Climbing & Hiking Trails - 11 min read

15 Best Hiking Trails in Maui, HI (with Waterfalls & Beach Views)

Ashley Brown

Ashley Brown, Updated September 24, 2022

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Maui, Hawaii, is a spectacular and well-known place to visit. It is the second largest Hawaiian island and has many beautiful sights and things to do. It was voted the “Best Island in the U.S.” by Condé Nast Traveler for over 20 years! No matter when you visit, it will be worth it to see its glorious beaches and jaw-dropping scenery.

For those searching for different adventure-filled activities, hiking is going to need to be included. Maui has many stunning trails to explore. You will be mesmerized by its beauty no matter which hike you go on. From its beautiful beaches, waterfalls, and the sacred Iao Valley, hiking in Maui will not disappoint you. It is worth every second.

Whether hiking with friends and family or by yourself, there is a trail for you. Maui has many beautiful places to discover, and hiking will allow you to explore everything it offers. Therefore, finding the best trails for your skill level and needs is crucial!

1. Waimoku Falls via Pipiwai Trail

Credit: daveynin / Flickr

The Pipiwai Trail is an excellent course for those looking for beautiful and serene scenic views. Before reaching the trail, you drive through many stunning views until you arrive at the Pipiwai Trail. Therefore, make sure to take a look around!

Throughout the whole day, you will be able to experience and discover so many unique and beautiful areas. You go through more than 600 curves and 59 bridges before you are even at the trailhead!

There are several more waterfalls that you can view before reaching Waimoku Falls. In addition, you can go on a boardwalk journey through a beautiful dark bamboo forest.

However, this park does charge fees for entering. Depending on if you arrive by car or on foot, the prices may be higher or lower. It is worth the price as visiting gives memories of a lifetime if you go on this hike!

On an important note, you may need to wear good hiking shoes as the trail can get muddy. Additionally, it is a good idea to check the weather before going, as flash flooding occurs.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 3.8 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 908 feet

2. Sliding Sands Trail

Credit: daveynin / Flickr

The Sliding Sands Trail takes you on a beautiful journey to the Haleakalā crater. You first start this trail by descending 2,800 feet. Though, do not let that fool you, as this trail becomes very strenuous.

Camping inside is recommended for those who want to enhance their exploration of the crater. There are only three cabins at the crater, so you must book in advance.

If you do not want to or do not have the opportunity to camp here, the hike alone is still beautiful to see. There is so much beauty in the crater that even the trail does it justice.

On the other hand, you must make sure you bring all of the proper gear and equipment. This trail is very tricky, and there is no shade. Thus, bring sunscreen, water, and food to ensure safety.

Difficulty: Challenging
Distance: 11.0 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 2,795 feet

3. Waikamoi Ridge Nature Trail

Credit: Maykou Heu / AllTrails

The Waikamoi Ridge Nature Trail is a beautiful trail to go on when you are in the mood for a peaceful walk. It is a wonderful hike that the whole family can enjoy. Thankfully, it is also open year-round!

The first part of the trail will guide you through man-made steps. Eventually, the artificial steps will lead to steps made from tree roots!

Throughout your walk in the forest, there are also many old-growth trees. These are very interesting and spectacular to see. You can also spot many bamboo and paper trees during the trail.

Moreover, keep your eyes open for wildlife on this trail! Perhaps even bringing binoculars to spot any birds.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 0.9 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 255 feet

4. Lahaina Pali Trail

Credit: Phil Venditti / Flickr

While the Lahaina Pali Trail is open year-round, it is best done in the spring or during a cloudy day. There is plenty of sun while on this hike! Thus, make sure to bring sunscreen.

This trail is very interesting with some history to it. The road that this trail follows is over 200 years old! Many historians believe that it is part of the Ala Loa Trail that traversed most of the island.

Furthermore, this trail can be accessed by two trailheads. There is an eastern and western trailhead that you can go to. Both trailheads will be accessible by Honoapiilani Highway 30.

Difficulty: Challenging
Distance: 5.0 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 1,564 feet

5. Waihe’e Ridge Trail

Credit: Riley Pope / AllTrails

The Waihe’e Ridge Trail is beautiful and scenic, especially when hiking on a bright and sunny day. As a result, you get to have stunning panoramic views.

Furthermore, you have the opportunity to view gorgeous waterfalls! With the views of the ocean and mountains, this trail will be worth every step. We recommend bringing your camera on this hike because of the beauty that it has to offer.

It is essential to check the cloud coverage before going on this hike. The cloudier it is, the harder it will be to see the views from atop. Moreover, this area is frequently wet, though it will help the waterfalls flow.

There are some steep inclines along with switch-backs at the beginning of the hike. Therefore, you may want to bring good shoes to this hike.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 4.0 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 1,610 feet

6. Kapalua Coastal Trail

Credit: Brandy Saturley / Flickr

The Kapalua Coastal Trail is perfect for those looking for an easy trail along the coastline. It is partially paved and can be rocky in some sections.

For those who enjoy swimming, bring your swimsuit to this trail. Once you reach the end, there is an opportunity for cliff jumping!

This trail is also excellent for those who want a little more wildlife sightings. There have been many sightings of turtles while on this trail.

Moreover, look at the signs posted around the trail as they tell you about the native plants and birds here. These signs will be interesting to read and see and help you be on the lookout.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 2.5 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 209 feet

7. Kahakapao Loop Trail

Credit: Kahunapule Michael Johnson’s photostream / Flickr

The Kahakapao Loop Trail is a beautiful year-round trail that takes you through a forest. There are chances to observe birds and wildflowers.

This trail is popular with horseback riding and mountain biking. Therefore, you may have to watch out for other people while on this trail.

This trail is perfect on a hot summer day as it offers plenty of shade. With that being said, this trail primarily consists of trees and not much other scenery. It is still a beautiful and pleasant hike.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 6.6 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 1,230 feet

8. Nakalele Blowhole via Acid War Zone Trail

Credit: Courtney Collison / Flickr

The Acid War Zone trail takes you through beautiful, exciting terrain. You will have a great time on your hike with incredible lava formations, cliffs, and a blowhole.

On another note, you may need to download a map to make it to the blowhole. Many reviewers say this trail is not well marked. Furthermore, there are many loose rocks, and the terrain is steep in some sections. Thus, you will want to wear some sturdy shoes.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 1.3 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 147 feet

9. Makamakaole Stream: 13 Crossings

Credit: Shutterstock

The Makamakaole Stream Trail is perfect for those that want to experience many beautiful views. There is the ability to explore the bamboo forest, streams, and a waterfall. This trail will feel like it has everything!

In some sections of this trail, it will be slippery. You can pick up a bamboo stick at the beginning of the path to help. There are also parts for rock scrambling. Thus, you will want to wear some sturdy shoes on this hike.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 2.0 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 524 feet

10. Twin Falls Trail

Credit: Sue Salisbury / Flickr

The Twin Falls Trail allows you to explore three sets of waterfalls with fresh water swimming holes. The trail consists of beautiful scenery with many flowers and plants.

Furthermore, bring a swimsuit and water shoes because of the swimming holes. You will need to cross a few streams to get to the falls, so water shoes will be beneficial.

This area is very popular, so we recommend trying to go during non-peak hours. Moreover, this trail has seasonal closure after heavy rains. So, you will want to watch out for that.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 1.8 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 347 feet

11. Seven Sacred Pools Trail (‘Ohe’o Gulch)

Credit: Joe Parks / Flickr

The Seven Sacred Pools Oheo Gulch gives you stunning ocean views, pools, and a waterfall to discover. It is definitely worth visiting and is one of the best hikes for any age.

Furthermore, you will want to bring your swimsuit! This trail offers swimming in the Kpahulu District. However, those swimming in the ocean must be careful, as the waves can be very rough.

In addition, the freshwater pools at Oheo Gulch may have flash floods. Therefore, checking the weather and being cautious before visiting is vital.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 0.6 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 108 feet

12. Iao Needle Lookout Trail and Ethnobotanical Loop

Credit: daveynin / Flickr

The Iao Needle Lookout Trail and Ethnobotanical Loop is a paved walking trail with stunning views. You will be able to see the Iao Needle. The Iao Needle is an erosional feature that rises 1200 feet from the valley floor!

Furthermore, you can go on the ethnobotanical garden trail that is adjacent to the stream. This trail has so much beauty and history that it is worth every step!

Moreover, this trail charges a fee for those that want to enter. It is also prone to a lot of rainfall, so you may want to check the weather before you visit.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 0.4 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 127 feet

13. Hoapili Trail to Hanamanioa Point Lighthouse

Credit: Kirt Edblom / Flickr

Throughout the Hoapili Trail, you walk along the lava from one of the last eruptions on Maui in 1790! This was also the trail that King Pi’ilani and his son built.

There are many beautiful views along this trail, even allowing you to be in shade for a part of it. In addition to the views, you may even get to see wildlife! Many people have talked about the wild goats that they saw.

Moreover, you will want to wear sturdy shoes on this hike, as the trail can get rocky. Furthermore, you need to be careful as it can be dangerous with the rising tide and high winds.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 3.6 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 141 feet

14. Hosmer Grove Campground Trail

Credit: Alan Schmierer / Flickr

The Hosmer Grove Campground Trail is located in Haleakala National Park and has a lot of beauty. You will be walking through native shrubland with a unique and beautiful landscape.

This trail has plenty of history to it, along with a fantastic landscape. It was shaped by tree harvesting and ranching in the 1800s! It is also named after one of the farmers and researchers, Ralph Hosmer.

You can look at the many beautiful eucalyptus trees and watch many native Hawaiian birds. Thus, you will want to bring your binoculars on this trail!

There are also many benches where you can sit and watch the birds nearby. On an important note, you may want to download a map before you go on this trail, as many side trails will appear.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 0.4 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 75 feet

15. Kapalua Village Walking Trail Lake Loop

Credit: John Ghirardi / AllTrails

The Kapalua Village Walking Trail is paved and is mostly accessible to anyone. Though, wheelchair users or mobility equipment users might need assistance during some sections above a 5% grade.

Throughout this trail, there will be plenty of scenery. Some scenery may include plants, pine trees, orchids, and tropical trees. This trail will be a beautiful hike to see. Furthermore, you will be able to meet plenty of cute ducks on your way!

This trail also uses older golf cart tracks from an abandoned golf course. Thus, it is fascinating to see and explore!

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 4.2 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 787 feet

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