Hiking on Maui

Valley Isle Hiking Trails

Maui hiking is a popular activity when visiting the island of Maui. In fact hiking on Maui is a great family activity plus an excellent way to spend the day regardless of whether you're hiking with a group or by yourself.

Let's take a look at the top Maui hiking available to visitors.

Makahiku Falls along the Pipiwai Trail in Haleakala National Park

Makahiku Falls along the Pipiwai Trail in Haleakala National Park

First on our list if the popular Pipiwai Trail located at the Oheo Gulch (7 Sacred Pools) in northeast Maui. This four-mile (round trip) trail takes you through some incredible sights, including a mysterious bamboo forest that’s sure to delight, and concludes at the impressive horseshoe shaped valley with 400’ Waimoiku Falls cascading down the walls before you. 

I hope you brought your camera, it’s not every day you’ll get a sight this impressive. Best of all, Waimoku Falls is usually flowing even when it has been dry on Maui – so it’s always worth the hike.

Second on our list is the Sliding Sands Trail atop Haleakala Volcano. You’ll want to dress warmly for this hike, as it can get quite chilly. Also, be sure to prepare yourself for jaw-dropping views into the Haleakala volcano. It may look big from the summit lookout, but to really appreciate just how BIG this volcano is, you’ll want to hike down into it a bit. Go as far as you feel comfortable because it’s going to be some work physically to get back out. The elevation loss/gain is pretty consistent, so even if you only hike the first half or full mile in, it won’t be bad hiking out. Be sure to stay on the trail, you don’t want to damage the rare and native Silverswords that grow near and around the trail. The contrasts of colors as you go along the trail are incredible, and the Martian-like landscape is pretty amazing to view in person – photos just don’t do it justice.

Third on our Maui hiking list is Waihee Trail. This trail, located in northwest Maui, takes you along a journey up the spine of Waihee Valley, and while it can be quite a climb (especially at first), the journey is very Kauai-esque if you ask us.  Kauai is the oldest and westernmost major island in the chain, and this hike has scenery we feel resembles that island. If it’s clear of clouds when you reach the top, the views are surreal. Even if the clouds do sock you in, it’s a mystic experience to sit there in the silence and focus on the energy of Maui. This is one of our favorite hikes, and if not for the steep incline at the beginning of the trail (and it is steep) we think this trail would be a lot more popular.

Forth on our list is the Waikamoi Ridge Trail loop, located along the Hana Highway in northeast Maui. Waikamoi holds a very special and dear meaning to me personally, as it was this lush, vegetative, and rainforest-like location that Hawaii first really ‘spoke’ to me. This website is a testament to the experience I had along this trail. It’s a short loop, or you can take the extended path up to the picnic area further up the ridge. This is a great hike for families.

Fifth and final on our list of major hiking trails on Maui is the Kuloa Point Trail, also located at the Oheo Gulch beyond Hana. This short hike is another great hike for families that will take you in the opposite direction of the Pipiwai trail, down along the stream makai (towards the ocean) to where the major pools spill into the ocean. It’s very scenic in places and we always enjoy trotting down to watch locals jump in the pools from above. We’re of the opinion swimming here is risky due to the flow of the pools, but check with the rangers to see about swimming conditions. Sometimes the flow of the stream is much lighter and this allows visitors to take a quick dip in these majestic pools.

Well, that’s our short list of the major Maui hiking adventures available on the island. Again, we’ve linked to each of these hikes with more details, including photos and videos, below.

If you have any questions or feel we’ve left a Maui hiking trail off this list, shoot us an email at [email protected]

Caldera of the Haleakala volcano

Caldera of the Haleakala volcano

Other Maui Suggestions

Maui Hiking Photo Gallery

Article Edited/Contributed by: John C. Derrick
Published/Updated:

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