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Local Experts: Maui, Kyle Ellison

By Local Expert Kyle Ellison

Best Ziplining on Maui

Just like stand up paddling, tow surfing, and even kite surfing, ziplining is an activity that traces it roots to right here on Maui. America’s first zipline was opened in Maui back in 2002, and over a dozen companies have harnessed the thrill since those humble early beginnings. While the act of simply zipping through the air used to offer enough adventure, companies today combine the high-speed ziplining with natural conservation and killer views. In fact, on a couple of the courses on the West Maui slopes, the panoramic views of the outer islands compete with the activity itself. Feel the momentary sense of freedom while flying above the trees, and relish the fleeting moments of silence broken only by the sound of the breeze. (And, of course, try not to look down; your two dangling feet are sure to be dwarfed by the gaping ravines below.) While some courses are better for children and others are for daredevils only, the following zip courses are the best in their categories for ziplining on Maui.

Flyin’ Hawaiian Zipline

Adrenaline seekers needn’t look elsewhere; this eight-line course in Central Maui not only features the island’s longest zipline (nearly ¾ of a mile in length), but visitors soar across so many ridges that the tour actually finishes in a different town than where it began. Also, participants on every tour help to plant native trees and remove invasive plants.

Kapalua Zipline

If the two miles of zipping over seven parallel lines doesn’t offer enough of a thrill, walking the length of Hawaii’s longest suspension bridge might end up doing the trick. The drop beneath the wobbling bridge is over 300 feet to the ground, so keeping your eyes on the island-flecked horizon might help to ease the nerves.

Skyline Eco-Adventures Ka‘anapali

Created by the founders of the nation’s original zipline back in 2002, the Ka‘anapali course offers sweeping views of neighboring Moloka’i and Lana‘i. Temperatures can be scorching towards the middle of the day, but the “Zip N Dip” tour lets visitors cool off with a zipline that ends in a reservoir.

Pi‘iholo Zipline

As well as an intoxicating rush of adrenaline, zippers are bathed in the scent of eucalyptus while soaring above the Makawao forests on this zipline. Parallel lines allow tandem zipping, and views from the final, 2,800-foot line stretch from the North Shore to Haleakala’s summit. In winter, you may even see small waterfalls in the valley beneath your feet.

Maui Zipline

Tucked in the Maui Tropical Plantation, this zipline is a great draw for families with small children; keiki as young as five years old can join in. The lines aren’t as long as the “big person” courses, but the side-by-side, 900-foot line means you can watch your child’s smiling face as cheeks flap wildly in the breeze.

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