MAUI ISLAND HIKING TRAILS
|Do not damage or remove any plants.
Do not molest or disturb any animal, bird, or its habitat.
Do not damage, deface or remove any object of antiquity, monuments, or geological features.
Place all waste materials in provided receptacles.
|No fires shall be built except in
provided fireplaces. Portable stoves or warming devices
may be used in established camping and picnic areas.
Pets are not permitted to run at large in park grounds and buildings.
No person shall drink or display to public view any intoxicating beverages.
No person shall engage in peddling, soliciting, selling, advertising, or charging of admission without a permit.
|There are running
streams in the wet forested areas on the windward side of
the island. One should be very cautious of drinking or
even swimming in these streams. As a rule, Maui's streams
with their relatively warm waters often contain bacterial
counts exceeding the safe limits established by the
Department of Health. These waters may also contain the
organism Leptospirosis which can be contracted
through drinking or through contact with scratches or
cuts in the skin. Leptospirosis is a serious
malady which produces strong flu-like symptoms which in a
few cases have proven fatal. Be cautious of slow or warm
running streams. Spring waters, where they can be found,
are always the safest.
Proper clothing and shoes are an important consideration. Climates can range from extremely hot to freezing and from humid or raining to desert dry. The trail descriptions will give you an idea of the climate and terrain so you can plan accordingly.
|WAIHEE RIDGE TRAIL (2.5 miles)|
|ACCESS: From Kahekili Highway (34), turn
up the Maluhia Road leading 0.9 mile mauka to just before
Camp Maluhia. A sign on a fence marks the beginning of
the trail, which follows a series of right-of-way markers
through the pasture before entering the forest.
ROUTE: This trail climbs the windward slope of West Maui 2.5 miles to a peak overlooking Wailuku. It begins just below the Boy Scout's Camp Maluhia in the pasture and climbs through a brushy guava thicket, a young planted stand of trees and finally into wet native scrub forest. As one progresses up the ridge the view continually changes. First one looks down on the Boy Scout Camp, then into Waihee gorge with its dark verdant cliffs, then north into Makamakaole Gulch, and finally at the top one can see Wailuku and central Maui, to the north the Kahakuloa slopes and directly inland Mount Eke can be seen high in the clouds.
The trail is well marked and in good condition although somewhat steep at times. It climbs from 1,000 feet to 2,563 feet in elevation. Boots are recommended for protection and traction. The weather while sometimes beautifully clear is usually overcast at the summit with frequent passing showers. Trade winds blowing inland usually keep the area cool. Although the area is damp there is no drinking water along the trail. Be sure to bring your own supply. There are no facilities along this trail as it was designed for natural environment day use. Camping is not permitted.
|HOAPILI TRAIL (5.5 Miles)|
|ACCESS: Take Kihei Road (31) going south.
The pavement ends just past Makena State Park where a
dirt road continues to Makena Village. From there it
becomes quite rough, continuing another 5 miles through
the Ahini-Kinau Natural Area Reserve to La Perouse Bay.
This section should not be attempted in a standard sedan.
Jeeps and pickups are better suited for it.
ROUTE: This trail follows Maui's southern coastline form La Perouse Bay east 5.5 miles to Kanaio Beach. It follows the Hawaiian "King's Highway" almost entirely thorugh the barren, jagged lava flows of Maui's most recent eruptions of the 1700's. The climate here is exceedingly dry and the lava flows are nearly devoid of vegetation.
The trail itself is very rough for the first few miles and is closed to even the use of four-wheel drive vehicles as many end up stuck or damaged by the jagged rocks. The trail along the Hoapili Trail is easy to follow. Smooth stepping stones were laid out to form a path through the lava flows so that the kings and their retinues could easily travel around the island exacting taxes and tribute from their people in the various districts.
The first part of the trail passes through kiawe trees along a portion of sandy beach at La Perouse Bay. It then climbs up onto a rough lava field which it traverses for 2.0 miles inland from the coast. Just past the beach a .75 mile spur trail heads down to the tip of Cape Hanamanioa where a Coast Guard lighthouse is situated along a low sea cliff. Past the 2.0 mile lava flow the trail hits the coast again at the beginning of an older flow. This flow is thinly vegetated with kiawe and other dryland plants and is the site of many old Hawaiian stone walls and house foundations. It is the beginning of a broad stretch of coastline known as Kanaio Beach. There are many narrow coves with pebble or coral beaches. After about a mile of this older flow, the trail hits another recent lava flow 2.5 miles wide that originated from the big cinder cone, Pimoe, 3.0 miles inland. The trail again passes inland nearly a mile from the sea and goes straight across the point to a last small portion of older flow along the coast. Just past this cove the King's Highway leaves state land and passes out of our jurisdiction.
Pole fishing along the coast is excellent but the area is extremely hot and dry and there is no water or other facilities. If you are hiking into this area you must be self-sufficient. Hiking boots are a must. Camping is permitted along the coast beyond the end of the first big flow at Kanaio Beach. The land around La Perouse Bay and the lighthouse is privately owned and camping is not permitted.
|KULA & KAHIKINUI FOREST RESERVE TRAILS|
|ACCESS: These trails all lie within the
Kula and Kahikinui Forest Reserves. Access to these
trails is through the Polipoli Road. From the Kahului
area proceed up Highway 37 past Pukulani to the second
junction of Highway 377 just before the 14-mile marker.
Turn left on 377 for 0.3 of a mile and then turn right
onto Waipoli Road. Waipoli Road (which becomes Polipoli
Access Road at the first cattle guard) climbs up the
mountain through a long series of switchbacks until it
enters the forest at 6,400 feet elevation.
Due to the nature of the road and inclement weather conditions, a four-wheel drive vehicle is a must.
|REDWOOD TRAIL (1.7 Miles)|
|ROUTE: The trail starts at Polipoli State Park at 6,200 feet elevation, winds through stands of redwood and other conifers past Tie Trail junction and down to the old ranger's cabin at 5,300 feet. The trail is completely within the planted forest and although there are no distant views the groves of trees are impressive and beautiful. At the end of the trail is an old CCC camp and a three-way junction, the beginning point of both the Plum Trail and the Boundary Trail. There are several plum trees and other fruit trees at this old camp area. One can find rustic shelter in the old CCC barracks building at trail's end and in a small overnight shelter located at the Tie Trail junction.|
|TIE TRAIL (0.5 Mile)|
|ROUTE: This is a short trail that joins the Redwood Trail with the Plum Trail. It begins 0.8 mile along the Redwood Trail and meets Plum Trail 0.6 mile from the ranger's cabin. It descends 500 feet through stands of sugi, cedar, and ash.|
|PLUM TRAIL (1.7 Mile)|
|ROUTE: The trail begins at the old CCC camp area and climbs gradually across the mountain until it joins with the Haleakala Ridge Trail. This trail is completely within a planted forest of ash, redwood, sugi and other species. Along the trail are numerous plum trees which bear during the summer.|
|HALEAKALA RIDGE TRAIL (1.6 Miles)|
|ROUTE: This trail starts above the park on the skyline switchback at 6,550 feet elevation and works down the crest of the southwest rift of Haleakala past the Plum Trail junction to the lower forest reserve boundary at 5,600 feet elevation. Much of this trail is not forested and there are many spectacular views in all directions. The trail passes alternately through rough cinders, native scrub brush, grassy swales and planted forest of pines, eucalyptus and other species. Three-tenths of a mile from the top, the trail joins the end of Polipoli Trail leading back to the park. At the 0.7 mile point a short spur trail leads down into a cinder cone at the bottom of which is a cave which has been developed into a trail shelter. At 1.2 miles there is a junction with the Plum Trail which heads north across the mountain slope. After winding through a last stretch of forest, the trail breaks out of the trees onto the crest of the ridge overlooking a beautiful portion of the rift valley and the pastured slopes below. A rustic trail shelter is located near the end of the trail near the forest fence.|
|POLIPOLI TRAIL (0.6 Mile)|
|ROUTE: The trail begins at Polipoli State Park and crosses on the contour of the Haleakala Ridge Trail. It passes through dense stands of cypress, cedars, and pines and ends in an open grassy swale.|
|BOUNDARY TRAIL (4 Miles)|
|ROUTE: The trail begins just past the Kula Forest Reserve boundary cattle guard on the Polipoli Road, descends via many switchbacks to the lower boundary and proceeds southward above the fence line all the way to the ranger's cabin at the junction of Redwood Trail and Plum Trail. At the 2.6 mile mark it joins with the Waiohuli Trail which also comes down from Polipoli Road. The trail crosses many gulches through native scrub, remnant native forest and planted stands of eucalyptus, pines, cedars and other species. There are many places along the trail where one can get good views of Kula and Central Maui.|
|WAIOHULI TRAIL (1.4 Miles)|
|ROUTE: The trail begins at the Polipoli Access Road at 6,400 feet elevation and goes straight down the mountain side to join the Boundary Trail at 5,600 feet. It passes through young pine plantings and open scrub and grasslands in the upper portion and through older stands of ash, redwood, and cedars below. A rustic trail shelter is located at the end of the trail above the forest fence overlooking Keokea and Kihei.|
|UPPER WAIAKOA TRAIL (7.0 Miles)|
|ROUTE: The trail begins on the Polipoli Access Road at 6,400 feet elevation and proceeds up Haleakala through plantings of mixed pine species. It passes by a natural cave shelter and climbs slowly across the mountain side, encountering scrubby vegetation and increasingly rugged terrain. It crosses the land of Kaonoulu to the land of Waiakoa where it reaches its highest point at 7,800 feet elevation. At this point the land is very rocky and nearly barren. These are excellent views of central and west Maui. From this point the trail descends via switchbacks to join the Waiakoa Loop Trail at 6,000 feet elevation. There is no water or other facility along this trail except for the natural cave shelter.|
|WAIAKOA LOOP TRAIL (3.0 Miles)|
|ROUTE: This trail begins at the game checking station on the Polipoli Access Road near the top of the switchbacks. The road travels 3/4 mile on the contour to a gate where the trail starts. The trail travels north on the contour for about a mile, switchbacks down about 500 feet, heads back south above the forest boundary and then switchbacks up 500 feet to the starting point at the gate. The vegetation is mostly native scrub and grass with some planted pines near the gate and extensive black watle in the lower portion. There are excellent views in all directions.|
|SKYLINE TRAIL (6.5 Miles)|
|ROUTE: The trail begins at 9,750 feet
elevation near the top of the southwest rift of
Haleakala. The trail begins at the lowest point on the
Science City Road, passes through an iron gate and down
the ridge till it ends at Skyline switchback at 6,500
feet at the upper end of Haleakala Ridge Trail. The
terrain is rugged and barren with over a dozen cinder
cones and craters along the length of the rift.
Vegetation is almost nonexistent to 9,000 feet with the
mamane tree line beginning at 8,600 feet at Kanahau. The
native scrub gets denser and more varied toward the lower
Views to the east, south, and west are spectacular and the awesome landscape allows one to experience the mountain's primitive volcanic origin. The Skyline Trail provides access to the Kahua Road at Ballpark junction at 7,000 feet and to the Haleakala Ridge Trail and the Kula Forest Access Road at the lower end.
|KAHUA ROAD (6.5 Miles)|
|ROUTE: The road begins on the lower
Skyline Road at Ballpark junction at 7,100 feet elevation
and travels east on the contour through rough lava
country to the cinder cone Kahua.
The ballpark is a large grassy flat which got its name during the 1930's, when the Civilian Conservation Corps used to play softball during leisure hours. A horse trail used to go to Kahua; later it was bulldozed into a rough road. The country is quite dry and barren with many lava flows vegetation being comprised of only the hardiest scrub species. The road is used primarily by goat hunters who use it as access to the rugged east Kahikinui hunting grounds. There is an overnight trail shelter with water at Kahua that can accomodate four people. On clear days one can see all the way across Kahikinui to the Kaupo Gap. Motorcycles and 4-wheel drive vehicles may use this road.
|WAIKAMOI RIDGE TRAIL (0.8 Mile)|
|ACCESS: On Hana Highway (360) drive 3.5
miles past Kailua Village going toward Keanae. At this
point, there is a parking area with picnic shelters above
ROUTE: This is a short nature trail that climbs a forested slope to a lookout and picnic site. The trail starts at a picnic shelter and climbs through a lush forest of native and planted trees, and a grove of bamboo. Many of the trees are identified by a sign for the information of hikers. At the top the trail breaks out of the trees into a grassy clearing with another shelter and picnic site. There is a return loop that goes down the ridge to an overlook and then along the contour to the beginning point. The trail is in good condition though often muddy and hiking boots are not necessary. There is no water or restroom facility at this site. Camping is not permitted.
|KAELEKU ULAINO ROAD (3.0 Miles)|
|ACCESS: On Hana Highway (360) go to
Kaeleku, a junction on the main road. Just past the Rodeo
Arena and 0.5 mile before the Hana Airport Road.
ROUTE: This is a rough 3.0 mile right-of-way leading from Hana Highway into the coastline at the site of the abandoned village of Ulaino. This road is negotiable by four-wheel drive vehicles or motorcycles but it makes a nice hike too. It begins at Kaeleku and angles to the left through 2.0 miles of lush Hana Ranch pasture before entering the forest. The last mile is an incredibly lush kukui and hala (pandanus) forest that grows in the rough lava terrain. Ulaino village is only recognizable by stone walls, trees and a couple of small houses, having largely succumbed to the jungle. The road ends at a rocky cove along the coastline which is quite scenic as well as a good place for diving. A fresh water stream forms a large shallow pool which is backed up by the rocky bar along the shore. The weather is often rainy and humid along this road. For those who walk in, hiking boots are recommended. There are no restroom facilities along this road.
|HANA - WAIANAPANAPA COASTAL TRAIL (3.0 Miles)|
|ACCESS: In Hana, take the gravel road
leading past a cemetery to Kainalimu Bay just northwest
of the popular Hana Bay.
ROUTE: This trail follows the coastline from just north of Hana Bay to beyond Waianapanapa State Park. The trail begins in Kainalimu Bay and follows the jagged lava coastline along the Hawaiian "King's Highway." This trail is still visible in places where smooth stepping stones were set into the rough lava and cinders. The coastline is ruggedly scenic with black lava jutting into the deep blue ocean. The vegetation is primarily hala (pandanus) and beach naupaka along with a few halophytic herbaceous plants. Looking inland one will get a sweeping view of Hana Forest Reserve with its densely vegetated cinder cones. About 2.0 miles down the coast lies Waianapanapa State Park. Here there are 12 cabins for rental, picnic tables, showers, and restroom facilities. This State Park is also accessible by road from Hana Highway. The trail continues past the park around Pukaulua Point nearly to Hana Airport. There is usually a breeze blowing in off the ocean with frequent showers. The trail is in fair shape and easy to follow, but boots are recommended because of the sharp lava. The coastline is excellent for pole fishing. About half way between Waianapanapa and Hana a Heiau (Hawaiian temple site) has been cleared of vegetation and provides an interesting stopping point. Camping is permitted at Waianapanapa State Park with a camping permit from the Division of State Parks.
|HALEAKALA NATIONAL PARK|
|Haleakala Crater in Haleakala National
Park constitutes an erosional depression filled by later
volcanics. The initial shield volcanic dome may have
reached 12,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean before a
period of dormancy allowed deep valleys to be cut into
it. The final joining of two of these formed the Koolau
and Kaupo Gap and present "Haleakala Crater."
Subsequent volcanic eruptions from cones inside this
depression poured lava down these valleys into the ocean,
forming a relatively smooth floor.
In the geological sense Haleakala is considered dormant, the last eruption having occurred on its southwestern flank in the 1700's, although tremors indicating ground movement are still recorded.
Visitors are required to obtain a permit at Park Headquarters before entering the crater wilderness on an overnight trip; day-use visitors may sign in at the trail heads. Park trails within the Crater District range from an elevation of 10,000 feet at the summit to 3,800 feet in Kaupo Gap. Visitors should recognize that at these elevations one may tire quickly and the return journey can be difficult and intensified by quick change of weather.
Camping and picnicking facilities are maintained at Hosmer Grove near the park entrance, including cooking and drinking water. Follow this link for further information regarding camping or cabins at Haleakala National Park.
|HALEMAUU TRAIL (10 Miles)|
|ROUTE: The Halemauu Trail begins on the west side of the crater and descends in a series of switchbacks to the crater floor and into the east end of Haleakala Crater. The first mile is fairly level traversing a high elevation native shrub type to the crater rim. The switchbacks negotiate the steep 1,500 foot cliff providing excellent views of the crater and Koolau Gap. At the crater floor the trail follows the west rim for one mile to the Holua cabin for a total of four miles. The vegetation in Koolau Gap and in the vicinity of Holua cabin is very sparse as it grows on rough lava. The cabin is located at an elevation of 7,000 feet. The trail continues another six miles across the crater floor to Paliku cabin.|
|SLIDING SANDS TRAIL (10 Miles)|
|ROUTE: The Sliding Sands Trail is the summit trail into the crater. It begins near the visitor center at 10,000 feet and follows the base of the south rim of the crater to the Kapalaoa cabin for a total distance of six miles. The first four miles of the trail descends through barren and loose cinder slides under the south rim to the crater floor at 7,400 feet. The trail is fairly level for the next two miles to Kapalaoa cabin, passing through sparse grass flats. This cabin rests directly under the south rim near the middle of the crater at 7,200 feet. From Kapalaoa the trail descends gradually to another four miles to Paliku cabin, located under a vertical cliff at the easternmost end of the crater at 6,400 feet. Paliku is wetter than the rest of the crater, with vegetation grading into grass flats and forested slopes from the drier high desert flora found in the west end.|
|KAUPO GAP TRAIL (8.3 Miles)|
|ROUTE: The Kaupo Gap Trail begins at the
Paliku Cabin at 6,400 feet elevation and traverses the
length of the gap to the Piilani Highway at 300 feet
elevation. The first 3.5 miles of the trail passes
through the National Park and ends at the park boundary
at 3,800 feet elevation. This area is rough lava thickly
vegetated with low native forest and brushland. From the
park boundary the trail passes into the privately owned
Kaupo Ranch pastures and descends sharply 4.8 miles to
the Piilani Highway near the coast. This portion of the
trail is well marked with the National Park signs. Hikers
are cautioned to stay on the trail at all times. Scenery
includes the cliffs on two sides of the gap in the upper
portion and a panoramic view of the coastline in the
Weather conditions in the crater district vary from generally dry and warm summers with occasional windy weather to cold, wet, windy weather in the winter. Overnight temperatures in winter may drop below freezing and occasional snow may occur above 8,000 feet.
1/ Sources: Island of Maui Recreation Map, State of Hawaii, Department of Land and Natural Resources, August 1990.
2/ Users are invited to print this map for personal non-commercial use (best printed in "landscape" orientation); however, reproduction or conversion of the map in any form is prohibited. Common law and statutory copyrights are reserved.