Best Maui Hikes: The Top-Rated Hiking Trails & Walks

Planning an adventure to Hawaii? Leave plenty of room to embark on some of the best Maui hikes. The famed Hawaiian island offers rugged coastlines leading to towering lush mountains and arid volcanic craters. The stunning contrasts make Maui a top destination for adventurous travelers.

Maui isn’t just for those seeking epic treks. Families will find a variety of kid-friendly trails, too, and many leisurely trails leading to splendid views and majestic waterfalls.

Ready for the ultimate Maui hiking experience? Discover the best hiking trails in Maui with this complete guide.

Top-rated hiking trails on Maui, Hawaii

Hosmer Grove Loop Trail

One enthralling way to capture the immense diversity of Maui is to venture down the 0.5-mile Hosmer Grove Loop Trail. Rated as easy, the trail is the perfect introduction to the local hiking scene. Stretch out the legs as you wander through the reverberant natural scenery of spruce, pine and cedar.

Haleakala National Park

You’ll find the Hosmer Grove Trail within Haleakala National Park. Just moments away are the ancient cinder cones and volcanic craters that make the national park so spectacular. The contrast is stunning, with the soaring trees providing the perfect complement to adventures on the moon-like landscapes around the summit of Mount Haleakala.

As the sun continues to rise, save this short trek for later on in the day; you’ll appreciate the afternoon shade.

  • Distance: 0.5 miles
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy

Pipiwai Trail

Give yourself permission to go chasing waterfalls along the Pipiwai Trail in East Maui. One of the best hikes in Maui, this 4-mile jungle trek leads to a duo of stunning falls. Beginning at Oheo Gulch, aka Seven Sacred Pools, the hike begins strong and stays that way throughout.

Pipiwai Trail

Start off on the Pipiwai Trail by winding your way through thick bamboo forest, with the path cutting an elegant passage as you slowly gain elevation. Spot guava and mango trees before a thin white veil makes an appearance through the lush greenery, where, less than a mile into the hike, you’ll bear witness to Makahiku Falls.

Continue on as it only gets better. Head back into the fruit-laden forest, past the enormous banyan tree to Waimoku Falls. Double the height of Makahiku Falls, this 400-foot waterfall cascades into the abyss.

  • Distance: 4 miles
  • Time: 2 to 3 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Kapalua Coastal Trail

Trade waterfalls for a rugged coastal hike in West Maui at the Kapalua Coastal Trail. The simple 3.5-mile day hike can be done in either direction, offering panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. Adventure across a mix of ancient volcanic rock, boardwalk and paved paths as you traverse the edge of Kapalua Bay.

Kapalua Coastal Trail

Looking away from the ocean, you’ll be captivated by the imposing sight of the West Maui Mountains, with the odd beachfront mansion making an appearance. About halfway, you’ll reach Makaluapuna Point, home to the Dragon’s Teeth Access Trail.

Complete the short side trail, or continue on and take your time basking in the scenery with a break at DT Fleming Beach Park or Kapalua Beach, two of the most beautiful beaches on Maui. At Kapalua Beach, you can cool off with the choice to return to the start for a scenic 7-mile hike.

  • Distance: 3.5 miles
  • Time: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy

Sliding Sands Trail

Located in Haleakala National Park, the Sliding Sands Trail is one of the most spectacular Maui hikes. Coming in at 22 miles long, hikers will endure 3,000 feet of elevation gain across this strenuous adventure.

Haleakala Crater

The trail is a prime example of why Maui is an exceptional hiking destination. Worth every bit of sweat, the Sliding Sands Trail takes you deep into a world shaped by volcanic eruptions with barely any sign of vegetation.

Start the adventure early, to beat both the sun and the crowds while stocking up on water. Despite the arid landscape, there’s an air of tranquility that only the crushing lava rocks interrupt. Soon, you’ll be enthralled by views of the Haleakala Crater and, later on, the revered Pele’s Paint Pot.

Stay at the campground at mile marker 22 or return for a memorable trekking tale.

  • Distance: 22/44 miles
  • Time: 8 hours, one way
  • Difficulty: Challenging

Twin Falls Trail

You won’t have to venture far to enjoy some gorgeous sights on the 1.8-mile Twin Falls Trail. On the awe-inspiring Road to Hana, this waterfall hike offers the kind of easy access needed on those days when you’re just not up for an epic trek.

Twin Falls Trail

The Twin Falls trailhead is a decent car park and owing to the hike’s popularity, you’ll find a variety of food stalls lined along the edge. Grab some snacks to go, including yummy banana bread, fresh tropical fruits, or a delightful smoothie.

Even on the shorter hiking trails in Maui, you’ll still want to wear sturdy footwear. Such luscious landscapes don’t come without their fair share of muddy trails. Once at the falls, admire the beauty before enjoying a swim in the refreshing pools.

  • Distance: 1.8 miles
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: Easy

King’s Highway (Hoapili Trail)

Coastal scenery and Hawaiian culture collide on the King’s Highway (Hoapili Trail). Not only will this South Maui trail provide the aesthetic goods, but it showcases historic rock walls, and a path built by King Pi’ilana and his son.

La Perouse Bay

Starting at La Perouse Bay, make your way into the kiawe forest where you can detour for wonderful views at Cape Hanamanioa. Continue on passing sacred grounds and important archaeological sites to reach Kanaio Beach and, eventually, Keawanaku Beach.

The Hoapili Trail is exposed to the Hawaiian sun, with very little shade across the 10-mile path. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen as you traverse through a landscape carved by the youngest lava flow on the island.

  • Distance: 10 miles
  • Time: 4 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail

Another hike to check out on your trip down the Hana Highway is the Waianapanapa Coastal Trail. Starting in Kainalimu Bay, the 3-mile hike guides you along the jungle-laden and lava burnt coastline into Waianapanapa State Park, one of the top Maui tourist attractions.

Wai'anapanapa State Park

Switch between traditional trail with rugged lava and cinders, with the turquoise water crashing into the coast just feet away. Upon reaching the state park, you’ll be greeted by a mesmerizing black sand beach, the perfect spot for some mid-hike R&R.

You can make the coastal hike a memorable one by staying within the state park, or simply use the time at the beach to prep for the return journey. Hikers should also be aware that the park requires a reservation to entire to protect the fragile ecosystem.

  • Distance: 3 miles
  • Time: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Iao Valley State Park

Featuring the stunning Iao Needle, Iao Valley State Park presents some of the most memorable hiking in Maui. Although not your typical hiking trail, the trip to see the natural landmark and the serene valley floor combine for an epic journey during your Maui travel itinerary.

Iao Valley State Monument

Beginning at the Iao Needle State Monument trailhead, embark on a short and sweet 1-mile stroll. The valley was the place of the Battle of Kepaniwai in the late 18th century. The event holds a prominent place in Hawaiian history, adding a unique layer to the hike.

In a blink of an eye, you’ll be up close to the landmark with its peak 1,200 feet above you.

  • Distance: 1 mile
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy

Kaupo Gap Trail

Rated as one of the top Maui hiking trails for an overnight journey, Kaupo Gap Trail showcases Mount Haleakala in all her glory. The relatively short 7-mile trek features an astounding 5,500 feet of elevation gain (or loss depending on your direction). While that scares off most, it leaves the stunning barren landscape open for you to explore.

Kaupo Gap Trail

The remote trail has reached mythical status over the years, with hiking the trail known as “shooting the Gap.” Begin by spending the night at Paliku Campground and get an early start. Soon, you’ll venture across the crater floor of the dormant volcano. Without many hikers to spoil the scenery, you’ll find plenty of wildlife as you trek steeply into the valley. Spend the night at Kaupo Store or arrange a pickup to avoid the thigh-burning return hike.

  • Distance: 6.9 miles
  • Time: 3 hours
  • Difficulty: Challenging

Waihee Ridge Trail

A moderate, 5-mile hike, the Waihee Ridge Trail offers amazing bang for your buck. Take a journey through the West Maui Forest Reserve, beginning at the base of the Waihee Valley and following the ridge lines up to the heavens.

Waihee Ridge Trail

Surrounded by the West Maui Mountains, you’ll have striking views everywhere you turn as you wander by old lava caves and guava trees in equal numbers. The trail features a hearty 1,500 feet of elevation gain, but is spread evenly throughout.

After taking in the spectacular Makamakaole Falls, you’ll soon reach this West Maui trail’s highest point, Lanilili Peak. Capture vistas of far-off islands and the vast valley below.

  • Distance: 5 miles
  • Time: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Lahaina Pali Trail

In West and Central Maui, the Lahaina Pali Trail provides exceptional coastal views, worth every step of the sweat-breaking hike. The trail runs for 10 miles from Ukumehame to Maalaea. However, most decide to reach the summit 5 miles in and return to the beginning.

Lahaina Pali Trail

When choosing which side to begin from, there are a few things to keep in mind. Maalaea offers more panoramic views but more elevation gain. Ukumehame is less scenic but great for spotting humpback whales in the winter.

Either way, the 360-degree views from the summit (complete with wind turbines) are memorable. Gaze over Maalaea Bay, the Central Valley, and Mount Haleakala.

  • Distance: 10 miles
  • Time: 4 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging

Polipoli Springs State Recreation Area

In the Kula Forest Reserve, this rainforest hike showcases the exceptional beauty of Maui’s jungle landscape. With minimal elevation gain, this easy 3.5-mile trek begins on the Polipoli Access Road and guides you through the expansive Polipoli Springs State Recreation Area.

The journey is a combination of a number of the park’s trails that present the best of the local vegetation. Here, the trees are the star of the show with the path meandering around China firs, towering redwoods, and beautiful pines.

RELATED: Top-Rated Areas to Stay on Maui

At over 5,000 feet above sea level, Polipoli Springs is one of the wettest regions in Maui. Bring plenty of wet-weather gear to stay dry and safe in the magical landscape.

  • Distance: 3.5 Miles
  • Time: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy

Waihou Spring Trail Loop

In Upcountry Maui, the Waihou Spring Trail Loop takes the beauty of Polipoli Springs to another level. The 2.4-mile trail is a local favorite, for reasons that will soon become apparent.

Undertaking this moderate trek, hikers will experience 850 feet of elevation gain through the gorgeous native jungle featuring Hawaiian halapepe and koe. The trail continues until the eucalyptus and cypress take over the scenery.

Soon, the trail begins to ascend, rising along a ridgeline to memorable vistas of Maui’s northern coast before guiding you to a quaint waterfall.

  • Distance: 2.4 miles
  • Time: 1.5 hours
  • Difficult: Moderate

Mahana Ridge Trail

Beginning near DT Fleming Beach Park, the Mahana Ridge Trail will have your legs working overtime as you trek up into the West Maui Mountains. This challenging hike has 2,000 feet worth of elevation gain, taking you from the valley floor to the high alpine and back in 9.2 miles.

From the hike’s early stages, you’ll notice an abundance of vibrant wildflowers adding a burst of color to the rainforest. Around halfway up the trek, you’ll hike around a reservoir before reaching the Maunalei Arboretum after 4.6 miles. Here you’ll find a lot of introduced flora, including Japanese cedars and pineapple trees.

  • Distance: 9.2 miles
  • Time: 4 hours
  • Difficult: Challenging

Halemauu Trail

Offering a scenic yet manageable adventure in Haleakala National Park, the Halemauu Trail is one of the best Maui hiking trails. For those seeking a short and sweet hike to the crater’s edge, you can complete a simple 2.2-mile round trip. Enjoy the amazing views and be back in time for supper.

However, the full Halemauu Trail is 7.6 miles one-way. Many choose to begin their hike at the summit of Haleakala and venture down to the crater, greatly lowering the elevation gain.

Either way, the trail hugs the edge of the crater, with expansive and hair-raising vistas of the volcano’s otherworldly scenery.

  • Distance: 7.6 miles
  • Time: 3 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging

Kuloa Point Trail

Beginning at Oheo Gulch, the Kuloa Point Trail is popular among families. The short half-mile hike takes you to tidal rock pools and beautiful ocean views, by wandering through a grove of old hala trees to the Seven Sacred Pools.

Seven Sacred Pools

Along the Road to Hana, the Kuloa Point Trail begins at the Kipahulu Visitor Center and features several waterfalls. It won’t take long to find the first which you’ll spot at the beginning of the pools. Continue on past historic habitation sites on your way to the point from which you can gaze upon the entire Seven Sacred Pools.

It will be tempting to swim, but keep in mind that the currents here are notoriously strong.

  • Distance: 0.5 miles
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy

Waikamoi Ridge Trail

Speaking of great family-friendly hikes, if Kuloa Point has inspired the young ones to hike more, then make your way to the Waikamoi Ridge Trail. A perfect hike for kids, and also nature lovers, this trail snakes through old-growth bamboo forests, to expansive views.

Waikamoi Falls

Starting at Mile Marker 9 on the Road to Hana, the ridge trail is a 0.9-mile loop and is rated easy. The mild 225 feet of elevation gain brings you above the forest to several viewpoints where your camera will get a working over.

After the hike, enjoy lunch at one of the many picnic tables back at the trailhead.

  • Distance: 0.9 miles
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: Easy

Ryan O'Rourke is a seasoned traveler and the founder & editor of Treksplorer, a fiercely independent guide to mid-range luxury travel for busy people. With over 20 years of extensive travel experience, Ryan has journeyed through over 50 countries, uncovering hidden gems and sharing firsthand, unsponsored insights on what to see & do and where to eat, drink & stay. Backed by his travel experience and in-depth research, Ryan’s travel advice and writing has been featured in publications like the Huffington Post and Matador Network. You can connect with Ryan on Twitter/X at @rtorourke.

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