With one of the highest concentrations of microclimates in the world, Mauiʻs hikes have everything to offer. From lush rainforest jungle, high altitude deserts, to alpine forests, and subalpine shrubland, you’ll get to experience a wide variety of treks.
TOP 5 HIKES IN MAUI TO TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY
Why not start with the quintessential Maui hike: a trek through lush tropical rainforest, a large bamboo grove, and finally ending at a beautiful cascading waterfall. Located in the Kīpahulu district of Haleakalā National park, this hike has the benefit of being managed and well maintained by the National Park system.
Waiheʻe Ridge Trail
This oneʻs a bit more of a challenge but the views at the top are well worth it. Located in the West Maui Forest Reserve, this hike will take you up a steep incline along a mountain ridgeline to a lookout that spans almost all of Mauiʻs northern coastline. Last but not least, there is a picnic table at the top where you can enjoy a meal while you take in the views.
Named after the endemic amaʻu fern that can be found along the trail, this hike is located inside Haleakalā National Park about 20 minutes up the highway from the park entrance. The hike starts at 8,000 ft in elevation and you have the option of descending all the way to a cabin located within Haleakalāʻs crater. But really, the best views are just a mile and a half into the trail to some breathtaking lookout spots and my favorite, rainbow bridge. Just keep in mind, you have to come back out the way you came and itʻs all uphill going back.
You wonʻt find an environment like this anywhere on Earth, but you might on Mars. Sliding Sands starts at the summit of Haleakalā and descends down this Martian looking landscape deep into the volcanic crater. Just remember, the oxygen here is much lower so it takes quite a bit of effort making your way back up. Plan to take at least twice as long on your ascent coming back out. I’d recommend only descending a mile or two in, donʻt go all the way to the bottom of the crater unless you are a more experienced hiker.
Haleakalā Crater Trail
This hike is not for the faint of heart and will take a bit of planning. This thru-hike connects the last two for a total of 12 miles. You start up at the summit of Haleakalā at Sliding Sands and descend about four miles down into the crater of this dormant volcano. The next four miles take you through the center of the crater where youʻll experience a wide variety of alien looking landscapes. You hike through large lava fields, up and around ancient cinder cones, and finally through a lush grassland. To really add to the otherworldly experience, down here in the middle of the crater is one of the quietest places in the world. Finally, the last four miles take you up some steep switchbacks as you make your ascent up the ridge.
As this is a through-hike, you will have to plan and/or coordinate a way back to your car after you finish the hike. You can either take two vehicles and park one at the start and one at the end, or hope someone friendly will let you hitchhike back to your car.