Maui may best be known for its beaches and ocean activities, but it is also home to some of the world’s most awe-inspiring natural landscapes. With an abundance of hiking trails that take you to cascading waterfalls, flourishing wetlands, wildlife sanctuaries and valleys so deep they never see a sunrise or sunset, Maui’s beautifully diverse topography provides an array of hiking adventures for all skill levels to experience the island’s other natural beauties.
Below is a sampling of some of our favorite do-it-yourself hikes. If you prefer not to hike on your own, consider private tours led by naturalist wildlife guides. This is an excellent way to explore lesser known local trails and learn about the history, botany and culture of Maui.
For planning assistance, please call (800) 367-5246 or email DRHinfo@DestinationHotels.com.
- Āhihi-Kīnaʻu Natural Area Reserve – Located on the southwest corner of the island of Maui, the 1,238-acre reserve is home to marine ecosystems (807 submerged acres), rare and fragile anchialine ponds, reef communities and lava fields from the last eruption of Haleakala 200-500 years ago.
- Kanaha Pond State Wildlife Sanctuary – Located between downtown Kahului and Kahului Airport, this 143-acre wetland and designated National Natural Landmark is a waterfowl sanctuary home to more than 50 species of birds, including three endangered bird species, the Hawaiian stilt (ae'o), the Hawaiian coot ('alae) and the Hawaiian duck (koloa).
- Twin Falls – Located on the Road to Hana, Twin Falls is the first, easily-accessible string of waterfalls and pools on this famed scenic route. About a mile in, you will arrive at a footpath that forks one way to Ho’olawa li’ili’i (Little Ho’olawa) Stream and the other way takes you to Ho’olawa nui (Big Ho’olawa) Stream. Regardless of which path you take, you will enjoy various natural water features, waterfalls and pools perfect for swimming.
- ‘Iao Valley State Park – This 10 miles long, 4,000 acre historic park is home to the infamous ‘Iao Needle, an erosional feature that rises 1,200 feet from the valley floor. The park’s lush scenery and native Hawaiian flora and fauna lead you to an array of meandering hiking trails, waterfalls, swimming holes, and picnic areas. Please note that Iao Valley State Park will be closed for improvements from August 1, 2022 to January 15, 2023.