Living on Maui for the last 12 years has given me ample opportunity to test out all of Maui’s hiking trails.  That’s why I wanted to put together a best hikes on Maui post so you can enjoy Maui’s trails to the fullest.

Hiking is one of my favorite ways to explore an area.  It’s always a great way to travel on a budget and a beautiful way to experience the world.  

Maui is full of all types of hiking trails that are suitable for all fitness levels.  Whether you are searching for the best hikes in Maui with waterfalls, an advanced calorie burning challenge of a Haleakala crater hike or a stroll along the ocean, there is a Maui hiking trail for everyone.

From the iconic Waihee Ridge to the popular Pipiwai Trail, these are the best hiking trails in Maui. 

Mauis best hikes

For full transparency, I have sprinkled some affiliate links in this post.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases that gives me a small commission at no extra cost to you if you decided to make a purchase.  All proceeds go to keep Jess traveling and coffee ☕️.  I thank you in advance.

There are plenty of Maui trails, varying in length and difficulty for every skill level across the island.  As with any activity that you’re doing by yourself (without a guide at least), safety is the first priority.  None of the Maui hikes listed in this article require rappelling gear or such equipment. 

Like anywhere in the world, carrying supplies and being prepared is crucial when hiking in Hawaii.  Always bring ample water as its a tropical island and temperatures can get very hot. 

Reef Safe Sunscreen (this is also a great gift idea for hikers) is also important, you’de be surprised how sun burnt you can get at 10,000 feet, which is how tall the summit of Haleakala is.  It’s like skiing in the Colorado Mountains.  You’ll be freezing but still some how catch a sunburn.

Flash floods can happen at any time and in a blink of an eye.  Make sure you check the weather before taking on a Maui hiking trail.  Flash floods are more apt to happen in the winter months.  It’s always a good idea to bring a light rain jacket or shell.

There are also no snakes in Hawaii which is a great thing to know as some of the Maui hiking trails pass through tall grass.  Now thats a insider tip!

Ohai Trail one of Maui's best hikes

Best Hikes on Maui Quick List

Okay, in no particular order here are the top hikes in Maui.  For detailed posts of each Maui hike click on the links below.

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    Maui Waterfall Hikes

    Maui waterfall hikes

    Pipiwai Trail to Waimoku Falls

    • Difficulty: Moderate
    • Distance: 4 miles round trip
    • Location:  Kipahulu District of Haleakala National Park

    The Pipiwai Trail to Waimoku Falls has everything you could want in a hike, which is why its one of the best hikes in Maui, if not the best hike in Maui.   It’s located inside Haleakala National Park, on the southeastern side of Maui in an area called Kipahulu.

    This is one of the best Hana hikes in the area.  The 4 mile easy to moderate hike takes you by waterfall lookouts, through a dreamy bamboo forest and ends at the awe inspiring Waimoku Falls – a 400 foot waterfall cascading down the side of the mountain.

    Banyan Tree on the Pipiwai Trail, one of the best hikes on Maui
    The first mile is rocky and rooty so if its been raining a lot theres a chance of it being muddy so plan accordingly.  You’ll reach a beautiful, big banyon tree a half a mile in, a great place to stop and have a drink of water.
     
    Next you’ll reach a bamboo forest that has a raised platform walkway that takes through the forest and to Waimoku Falls with ease.  I LOVE the bamboo forest and hearing the cracking and knocking of the bamboo!
    I'm Jess Traveling standing by Waimoku Falls on the Pipiwai Trail

    Finally the star of the show, Waimoku Falls.  The 400 foot waterfall is jaw dropping and makes this one of the best waterfall hikes in Maui.

    You are not able to swim under this waterfall and remember its 400 feet tall so even a pebble could hurt from falling from that high up.  Just exercise caution as people have been lost due to falling rocks.

    Girl in front of a waterfall in the distance

    Twin Falls

    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Distance: Up to a half a mile
    • Location:  North shore

    This Maui trail is one of the most popular stops on the road to Hana.  Located just past mile marker 2 on the Hana Highway, this family friendly hike is easily accessible from the road.

    I’m almost hesitant to put this on the best hikes in Maui list because its not much of a hike.  It is however one of the easiest and most convenient Maui waterfall hikes and who doesn’t like waterfalls on a hike?

    The first waterfall can be reached within 5 minutes of walking.  The path is wide and suitable for all fitness levels.  Twin Falls are great Maui hikes for families.  Make the extra 10 minute trek to the second waterfall.  It’s taller and bigger to swim under.

    Explore Twin Falls if you want one of the best easy hikes in Maui.

    WAILUA IKI FALLS hike in Maui

    Wailua Iki Falls

    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Distance: 0.25 mile
    • Location:  Road to Hana

    The Wailua Iki Falls are some of the best road to hana waterfalls.  Located just past mile marker 21 is where you can venture on a small hike to these hidden falls. 

    There’s a gate and the trail/ dirt road starts here just after the mile marker sign.  There is no parking so make sure you find a shoulder to pull off on before you reach the mile marker.  From your car walk down to the gate.  From here it’s about a 30 minute hike round trip.  

    Warning:  Although this is Hawaiian state land,  the land is leased by the water company so technically you need permission from EMI to get to the waterfall.  Although not frequently checked this is still a hike at your own risk hike as if caught there could be a fine.

    Haleakala Crater Hikes

    Maui crater hikes
    Sliding Sands trail inside Haleakala National Park Maui

    Sliding Sands Trail

    • Difficulty: Difficult
    • Distance: 4 miles round trip
    • Location: Haleakala Summit NP

    Another one of the best hikes on Maui is the Sliding Sands Trail.  This trail takes you down inside the crater of the volcano that formed Maui, Haleakala ‘house of the rising sun’.

    The trailhead can be found 500 feet below Haleakala summit.  You’ll see tired hikers clawing their way back up the trail as you gradually descend 2,800 feet to the crater floor.

    Red, orange, purple colored hills and volcanic rock take over the back drop as you hike along the black sand.  The views are out of this world and you won’t believe that you’re on Maui more like the surface of Mars or the Moon.

    If you’re looking for a volcano hike on Maui without having to dedicate an entire day, opt for the Sliding Sands Trail when you visit the summit.

    Rare plant inside Haleakala Crater
    Silversword plant inside Haleakala National Park
    Along the way you see rare plant called the silversword that you can only be found inside Haleakala Crater and parts of Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii.

    You’ll understand the meaning of sliding sands when you reach the end of the trail and have to climb back up the steep, sandy trail.  This is the most difficult part of the volcano hike but worth it.

    Inside the summit area Haleakala National Park are several Maui hiking trails.  Here you’ll find some of the most diverse and unique trails on Maui.

    Hiking the Hosmer Grove Hike

    Hosmer Grove

    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Distance:  .6 miles
    • Location:  Haleakala National Park

    One of the easy hikes on Maui is the Hosmer Grove Trail.  Located just inside the entrance to Haleakala National Park at the Hosmer Grove Campgrounds. 

    The trail is just over a half mile long and passes through sub-alpine tress like eucalptus, sugi pine, spruce, cedar, Douglas fir, deodar and sandalwoods.

     Supply Trail

    • Difficulty: Moderate
    • Distance:  4.2 Miles roundtrip
    • Location:  Haleakala National Park

    The Supply Trail is another Haleakala Crater hike located just inside the entrance of the National Park.  The trail starts near the Hosmer Grove campground at about 6,500 feet elevation.  On a clear day you’ll be blow away by the views as you’ll be hiking just above the clouds that collect around the rim of Halakeala Crater. 

    The Supply Trail officially ends when it intersects the Halemau’u Trai (the switchbacks that take you down into the crater).  You can continue with this trail down into Haleakalā Crater if you are up for more of a challenge.

    Switchbacks inside Halakeala Crater maui Hawaii

    Halemau’u Trail

    • Difficulty: Difficuly
    • Distance: 9.5 Miles roundtrip
    • Location:  Haleakala National Park

    The Halemau’u Trail is a Haleakala Crater trail that takes you down a series of switchbacks to the floor of the crater.  The trail is steep and narrow.  If you suffer from vertigo, I’d think twice about tackling this trail.  

    If you get an early start you’ll be greeted with epic views of the crater below.  Once you make it to the bottom you’ll pass by one of Haleakala’s wilderness cabins – Holua.  

    The trail continues to traverse the crater floor and you’ll pass by endemic native plants and possibly a nene goose or two.  When you’re ready return the way you came.  The switchbacks on the way up are a doozy. 

    West Maui Hikes

    West Maui Hikes

    Lahaina Pali Trail

    • Difficulty:  Difficult
    • Distance: 5-10 Miles
    • Location: West Maui

    The Lahaina Pali Trail  takes you up a rocky trail to the Kealaloloa Ridge by the windmills.  The 1,600 feet elevation gain + the Lahaina heat makes this hike strenuous.  The sun is relentless so start early and brings ample water. 

    There are 3 ways you can hike this trail. 

    1.  Out-and-back.

    2.  Two cars (drop one at the ending trailhead in Ma’alaea) 

    3. Or hitch-hike back to your vehicle.

    If you’re hiking out and back park at the  Ukumehame trailhead as the parking lot is shaded and its closer if you’re coming from Lahaina. 

    Having 2 cars means you can hike up and over the Kealaloloa Ridge and end up the “second” car at the Ma’alaea trailhead 10 miles later.  Or of course instead of ending at a car you can hitchhike back to your vehicle.

    This is one of the best hikes near Lahaina.  Hike the Pali Trail if you want a big caloric burn in a short amount of time!

    Hiking the Lahaina L Trail Maui Hawaii

    The Lahaina ‘L’

    • Difficulty:  Moderate/difficult
    • Distance:  3.2 Miles out and back
    • Location:  West Maui | Lahaina

    The ‘L’ in Lahaina can be seen on the side of the West Maui Mountains.  It’s a giant L carved into the side of the mountain.  Every year the graduating class of Lahainaluna Highschool lights the ‘L’ on fire in celebration.

    The Lahaina trail starts behind the high school and is uphill the whole way.  The first part of the hikeis a dirt trail.  Once you get to the forest on the mountain it is a series of switchbacks that takes you all the way up until you reach the L.  Basically when you think you’re there, you’re not.  Keep trucking.

    The hike is just over 3 miles out and back.  The trail features wild flowers, panoramic views and a decent workout. 

    Mähäna Ridge Hike on Maui

    Mahana Ridge

    • Difficulty:  Moderate/ Difficult due to length
    • Distance:  Roughly 12 Miles up and back
    • Location:  West Maui | Kapalua

    If you’re staying in Kapalua at the Ritz Carlton or the Montage on West Maui then the Mahana Ridge Trail is a perfect hike if you are looking for a challenge.  The trek begins near D.T. Flemings beach park and climbs about six miles to the Maunalei Arboretum.

    The trail is mostly shaded as it climbs the ridge through the forest.  You’ll pass by pineapple plants, lilikoi trees and other Hawaiian vegetation.  There isn’t a lot of steep elevation gain as its a gradual climb.

    There once was a shuttle that dropped you off at to the top of the Arboretum and  all you had to do was hike down but that is no longer the case.  

    Enjoy this hike near Kapalua for panoramic views and a different perspective of Maui.

    Duck Pond Trail a West Maui Trail

    Kapalua Village Walking Trails 

    • Difficulty:  Moderate
    • Distance:  4 Mile Loop
    • Location:  West Maui | Kapalua

    The Kapalua Village Walking Trails also referred to as the Duck Pond hike starts behind the Kapalua Driving Range.  The loop takes you uphill to the…you guessed it, Duck Pond. 

    This is a great Maui hike if you have small children who would enjoy feeding the ducks at the top.  Don’t forget to bring your own duck food.

    The trail is mostly shaded and paved.  The path is the old golf cart paths from the previous Kapalua Bay golf course.  The duck pond walk is uphill the whole way.  There are a few steeps parts that will get your heart racing but they don’t last long.  

    The trail loops around the duck pond through a forested area and then  its all down hill from here.  The trail offers views of Molokai, a decent work out and a refreshing pine forest.

    Olivine Pools Maui Hawaii

    Olivine Pools

    • Difficulty:  Moderate due to steepness
    • Distance:  .8 miles down and up
    • Location:  West Maui

    The Olivine Pools are natural tide pools formed by lava along the ocean’s edge on the back-side of West Maui.  Dramatic from above, the Olivine tide pools are located on barren lava rock.  This stretch of lava rock is in a remote area that has no sandy beaches or easy water access.

    In order to get to the Olivine Pools, you must hike 0.4 miles down a sloped cliff to get to the waters edge.  This should take around 20-30 minutes.  The hike to get down to the Maui Olivine pools is moderately difficult largely due to jagged and in some places fairly steep lava rock.

    There are several worn trails leading to the pools, making rough “steps” so it isn’t exceedingly difficult.  If waves are crashing don’t attempt to swim as many have been hurt and even death has occured.  Summer time is the best time to visit and swim in the pools.

    The Ridge Trail with ocean Views

    The Waihee Ridge Trail

    • Difficulty:  Moderate

    • Distance:  4.80 Miles total

    • Location:  North Shore of West Maui

    This was the first hike I ever did on Maui when I moved here, therefore it makes the best Maui hikes list and the best hike on West Maui.  I recently hiked this trail and had amazing weather.  

    The Waihee Ridge Trail is one of the most popular Maui hiking trails.  This trail offers scenic coastal sights, views of the North shore and the lush valleys below.

    The first mile takes you through several different small forests until the trail opens up and you’ll be walking on the ridge line.  There are a few benches and overlooks along the way.

    Mile two is where you’ll start to feel the 1,500 elevation gain.  The trail begins to wrap up the mountain with a series of quick switchbacks.  There’s a picnic table and small platform once you reach the top to take a breather/drink your victory beer.

    Easy hikes in Maui

    Easy Maui hikes
    An easy hike in West Maui

    Ka’anapali Beach Walk

    • Difficulty:  Easy
    • Distance:  4.5 miles
    • Location:  West Maui | Kaanapali

    Less of a hike and more of a boardwalk beach stroll, I wanted to be sure to include the Ka’anapali Beach walk on best hikes on Maui list because it’s suitable for the whole family. 

    Chances are if you’re staying on West Maui you’re probably staying at one of the top notch resorts that line Ka’anapali Beach.  Not only are you in close proximity to all the things to do in Kaanapali but the beachwalk is conveniently located out front.  

    The Beachwalk is a paved path that takes you from the end of Lahaina all the way to Honokawai.  The path is paved, landscaped, provides epic views and is a great running trail early in the morning.

    You don’t have to be an avid hiker to enjoy this easy hike on Maui.  More of a leisurely stroll this path takes you past several Maui resorts and Whalers Village which offers lots of high end shopping and must eat restaurants.  

    The walkway gets very crowded as everyone staying in Ka’anapali will cruise this path.  If you want to run or get uninterrupted exercise from this trail enjoy it early in the a.m.

    the Kapalua Coastal Trail Maui Hawaii

    Kapalua Coastal Trail

    • Difficulty:  Easy
    • Distance:  2 miles
    • Location:  West Maui | Kapalua

    The Kapalua Coastal Trail is a beautiful paved trail that offers panoramic views  of Molokai and West Maui.  This easy Maui hike is perfect for several reasons.  

    The path or shall I say sidewalk is always empty as you pass by beautiful landscaped vegetation and views.  The path takes you past some of Maui’s best beaches including Ironwoods, Kapalua Bay and Napili Bay.  

    The Kaplua trail will stop being a sidewalk and turn into a path that winds around and over the rocky coast.  Walk as far or as little as you’d like, it won’t be shy on the views.

    If you’re staying at the Montage (one of the best luxury resorts in Maui), this trail will be at your doorstep and a perfect way to start the morning after your morning coffee. 

    Ohai Trail, Maui Hawaii

    Ohai Trail

    • Difficulty:  Easy
    • Distance:  1 Mile
    • Location:  West Maui

    The Ohai Trail is an easy West Maui hike.  It’s a perfect stop to stretch your legs and take in the views when you are driving around West Maui. This trail is suitable for every fitness level.

    As you walk the loop you’ll get sweeping coastal views.  On a clear day the greens of the foliage and blues of the sky and ocean are very vivid.  

    Best stops on the road to Hana

    Waikamoi Forest Ridge Trail

    • Difficulty:  Easy
    • Distance:  .08 Mile
    • Location:  Road to Hana

    This is an easy Maui trail locate on the side of the road on the Hana Highway.  The loop takes you past a few scenic outlooks and past humungous trees!  

    The path is dirt and scattered with tree roots.  This is a great stop to stretch your legs while driving the road to Hana.

    Road to I'ao Valley State Park near Wailuku, HI

    I’ao Valley State Park

    • Difficulty:  Easy
    • Distance:  .5 Miles
    • Location:  Central, Maui

    I’ao Valley is one of the best hiking trails in Maui fit for the whole family.  After a short hike up some stairs you’ll reach what is called “the Needle”, a lush, green mountain crag that juts out of the ground so close you feel like you can touch it.

    There are a few small trails that take you through different Hawaiian flora explaining on signs what they are along the way.  There is also a spot to take a dip in the river.

    South Maui Hikes

    Hikes in South Maui
    Hiking the Hoapili Trail, Maui Hawaii

    Hoapili Trail

    • Difficulty:  Moderate
    • Distance:  5.5 Miles Out & Back
    • Location:  South Maui | La Perouse

    The Hoapili Trail also known as the Old Kings Highway is a lightly trafficked Maui hiking trail located in South Maui.  This trail is suitable for any skill level.

    The highlight of this trail is the beautiful coastline, barren lava fields and goats!  Yes there are wild goats that are running around at the beginning of the hike!

    Shoes or hiking boots are a must on this hike because the lava rocks jut into the path and make it difficult to hike in slippas.  It gets very hot so water and sunscreen is a must.  This is one of the best things to do in Wailea.

    Those are the best hikes in Maui.  Have you tried any of these Maui hikes?  Let me know your favorites in the comments below. 

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