 1,500 feet through a lush forest of kukui, guava, ohi'a, and ferns. The earlier you start the trail the better chance you have of viewing the Waihee Valley without clouds. When you arrive at the trailhead it may not seem like much of a trail. You have to pass through a cattle-proof gate and up a 200-ft cement road that is far steeper than it looks. None the less the initial incline will have you almost hating this trail before it even begins - but KEEP going, it's about to get really good. At the top of the incline, catch your breath and take a first peak over at Makamaka'ole Falls on your right. At the trail sign you'll veer to your left into a pasture and soon enter the forest.

Just after three quarters of a mile, you'll again be treated to a better view of Makamaka'ole Falls. There are a few other falls to see on the trail but most of them are far away and buried in the green-draped valleys of the West Mau'i Mountains. After about a mile you'll really start to be rewarded with amazing views of the valley. The trail goes in cycles of flat and steep areas culminating in a series of switchbacks that lead to the end, a hill called Lani-ili. At 2,563 feet you may be blessed with a clear view of the valley or you may be treated to a sea of clouds. Either way this is certainly a priceless experience. There is a picnic table at the trail's end if you would like to eat a snack or have lunch. To reach the trailhead, take Highway 32 west out of Kahului until you reach Highway 330, about three miles. Turn right on Highway 330 and continue until it becomes Highway 340 at mile marker 2. At 9/10 mile past mile marker 6 is the Maluhia Boy Scout Camp on the left. Turn left on to this road and it is approximately 1 mile up hill until you reach a small parking area.

Article Edited/Contributed by: John C. Derrick

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