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Local Experts: Maui, Kyle Ellison

By Local Expert Kyle Ellison

Best Hikes on Maui

1
Pipiwai Trail

Pipiwai Trail

The hiking directions for this Kipahulu trail seem like a treasure map out of a fairytale: Past the towering banyan tree and its radiant network of branches, cross the bridge to a forest with bamboo so dense it blocks out the sun. At the end of the nearly two-mile trail lies 400’ Waimoku Falls, the most captivating, neck-craning, and time-stopping cascade found anywhere on Maui’s east shore. When finished, cool off in the nearby Pools of Ohe‘o.

2
Hoapili Trail

Hoapili Trail

Be sure to start early, because this trail is hot. Weaving through craggy black lava formations created by Maui’s last eruption, the Hoapili Trail traces the ancient footpath of Hawaiian nobility and kings. There is little shade and the sun can be scorching, but abandoned Hawaiian village sites and views of the volcanic coastline make this one of Maui’s most adventurous hikes.  

3
Kapalua Coastal Trail

Kapalua Coastal Trail

Bookended by beaches that have both been voted as the #1 beach in America, this 1.75 mile coastal trail is the perfect morning stroll. Begin in the parking lot of Kapalua Bay and head north towards D.T. Fleming Beach Park, passing hidden Oneloa Beach and its frequently empty shores. For an adventurous side trip, take the spur trail to Hawea Point to watch turtles surfacing for air. 

4
Keonehe‘ehe‘e-Halemau‘u Trail

Keonehe‘ehe‘e-Halemau‘u Trail

Between the colorful cinder, the thin mountain air, and the epically lunar landscape, it’s easy to see why astronauts have trained here before blasting off for the moon. Colloquially known as “Sliding Sands to Switchback,” this 12-mile trail across Haleakala Crater is scenic, serene, and silent.   

5
Waihe‘e Ridge Trail

Waihe‘e Ridge Trail

For the most part, the steep ridgelines of West Maui aren’t accessible to the general public. The one exception is the Waihe‘e Ridge Trail, a guava-laden path that weaves 2,600 feet above the blustery Central Maui shoreline. Mornings are best to beat the clouds, and you can often see whales adding splashes to the whitecaps when hiking from December-April.


Visit the Best Hikes on Maui

Waihe‘e Ridge Trail
Waihe‘e, HI 96793, United States
8.2/10

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Trail
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Keonehe‘ehe‘e-Halemau‘u Trail
Haleakala National Park, Haleakala National Park, HI, United States
0/10

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Trail
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Kapalua Coastal Trail
Lahaina, HI 96761, United States
8.2/10

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Trail
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Hoapili Trail
La Perouse Bay, Wailea, HI 96753, United States
7.6/10

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Beach
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Pipiwai Trail
42222 Hana Hwy (Trail entrance at Kipahulu Visitor Center), Hāna, HI 96713, United States
0/10

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