ALOHA!

 

So you want to go to see some stunning views of Hawaii as a part of your time on Maui!

Which are the best hikes on Maui that will give you some of those amazing Maui views?!

 

Best Maui hikes. Best hiking in Hawaii. Hawaiian islands trails. west maui. south maui. road to hana. haleakala national park. bamboo forest. waterfalls. volcano crater. lava fields. Hawaii travel blog

 

First, the quick list of the top 5 Maui hikes to know about when you want to get in some Maui hiking when you’re in Hawaii.

Then, a bit more about each of these hikes, including some things to do when you’re in the area! (Which can be perfect to maximize your time on Maui!)

And then, a sample plan for how to spend 5 days in Maui that revolves around hiking.

And then, a quick note on hiking alone on Maui.

Also for these trails, be sure to see Hawaii hiking essentials and what to wear hiking in Maui!

 

 

So now…

5 best hikes on Maui when it’s your first trip to Hawaii

Best Maui hikes. Best hiking in Hawaii. Hawaiian islands trails. west maui. south maui. road to hana. haleakala national park. bamboo forest. waterfalls. volcano crater. lava fields. Hawaii travel blog

 

1. Waihee Ridge Trail

Best hike in West Maui mountains

Best Maui hikes: Waihee Ridge trail. Best hike in West Maui. Best hiking in Hawaii. Hawaii travel blog

 

 

2. Pipiwai Trail

Best bamboo forest hike in Maui, in Haleakala National Park Kipahulu district, Hana Highway

Best Maui hikes: Pipiwai trail. Best bamboo forest hike in Maui. Best waterfall hikes in Maui on Road to Hana. hawaii national park hike. Best hiking in Hawaii. Hawaii travel blog

 

 

3. Sliding Sands Trail

Best volcano crater hike in Maui, in Haleakala National Park summit district

Best Maui hikes: Sliding Sands Trail. Best haleakala national park hike in Maui. volcano crater hike in Maui. Best hiking in Hawaii. Hawaii travel blog

 

 

4. Waianapanapa Coastal Trail

Best hike in Waianapanapa State Park, Road to Hana

Best Maui hikes: Piilani Trail - Waianapanapa Coastal Trail. Best Road to Hana hikes in Maui. black sand beach hike. Best hiking in Hawaii. Hawaii travel blog

 

 

5. Hoapili Trail

Best hike in South Maui

Best Maui hikes: Hoapili trail. Kings Trail. Kings Highway. Best hike in South Maui. Best hiking in Hawaii. Hawaii travel blog

 

 

Where should you stay in Maui if you want to hike?

Based on the top 5 hikes just listed, if you are looking for a definitive answer, maybe you should stay in Paia or Kihei if you want to do many Maui hikes. These areas will offer the overall most convenient access to these Maui hiking trails.

Because these hikes are located really all over the island, no matter where you stay, you will be driving a lot.

So in general, the more centrally located you are staying in Maui, literally in the middle of Maui between the 2 main parts of the island, then you’ll minimize your overall driving time… if you are interested in staying in just one place during your time on Maui.

There are centrally located Maui hostels in Paia and Wailuku. These hostels also offer free group tours

 

 

MAP: Hiking in Maui around the island

Maui hiking map: where should you stay if you want to hike in maui. where to stay in maui. hawaii travel blog
Explore the map.

 

It is absolutely not reasonable to do ALL of these Maui hikes in one day. But just for the visual of the roads you’ll be driving to get to these hikes, you can have a look at the map above. As you can see, you will literally be exploring different parts of Maui!

 

 

PLUS….

Best coastal walks in Maui

There are also nice scenic mostly leisurely coastal walks on Maui!

 

1. Kaanapali coastal walk, West Maui

Best coastal hikes in Maui: Kaanapali beach coastal trail walk in West Maui. Hawaii travel blog
Also called the Kaanapali Beach Walk.

 

 

2. Kapalua Coastal Trail, West Maui

Best coastal hikes in Maui: Kapalua coastal trail walk in West Maui. Hawaii travel blog
And also hike the Dragons Teeth trail to Makaluapuna Point that’s a short side trail, and also spend your time at the quiet Ironwoods Beach along the Kapalua Coastal Trail.

 

 

3. Wailea coastal walk, South Maui

Best coastal hikes in Maui: Wailea beach coastal trail walk in South Maui. Hawaii travel blog
Also called the Wailea Beach Path.

 

 

PLUS…

Walk the back road to Hana!

Part of it anyway!
Best coastal hikes in Maui: hana highway, back road to hana. Hawaii travel blog

 

Walking this part of the Hana Highway can be another grand coastal walk on Maui!

If you’ll be staying a few nights in the town of Hana, you can make it a day trip to walk the back road to Hana! The “trail” will be the Hana Highway, the same road that the cars drive.

Your starting point can be the Haleakala National Park Kipahulu Visitor Center. (Since there’s easy public parking there as long as you have paid the entry fee on a previous visit within 3 days, or you may also consider getting the Hawaii national park pass or US national park pass that will last for a year.)

And then from the Kipahulu Visitor Center, you can walk as far as you want to go along the Hana Highway! A reasonable destination can be to walk to Alelele Falls. That would be around 7 miles round trip. Or keep going!

 

 

See more about taking the back road to Hana to get to Alelele Falls.

 

 

Walk the rugged West Maui coastline

And for even more to do on Maui, if you are looking for a way to spend your day that will keep you somewhat active, you can make it a day trip to the far north of West Maui with a bunch of shorter walks:

 

 

Do you need a car to do these Maui hikes?

You do need a car to get to the top 5 Maui hikes on this list. You also need a car to start the walk on the back road to Hana, and you need a car to go to the far north of West Maui.

While there is a bus on Maui that can get you to some places on the island, the starting point of all of these hikes are far from the nearest bus stop.

See more about the best of Maui with a car to make the most of your time with a rental car!

 

 

Maui coastal walks without a car

If you are looking to take a bus to get around Maui, for reference: the furthest north the bus goes in West Maui is to Kapalua (near Ironwoods and Dragons Teeth), and the furthest south the bus goes in South Maui is to Wailea (near the Shops at Wailea).

This means that you can go to the West Maui and South Maui casual coastal walks mentioned above without a car, in Kaanapali, Kapalua, and Wailea. Google maps for public transit in Maui works!

See more about getting around Maui by bus.

 

 

More pictures of the best hikes in Maui below along with a few Maui planning tips that includes things to do nearby these hiking trails! It also includes a Maui hiking itinerary for 5 days in Maui!

 

 

🌴

 

 

 

Now…

A little more about the best Maui hikes!

…aka some of the best things to do on Maui!

Best Maui hikes. Best hiking in Hawaii. Hawaiian islands trails. west maui. south maui. road to hana. haleakala national park. bamboo forest. waterfalls. volcano crater. lava fields. Hawaii travel blog

 

The quick list of best hikes in Hawaii on the island of Maui:

 

 

Waihee Ridge Trail

Best Maui hikes: Waihee Ridge trail. hike in West Maui. Best hiking in Hawaii. Hawaii travel blog

 

The Waihee Ridge Trail is considered to be difficult, although if you are a generally active person you will be okay!

This is probably the most popular hiking trail in the West Maui mountains! You get views pretty much the whole time. Ocean on one side, mountains on the other.

What makes this difficult and what might have you breathing hard at times is that this is basically a hike that you’re walking uphill to reach the end of the trail. And then you turn around and it’s all downhill!

I was on the Waihee Ridge Trail for a little less than 2.5 hours.

 

Best Maui hikes: Waihee Ridge trail. hike in West Maui. Hawaii travel blog

Best Maui hikes: Waihee Ridge trail. hike in West Maui. Hawaii travel blog

Best Maui hikes: Waihee Ridge trail. hike in West Maui. Hawaii travel blog

 

See more about this Maui hiking trail: Waihee Ridge Trail

 

If you want to make it a hiking day in the West Maui mountains, then there’s a waterfall hike located a short drive from the Waihee Ridge Trail, called 13 Crossings. For this trail you will quite literally be crossing a stream MANY times! And there are 2 sets of waterfalls you can hike to by following the stream! You’ll also walk through a small bamboo forest on this trail.

Then, you can finish up your day with a quick trip to Iao Valley State Park to see the iconic Iao Needle, also a part of the West Maui mountains!

See more for planning one day of hiking in Maui: Day trip to the West Maui mountains

 

 

Pipiwai Trail

Best Maui hikes: Pipiwai trail. Hiking in Maui. bamboo forest hike. waterfall hike. road to hana hike. Hawaii travel blog

 

The Pipiwai Trail is considered to be moderate difficulty.

Pipiwai Trail is a mandatory hike on Maui if you want to see THE famous bamboo forest on Maui!

Haleakala National Park is the national park of Maui, and there is a national park entry fee of about $30 which will get you a 3 day Haleakala pass. (There is no one day pass.) You may also consider getting the Hawaii national park pass or the US national park pass which are both annual passes.

There are 2 sides to Haleakala National Park, which are not connected by road. One side is the Kipahulu area. This is the area that you get to by driving the Road to Hana, and this is the area of the bamboo forest hike.

And, the bamboo forest isn’t the only attraction that’s a part of this trail. The end of the trail will lead you to magnificent waterfalls, making this not only a bamboo forest hike, but it’s a waterfall hike too!

 

Best Maui hikes: Pipiwai trail. Hiking in Maui. road to hana bamboo forest hike. Hawaii travel blog

Best Maui hikes: Pipiwai trail. Hiking in Maui. road to hana bamboo forest hike. Hawaii travel blog

Best Maui hikes: Pipiwai trail. Hiking in Maui. road to hana bamboo forest hike. Hawaii travel blog

Best Maui hikes: Pipiwai trail. Hiking in Maui. road to hana waterfall hike. Hawaii travel blog

Best Maui hikes: Pipiwai trail. Hiking in Maui. road to hana waterfall hike. Hawaii travel blog

 

You’ll want to give yourself around 2 hours to hike the Pipiwai Trail. Since you’ll do this trail as a part of your Road to Hana day, you will find more than enough things on the Road to Hana to fill the rest of your day!

 

 

See more about this Maui hiking trail: Pipiwai Trail

 

Also nearby is a short trail to more famous Haleakala waterfalls, and then afterwards you can go for some more waterfall chasing on the Road to Hana!

You might even consider spending an overnight at the national park – there’s tent camping available at the Kipahulu campground within the national park. It comes with ocean views!

See more for ideas on planning an epic day in Maui: Things to do along the Road to Hana

 

 

Sliding Sands Trail

Best Maui hikes: Sliding Sands Trail. haleakala national park hike in Maui. volcano crater hike in Maui. Best hiking in Hawaii. Hawaii travel blog

 

This is another Haleakala hiking trail.

The Sliding Sands Trail is a part of the other side of the Haleakala National Park, the summit area.

The Haleakala summit (at 10,000+ ft) is a few minutes drive from the start of this trail. (So this is not a hike to the summit – you drive to that.) This also means that this hike is at high altitude. 

This trail starts from the top, and you’ll be hiking down into the crater. And Haleakala is a volcano (also called the East Maui volcano), so this makes it a volcano crater hike!

 

Best Maui hikes: Sliding Sands Trail. haleakala national park hike. volcano crater hike. Hawaii travel blog

Best Maui hikes: Sliding Sands Trail. haleakala national park hike. volcano crater hike. Hawaii travel blog

Best Maui hikes: Sliding Sands Trail. haleakala national park hike. volcano crater hike. Hawaii travel blog

Best Maui hikes: Sliding Sands Trail. haleakala national park hike. volcano crater hike. Hawaii travel blog

 

So the great thing about this trail is that you can make it as short as, or as long as, you want. You can walk for 30 minutes on the trail and then turn around for example. In this case, you may give yourself 1-2 hours for this hike.

 

Best Maui hikes: Sliding Sands Trail. haleakala national park hike. volcano crater hike. Hawaii travel blog

 

But, to do the whole trail, you’ll probably want to commit the full day.

Hiking around 8-11 miles will basically allow you to do the full trail. You can either do it as an out and back, or it can also be done by combining 2 trails by doing it as Sliding Sands Trail + Halemauu Trail. If doing both trails, the officially recommended way to do it is by “hitchhiking” from near the Halemauu Trail up to Sliding Sands Trail. The full trail is also said to be recommended for “very experienced adventurers.”

 

Best Maui hikes: Sliding Sands Trail. haleakala national park hike. volcano crater hike. Hawaii travel blog

 

 

See more about this Maui hiking trail: Sliding Sands Trail

 

There is also a shorter hike nearby that you go up just a bit to get views of the crater from a bit higher above.

Take a look at a bit of what it’s like to drive to the Haleakala summit aka the highest point on Maui!

There is also a drive-up tent camping spot in the summit area of the national park too.

 

 

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail

Best Maui hikes: Piilani Trail - Waianapanapa Coastal Trail. Road to Hana hikes in Maui. black sand beach hike. Best hiking in Hawaii. Hawaii travel blog

 

The Waianapanapa Coastal Trail is considered to be moderate difficulty.

There are a few names for this trail:

  • Waianapanapa Coastal Trail
  • Piilani Trail
  • Ke Ala Ola O Maui

This is the coastal trail that’s a part of the Waianapanapa State Park, and this is another trail that’s on the Road to Hana.

Waianapanapa State Park is a mandatory visit on Maui if you want to see THE famous black sand beach on Maui! If you’re doing the Road to Hana, chances are, you will be stopping by this state park. For most people, this will be a short stop to see the black sand beach. (Don’t miss the black sand beach lava tube!)

 

Best Maui hikes: Piilani Trail - Waianapanapa Coastal Trail. Road to Hana hikes in Maui. from black sand beach. Hawaii travel blog

 

But also at this state park is miles of trail along the coast! You’ll see lava rock formations, sea arches, and maybe even a blowhole or two. The trail goes in both directions of the black sand beach.

Once at the black sand beach, you’ll see a trail that goes to the left as you’re facing the ocean. This goes to the Hana Airport.

 

Best Maui hikes: Piilani Trail - Waianapanapa Coastal Trail. Road to Hana hikes in Maui. from black sand beach. Hawaii travel blog

Best Maui hikes: Piilani Trail - Waianapanapa Coastal Trail. Road to Hana hikes in Maui. from black sand beach. Hawaii travel blog

 

You can also take a trail in the opposite direction, towards Hana town, and you’ll see a sign for it past a cemetery. (This does not start directly at the black sand beach.) 

 

Best Maui hikes: Piilani Trail - Waianapanapa Coastal Trail. Road to Hana hikes in Maui. from black sand beach. Hawaii travel blog

Best Maui hikes: Piilani Trail - Waianapanapa Coastal Trail. Road to Hana hikes in Maui. from black sand beach. Hawaii travel blog

Best Maui hikes: Piilani Trail - Waianapanapa Coastal Trail. Road to Hana hikes in Maui. from black sand beach. Hawaii travel blog

Best Maui hikes: Piilani Trail - Waianapanapa Coastal Trail. Road to Hana hikes in Maui. from black sand beach. Hawaii travel blog

 

So once again, you can make this into a shorter hike or a longer hike depending on how much you want to see. At minimum, you’ll want to allow for 30 minutes, but you can also make it into a 2-3+ hour hike.

 

See more about this Maui hiking trail: Waianapanapa Coastal Trail

 

There’s tent camping and cabins at Waianapanapa state park if you want to take your time in the area!

 

If you’re looking to see another colored-sand beach, just a short drive from the black sand beach is the the famous red sand beach of Maui. There’s a short hike to the red sand beach. (And if you’re headed to the Big Island, there’s a hike to a green sand beach you can do too!)

 

 

Hoapili Trail

Best Maui hikes: Hoapili trail. Kings Trail. Kings Highway. hike in South Maui. Hawaii travel blog

 

Hoapili Trail is considered a hike for all skill levels, and it’s generally considered an easy hike by many.

That said, it’s a hike across lava rocks, and it’s not just your average casual stroll!

This might be the best hike in South Maui! This is also referred to as the Kings Trail or the Kings Highway.

If you want the experience of hiking across lava fields, then this hike is one to consider!

This is another trail that will give you chance to see some lava rock formations along the coast. Being a coastal hike, it means ocean views as you hike!

This trail starts off at the picturesque La Perouse Bay, and then you’ll start your walk on old lava rocks.

 

Best Maui hikes: Hoapili trail. Kings Trail. Kings Highway. hike in South Maui. Hawaii travel blog

Best Maui hikes: Hoapili trail. Kings Trail. Kings Highway. hike in South Maui. Hawaii travel blog

Best Maui hikes: Hoapili trail. Kings Trail. Kings Highway. hike in South Maui. Hawaii travel blog

Best Maui hikes: Hoapili trail. Kings Trail. Kings Highway. hike in South Maui. Hawaii travel blog

 

There are a few ways you can do this hike. Once again, you can basically make this as long or as short as you want. You’ll find a map at the start of the trail, and you can also have a look at google maps. I took the trail that is right alongside the coast the whole time that leads to Hanomanioa Light. (The light itself is nothing grand, but it’s a landmark.) There’s another section in which the trail is a little bit more inland, and it goes even further.

Hoapili Trail: See more about this Maui hiking trail.

 

The great news about the location of Hoapili Trail?!

Afterwards, you’ve got tons of choices for beaches to rest up at or to go for a post-hike swim!

South Maui has plenty of beaches. If you want to go snorkeling, try:

For beaches to hang out at, Maluaka Beach is good for that too, and there’s also Makena Beach or Makena Cove too… along with a few others!

If you happen to see a Jawz food truck as you’re driving on your way back, stop by for the perfect post-hike refueling – fish tacos and a smoothie!

See more beautiful things to see in South Maui.

 

Best Maui hikes near snorkeling beaches. Hawaii travel blog

Post-hike food after best hiking trail in Maui! Hawaii travel blog

 

 

Maui hiking itinerary: 5 days in Maui

Here is how you can spend 5 days in Maui:

 

After you get through the hikes of the day on day 3, day 4, and day 5, you will be left with plenty of time to hang out at the best Maui beaches and/or take one of the best Maui tours for another amazing experience in Hawaii! And, the best Maui snorkeling spots can always make for a great post-hike recovery swim!

 

And that’s a bit about the best hiking in Maui!

 

 

Hiking alone on Maui

While it is best to not hike alone on Maui (or anywhere), if you are traveling to Hawaii alone, these listed hikes I would generally say would be fine if you are a solo hiker on Maui.

Whether you are hiking alone or with a hiking buddy, be sure that you take care when hiking, always! The landscape made by nature is beautiful, but trails can also be dangerous!

Among other things, what can be particular dangerous is the risk of flash floods. There are many tourists who have gotten in trouble with flash flooding. Water levels can rise quickly and a situation can become disastrous quickly. If you’ll be going to any Maui waterfalls in particular, it can be good to check for local weather alerts before you go. If you will be on hiking trails that will be along a river, or crossing a river, it’ll be especially good to check for alerts.

 

 

No matter which hike you do on Maui, be sure to come prepared for hiking in Hawaii!!

At the very least, this includes WATER and snacks for EVERY hike! Proper shoes would be very good for all of these hikes as well. Especially the ones that you’ll be walking across lava rocks. Walking on lava rocks won’t be fun if you’re wearing shoes or sandals with thin soles, so proper shoes would be ideal! Take a look at the hiking essentials for Hawaii!!

 

 

The quick list (and more pictures!) of Maui hiking trails:

 

 

If you’ll be visiting other Hawaiian islands, see more hikes in Hawaii with amazing views:

 

See more ideas of how to spend your days on Maui!

 

HAPPY HIKING IN MAUI!

 

Best Maui hikes. Best hiking in Hawaii. Hawaiian islands trails. west maui. south maui. haleakala national park. bamboo forest. waterfalls. volcano crater. lava fields. Hawaii travel blog

 

 

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Top things to pack for your Hawaii vacation!

The ultimate beach towel for travel?!
Turkish towels are considered to be more absorbent and lightweight than your average beach towel. Be sure to check out turkish towels like these!
Possibly among the best Maui maps for tourists!
The Franko maps of Hawaii have a high level of detail for activities and it's beachproof aka waterproof. There's an "adventure" guide map and a "snorkel/dive" guide map. Plus a wall map for home to get you excited for your upcoming trip!
The cheapo way to waterproof your phone
You can take underwater pictures with a simple waterproof phone case like this. Touch screen may not work well underwater - try the volume button to snap the pic instead!
Get your suitcase more organized!
Packing cubes can make it so you're spending less time on your vacation looking for things! They are basically a form of drawers in your suitcase. Take a look at these packing cubes.
Wear less sunscreen by wearing a UPF swim shirt!
Wearing a swim shirt means less skin that's exposed to the sun which means less sunscreen you need to apply! See about wearing swim shirts with UV protection like these when you're snorkeling.

PLUS...
Be sure to take a look at the reviews of these amazing tours on Maui:
For more: More about some amazing Maui tours!


ALOHA!