Maui is full of adventures; it's not just a pretty face of sparkling water and beautiful beaches. It has depth and character and all you have to do is get outside and find it. The island is full of lush rainforests and barren deserts.
|Pipiwai Trail a.k.a "Bamboo Forest" is a beautiful hike that has it all - big waterfalls, bamboo, bridges, and banyan trees. The trailhead is right across the street from the Seven Sacred Pools and the 1.8-mile hike is doable for most ages and abilities, the only steep part being right at the beginning. Plan on taking at least a couple of hours for the hike, there are several side trails (that aren`t necessarily a part of the hike), a big banyan tree - (and unlike the one in Lahaina, you can climb on it), a dense bamboo forest and an over 400" waterfall, Makahiku Falls, at the end of the trail. The only negative aspect of the hike is the popularity, don`t expect a serene walk through the woods on this one! It is definitely worth the time investment however.
|Iao Valley is a highly-recommended tourist destination with its lush vegetation. The park is easily accessible by car and has well-marked, well-maintained walking paths that are suitable for all ages. The park also has historical signs and markers scattered around, so not only are you exercising your body, you`re exercising your mind. Plan ahead for this trip and check the weather, Iao Valley is perhaps the rainiest spot on the island.
|There are several different hikes on, around, and in the Haleakala Crater. Ranging from easy to extreme, there is something for every level of explorer. The Hosmer`s Grove Trail is a nice nature walk of about .5 miles featuring 20 different types of trees, all of which have descriptive plaques. If you want to go into the crater, but don`t want to commit a day to the hike, take the Ka Lu`u O Ka O`o trail which is about 5.5 miles. For a longer hike, either the Sliding Sands or Halemau`u (Switchback) trails. They are 8 and 9.2 miles respectively and are more challenging. There are points on the trails that lead to overlooks that drop 1,000 feet and have some hills to climb. If almost 10 miles isn`t quite enough, then you can combine Sliding Sands and Switchback and make it a 12.2-mile hike. Keep in mind this is a point-to-point hike, so you might want to arrange pick-up on the other side. If you are visiting during a full moon and want the challenge of taking a moonlight hike, this is a good one. However, be prepared with extra warm clothes, food and flashlights, you are likely to be alone on the trail. If you still want more and want to hike on what is the most extreme hike on the island, plan a couple of days to do the Kaupo Gap trail. The hike is 17.5 miles and drops 9,500 feet in elevation. There are a couple of cabins you can reserve along the way, the most popular being the Paliku cabin, which is about 9.5 miles from the trailhead. This is also a point-to-point hike, so be sure to arrange transportation, you might wait a long time if you rely on someone driving by. This is an extreme hike, so it is highly advised that you are in excellent physical shape and to definitely come prepared, temperatures can drop below freezing up there! Any hike you chose on Haleakala will be worth it, the environment has often been compared to the moon and the area is pristine, some of it seemingly untouched.
|It`s not a difficult hike; there is a waterfall at the end and several side trails to explore. Be sure to wear shoes that can get wet and dirty and a swimsuit if you want to brave the cold water at the falls. There is a big lot off the highway, at mile marker 2, to park (look for an old bus painted with flowers and selling smoothies) and the trail starts there. The path will fork and the one to the left goes to the most popular falls. It`s not a long, nor difficult hike, but there is usually a stream to wade through and irrigation ditches to walk beside. The falls empty into a pool that is cold and big enough to have a swim. To the right of the falls is another trail that takes you meandering through the forest and will eventually wind down to the other falls. If you take the fork to the right at the bottom, it will take you to the other falls from that direction. This has a pool to swim in as well and different heights of rocks to jump from. As always, check first before you jump! Twin Falls is on the road you would take if you are driving to Hana, (it would be a jam-packed day if you want to fit in Twin Falls and the Road to Hana), and is about 25 minutes past Paia.
Waihe`e Ridge Trail
|Early morning, before the clouds roll in, is probably the best time for this hike. About 20 minutes past Wailuku Town, Waihe`e Ridge is absolutely breath-taking. This 5-mile round trip hike has views of waterfalls, cavernous mountain gorges and distant ocean vistas. Alternating between steep and straight trails this is a moderate to difficult hike. There is a picnic area at the end of the trail, so bring a backpack, a camera and take your time!