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Maui has a hike for everyone: pick your difficulty level and preferred backdrop. Hike a rocky, isolated stream with giant sunning rocks and thick, mountainside vegetation alongside a needle of a mountain, piercing the sky (Iao Valley). Walk dense groves of sky-scraping Pine Trees rising through a cooling mountain mist, shedding a thick carpet of pine needles (PoliPoli). Or a lava-lined ocean trail with visible remnants of ancient lava walls built by 17th century Hawaiian fishing villagers (La Perouse Bay, Makena). Persevere a rugged mountain trail with a huge payoff at its peak, an overview of a thousand miles of impossibly blue ocean (Waihee Ridge Trail). Slip over the lip of Maui’s highest peak and trek deep to the surface floor of an inactive volcano (Haleakala, Sliding Sands Trail.) Experience a towering bamboo forest that leads to a 400-foot Hawaiian waterfall, quite possibly the best hike on Maui. Then, cool off downstream at Ohe’O Gulch, also known as the “Seven Sacred Pools”. Just 10 miles past Hana, Pipiwai Trail & Waimoku Falls offer breathtaking views and an unforgettable experience.

Options also include outings involving conservation and volunteer maintenance, some sponsored by Maui’s Sierra Club.

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Exploring Upcountry

When beaching it begins to feel a bit routine, take a half-day (or more) and head “Upcountry.” You’ll experience an entirely different Maui in and around upcountry’s distinct communities, including Pukalani, Makawao, Kula, and Haiku. Makawao is a boardwalk town, steeped in cowboy culture, and host to talented Maui artists of all persuasions. Further up the hill, Kula reaps the lush rewards of heavy rainfall, and oversized, brilliantly colored plant life brings the movie set of Jurassic Park to mind. Lunch at the Kula Lodge, with its astonishing views and cozy vibe. Explore (and inevitably get lost) in the community’s myriad back roads. Experience Maui’s tropical essence in Haiku, where the plants and foliage seem to grow even as you’re watching, and the vast Pacific beckons in the distance. Upcountry tour destinations include the Ali'i Lavender Farm, Ocean’s Vodka Distillery, Tedeschi Winery, and Surfing Goat Dairy. There is also a smaller and lesser known retreat that has become a favorite of ours: The Sacred Garden, a soothing natural sanctuary and retreat, thick with wonderful plants, sculpture, natural art, labyrinth and bench seating. Take Baldwin Avenue from Paia toward Makawao, and watch for a small sign on the left. Don't forget the Kula Botanical Garden, offering 8 acres of colorful and unique plants, amazing rock formations, a covered bridge, waterfalls, koi pond, aviary and a carved tiki exhibit.

Road Hana

There’s no middle ground on this one: most people get it, but some don’t. The Road To Hana is best enjoyed slowly and leisurely, with the Hana “destination” optional – if you can’t slow down your vibe, the endless twists and turns and slow pace may drive you bonkers. If you’re into taking in a slice of tropical paradise, one narrow bridge, switch-back, and waterfall at a time, it will be a highlight. Probably the more you get out of your car, the more fun you’ll have. There are dozens of unmarked trails that can lead to stunning beauty, or nowhere at all. Among the more popular hikes:
  • Twin Falls (Mile Marker 2.1). Easy, 1.5-mile round trip through tropical vegetation leading to two refreshing waterfalls with cool cave backdrops.
  • Waikamoi Nature Trail (Mile Marker 9.5). Easy to moderate, one-mile round trip through dense forest, native trees and bamboo with magnificent views of Ke’anae Peninsula and rain forest.
  • Wai’anapanapa State Park (Mile Marker 32.2). Easy stroll down a paved path to volcanic sand beach with views of stark contrasting black sand, sapphire blue ocean and brilliant green native Hawaiian foliage. A photographer’s dream.
  • Pipiwai Trail and Waimoku Falls (10 miles past Hana). Moderate 4-mile round trip hike over bridges, through thick bamboo forest, to Makahiku Falls, and the ultimate destination, Waimoku Falls, cascading down 400 feet of sheer lava rock. Ohe’O Gulch and the Seven Sacred Pools are accessed where the stream meets the ocean.
You’ll want to stop at Ke’anae Arboretum, a traditional Hawaiian village that seems frozen in time. The centerpiece of the town is the historical Ke’anae Congregational Church, built in 1860, and open to visitors all year round. Where time seems frozen in an isolated local ocean community. Local advice for your Road to Hana trek: Leave as early as you can. Pack plenty of water and snacks. Consider buying your lunch in advance, or on your way. Mosquitoes can be especially viscous here – bring spray, and make it the good stuff. Expect your footwear to be muddy and soaked when you finish. Bring umbrellas – chances are very good you’ll see rain. Don’t leave valuables in your vehicle. Most of all, take your time, enjoy the sights, and take in all the beauty that this adventure has to offer.


While there are endless things to do to occupy your time on Maui, we know some of you will venture out to some of the other amazing Hawaiian Islands. While we feel that Maui nō ka ‘oi (Maui is the best), we encourage you to adventure out and see what wonders the Hawaiian islands have to offer. Check out a few links below to help you find your perfect adventure!

Looking for something specific, be sure to ask us! We are happy to share our local knowledge and we might even tell you are secret snorkeling spots!

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