ALOHA!

 

If you’re looking to go hiking on Maui, the Hoapili Trail is one of the great Maui hikes to consider.

This may be the best hike in South Maui.

 

Hiking the Hoapili Trail. la perouse bay hike. kings highway maui lava hike. where to see lava fields in maui. best south maui hike. hawaii travel blog

Hiking the Hoapili Trail. la perouse bay hike. kings highway maui lava hike. where to see lava fields in maui. best south maui hike. hawaii travel blog

Hiking the Hoapili Trail. la perouse bay hike. kings highway maui lava hike. where to see lava fields in maui. best south maui hike. hawaii travel blog

 

There are many reasons that hiking the Hoapili Trail (aka Kings Highway) can be the perfect activity for your first trip to Hawaii!

 

 

What to see hiking the Hoapili Trail

 

1. See the great scenic La Perouse Bay

La Perouse Bay hike: Hoapili trail from la perouse bay lava fields. maui hawaii travel blog

La Perouse Bay hike: Hoapili trail from la perouse bay lava fields. maui hawaii travel blog
The hike across lava fields starts from La Perouse Bay!

 

 

2. See the great scenic coastal views along the Hoapili Trail

Hoapili Trail: best hike in south maui. coastal lava hike in maui. hawaii travel blog

Hoapili Trail: best hike in south maui. coastal lava hike in maui. hawaii travel blog

 

 

3. See a sea arch

Hoapili Trail: where to see a lava sea arch in maui. hawaii travel blog

Hoapili Trail: where to see a lava sea arch in maui. hawaii travel blog

 

 

4. See a tide pool

Hoapili Trail: where to see tide pools in south maui. hawaii travel blog

 

 

5. See the “backside” of Haleakala

Hoapili Trail: hike the backside of haleakala volcano lava fields. hawaii travel blog

 

 

6. Hike across Maui lava fields!

It’s a lava hike on Maui! (aka hike across old lava flows from a Maui volcano)

Hoapili Trail: where to see lava in south maui. where to see lava fields in maui. hawaii travel blog

Hoapili Trail: where to see lava in south maui. where to see lava fields in maui. hawaii travel blog

 

 

And those are the highlights of hiking the Hoapili Trail!

This is surely an “only in Hawaii” type of experience (or… “only in very few parts of the world” type of experience…) so it can be a very worthy experience… if you’re looking for this sort of thing of course!

More info and pictures below!

 

 

Hoapili Trail history info.

According to the State of Hawaii:

In a time when walking was the only way to traverse the land, trails were built to connect communities to the ocean and each other.

Today, 2 miles of the Hoapili Trail remain, from [the trailhead at La Perouse Bay] to Kanaio Beach

Read more (pdf).

 

 

What to pack for hiking the Hoapili Trail

Hawaii is HOT, and you will be walking across black rocks (aka hot surface). So, be sure you are prepared with WATER and SNACKS at the least. 

SHOES: It is a bad idea to do this hike in flip flops or sandals, even if they are hiking sandals. You are walking across lava rocks, and even small specks of lava rock can be SHARP! So it will be best to wear closed-toe shoes. It will also be best to wear sturdy shoes. Trail running shoes or hiking shoes would be most ideal. The thicker your soles the better since walking across lava rocks can be rough.

See more about what to bring when hiking in Hawaii.

 

 

Dolphins in La Perouse Bay?!

Well, I did not see any dolphins at La Perouse Bay. But there are some signs around asking you to keep your distance from them, so presumably dolphins are regular visitors to La Perouse Bay! Maybe you’ll see a pod of dolphins swimming out in the distance when you hiking along the coast!

 

La Perouse Bay dolphins: Where to see dolphins in south maui. hawaii travel blog

La Perouse Bay dolphins: Where to see dolphins in south maui. hawaii travel blog

 

Be sure to read the dolphin signs when you’re there!

 

 

Among 2 of the top spots to hike the lava fields in Maui:

 

Below is more of the Maui lava fields you’ll see as you’re hiking Hoapili Trail from La Perouse Bay!

 

 

🌋

 

 

 

And now…

More about hiking the Hoapili Trail aka the Kings Highway

And getting to La Perouse Bay

 

You do need a car to get to La Perouse Bay and hike the Hoapili Trail

This is one of the reasons why it can be good to have a rental car on Maui for at least a few days! The bus will not get you anywhere near this part of South Maui. (The nearest bus stop is around 7 miles away.)

 

 

It’s a scenic drive to get to La Perouse Bay!

La Perouse Bay is located at the far south area of South Maui.

The further south you go, it’ll start to become a drive right along the coast at times!

 

Drive to La Perouse Bay, getting to Hoapili Trail. south maui scenic drive. hawaii travel blog

Drive to La Perouse Bay, getting to Hoapili Trail. south maui scenic drive. hawaii travel blog

 

And then, the final drive to La Perouse Bay will be a drive past lava fields.

 

Drive to La Perouse Bay, getting to Hoapili Trail. south maui scenic lava fields drive. hawaii travel blog

Drive to La Perouse Bay, getting to Hoapili Trail. south maui scenic lava fields drive. hawaii travel blog

 

La Perouse Bay marks the end of the road. It’s as far as you can drive in South Maui!

 

The road will take you directly to La Perouse Bay and the parking lot

la perouse bay parking lot. parking for hoapili trail trailhead start location. maui travel blog

la perouse bay parking lot. parking for hoapili trail trailhead start location. maui travel blog

la perouse bay parking lot. parking for hoapili trail trailhead start location. maui travel blog

 

There were portable toilets at the parking lot when I was there in January 2020.

 

la perouse bay toilets. bathroom at hoapili trail trailhead start location. maui travel blog

 

 

Take in the views at La Perouse Bay!

la perouse bay hike. where to start hoapili trail. maui travel blog

la perouse bay hike. where to start hoapili trail. maui travel blog

la perouse bay hike. where to start hoapili trail. maui travel blog

la perouse bay hike. where to start hoapili trail. maui travel blog

 

 

Head over to the trailhead

So there are a few different ways you can do this hike. Basically, you can choose what you want your “destination” to be, and you can make it a shorter hike or a longer hike.

Even as a “shorter” hike, for the best views it will be best to think of this as a minimum 2 hour hike round trip. It’s quite possible to make it longer if you go further.

That said, even just starting the hike from La Perouse Bay a little bit will be a hike across lava fields with ocean views, so you may think a shorter hike than that is worth it too.

So at the trailhead, which you will see once you are at La Perouse Bay, there is a trail map.

You can take a look at that (and take a picture of it) to decide what route you want to do.

Here are the 2 basic options:

  • Hike the Hoapili Trail to Kanaio Beach
  • Hike the Hoapili Trail to Hanomanioa Light

Or… you can do both! Hike the side trail to Hanomanioa Light, and then onwards to Kanaio Beach.

I stuck with the trail that was closest to the coastline, so pictures are from hiking to Hanomanioa Light. (Actually it was a small beach area a little past the “light.”)

 

Hoapili Trail map of Kings Highway. La Perouse Bay hike. Maui hawaii travel blog

Hoapili Trail map of Kings Highway. La Perouse Bay hike. Maui hawaii travel blog

 

Hiking the Hoapili Trail. Kings Highway. La Perouse Bay hike. Maui hawaii travel blog

Hiking the Hoapili Trail. Kings Highway. La Perouse Bay hike. Maui hawaii travel blog

Hiking the Hoapili Trail. Kings Highway. La Perouse Bay hike. Maui hawaii travel blog

Hiking the Hoapili Trail. Kings Highway. La Perouse Bay hike. Maui hawaii travel blog

Hiking the Hoapili Trail. Kings Highway. La Perouse Bay hike. Maui hawaii travel blog

Hiking the Hoapili Trail. Kings Highway. La Perouse Bay hike. Maui hawaii travel blog

Hiking the Hoapili Trail. Kings Highway. La Perouse Bay hike. Maui hawaii travel blog

Hiking the Hoapili Trail. Kings Highway. La Perouse Bay hike. Maui hawaii travel blog

Hiking the Hoapili Trail. Kings Highway. La Perouse Bay hike. Maui hawaii travel blog

Hiking the Hoapili Trail. maui lava hike. where to see lava fields in maui. best south maui hike. hawaii travel blog

Hiking the Hoapili Trail. maui lava hike. where to see lava fields in maui. best south maui hike. hawaii travel blog

Hiking the Hoapili Trail. maui lava hike. where to see lava fields in maui. best south maui hike. hawaii travel blog

Hiking the Hoapili Trail. maui lava hike. where to see lava fields in maui. best south maui hike. hawaii travel blog

Hiking the Hoapili Trail. maui lava hike. where to see lava fields in maui. best south maui hike. hawaii travel blog

Hiking the Hoapili Trail. maui lava hike. where to see lava fields in maui. best south maui hike. hawaii travel blog

Hiking the Hoapili Trail. maui lava hike. where to see lava fields in maui. best south maui hike. hawaii travel blog

Hiking the Hoapili Trail. south maui tide pools. maui lava hike. where to see lava fields in maui. best south maui hike. hawaii travel blog

Hiking the Hoapili Trail. south maui tide pools. maui lava hike. where to see lava fields in maui. best south maui hike. hawaii travel blog

Hiking the Hoapili Trail. south maui tide pools. maui lava hike. where to see lava fields in maui. best south maui hike. hawaii travel blog

Hiking the Hoapili Trail. maui lava hike. where to see lava fields in maui. best south maui hike. hawaii travel blog

Hoapili Trail: Lava fields hike to hanomanioa light. south maui hawaii travel blog
I hiked to the area that juts out in the picture above, which is a little past the Hanomanioa Light (google maps), and then turned back.

 

Hoapili Trail to Hanomanioa Light, lighthouse. kings highway maui hike. hawaii travel blog
The Hanomanioa Light

 

Hoapili Trail to Hanomanioa point beach. kings highway maui hike. hawaii travel blog

Hoapili Trail to Hanomanioa point beach. kings highway maui hike. hawaii travel blog
The “beach” past Hanomanioa Light

 

Hoapili Trail to Hanomanioa point beach. kings highway maui lava fields hike. hawaii travel blog

Hoapili Trail lava hike. Where to see lava fields in Maui. Kings Highway hiking trail. hawaii travel blog

Hoapili Trail lava hike. Where to see lava fields in Maui. Kings Highway hiking trail. hawaii travel blog

Hoapili Trail lava hike. Where to see lava fields in Maui. Kings Highway hiking trail. hawaii travel blog

Hoapili Trail lava hike. Where to see lava fields in Maui. Kings Highway hiking trail. hawaii travel blog

Hoapili Trail lava hike. Where to see lava fields in Maui. Kings Highway hiking trail. hawaii travel blog

 

 

And that’s a bit of what it’s like to hike the lava fields in Maui!

 

What to do after your Maui lava hike?!

 

Snorkeling near La Perouse Bay

La Perouse Bay snorkeling: Where to go snorkeling near la perouse bay. south maui hawaii travel blog

 

Snorkeling can be the perfect post-hike activity! 

The main snorkeling spots in South Maui are down the road from La Perouse Bay. You will pass many snorkeling spots as you drive to La Perouse Bay and the Hoapili Trail, so you can take your pick! In the order closest to Hoapili Trail, so from south to north:

Or, if you just want some beach time without necessarily needing a spot for good snorkeling (aka where are the sandy beaches), you can try these beaches on your drive back from La Perouse Bay:

And, if you see a Jawz food truck as you are driving in South Maui, stop for the famous Maui fish tacos!

See the list of things to do in South Maui.

 

 

Finally…

DO pack some snacks or picnic food (and water!) on your day trip to La Perouse Bay!

The further south you go, the less shops you’ll find. It can be a good idea to just buy a few gallons of water at Walmart when you get to Maui and stick it in your car so you won’t have to worry about finding water in case your Maui adventures take you to some more rural areas of the island! Buy a few boxes of triscuits or something and stick that in your car for “emergency food” too. (Salty snacks can be perfect to replace the sodium you’ll be losing from sweating so much hiking in hot weather.)

For another “off-beat” spot or less visited area of Maui, try the far north area of West Maui.

 

 

More lava fields in Hawaii

 

Plus be sure to see the top Maui hikes to do for a short trip to Maui!

 

HAPPY HIKING THROUGH SOME MAUI LAVA FIELDS ON KINGS HIGHWAY!

 

Hiking the Hoapili Trail. la perouse bay hike. kings highway maui lava hike. where to see lava fields in maui. best south maui hike. hawaii travel blog

 

 

There are affiliate links on this page. Among other partners, as an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission from this.

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!