Whether you’re an avid hiker, or an after-dinner stroller, you need to add Maui to your travel wish list today. Besides the infinite sunshine, ocean breezes and positive Hawaiian vibes that follow you everywhere, the variety of terrain available in Maui will transform novice hikers into addicts, and addicts into permanent residents of Maui. Time to lace up your KEEN’s and start that journey.
Here are some great hiking trails to get you started – each more challenging than the last, but all with guaranteed Instagram-worthy scenery. What’s more, we’re throwing in pro tips from our Luxury Retreats Maui specialist, Andreea, who just happens to have a real knack for the mountains.
Easy Does It – Hikes for Beginners
La Perouse Bay
Picture this: black lava rock from neighboring volcano Haleakala, crystal blue ocean and, if you’re there early enough in the year, spinner dolphins taking their morning swim. The trail runs a brief 1.25 miles, but navigating through the uneven terrain will take longer than you might imagine.
Andreea’s pro tip: Though Perouse Bay is mostly flat, be sure to wear sturdy shoes because the lava rock is very jagged.
The most ‘touristy’ on this list, the Pipiwai Trail is usually busy – but with good reason. You’ll navigate through the Island’s massive banyan trees, across poster-worthy bridges suspended over fresh water pools, and a see-it-to-it-believe-it bamboo forest so dense you can hardly see the sky. Your reward at the end of 1.8 miles? A fabulous photo opp by a roaring 400ft waterfall.
Slightly Sweat Inducing – Hikes for the Enthusiast
Waihe’e Ridge Trail
If you’re one who likes your physical activity with a side of beautiful views, the Waihe’e Ridge Trail is just as it sounds – situated directly on a ridge in the West Maui Mountains it promises incredible panoramic vistas. It’s a steady-but-sturdy 2.5 mile tread, decorated with the greens of the surrounding rainforest, the Makamaka’ole Falls, and superb ocean views.
Andreea’s pro tip: Although the trail is well-maintained, it can get muddy after rainfall, making the 2.5 miles and accompanying incline feel a little longer than anticipated. Pack a lunch and take a breather when you need to.
Go Hard – Hikes for the Pros
Not for the faint of heart, nor those who are afraid of the dark, the Commando hike takes you through black lava tubes and waterfalls – in total darkness. It’s gained notoriety for the wild challenges throughout – such as descending the narrow, slippery waterfall chute, not to mention the swimming segments. What do you get for all of this? Besides enormous self-satisfaction, a celebratory jump into fresh water from the Na’ili’ili Haele Falls, where you can kick back and relax for the rest of the day.
Andreea’s pro tip: You’ll need to bring something to stash your wet clothes in, and a headlamp for those pitch-black caves!
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