Hiking in Maui is one of the most breathtaking scenic experiences you’ll encounter. Any adventurous or outdoor traveler will agree the opportunities in The Valley Isle are endless, from pristine beaches to lush rainforests to the island’s vibrant culture. Here’s what you should know before you go:

Maui has some of the most unique biodiversities on the planet. Think waterfalls, bamboo forests, volcanic landscapes, scenic overlooks, and more. Many of Maui’s mountain areas are also privately owned and preserved with restricted access – and for good reason. When hiking in West Maui along the Honolua Ridgeline, for example, you’ll encounter endangered and indigenous plants and animals that conservation groups are working endlessly to preserve. The Pu’u Kukui Watershed Preserve alone contains over 300 native plant species, including nine on the US Endangered Species List.

Maui Hiking

Consider going with a private or group hike tour. The intimacy of a private hike in Maui allows you access to unique and intimate parts of the island you might not see otherwise. Walking through lush forests, you’ll see native species and some of the rarest endangered flora and fauna on the island. Tour guides also have a wealth of information. When walking through the preserve, you’ll discover its vital importance for Maui’s community. By booking tours like this, you really see first-hand parts of Maui you wouldn’t get to otherwise.

Learn the stories of a place cherished by so many. Breathtaking views abound–that much is obvious. But you’ll also have a chance to foster a deeper understanding of an island rich with tradition. Many nature and eco-tours have guides who are expert storytellers. You’ll discover ecosystems that make Hawaii so special and alluring, and you’ll walk away feeling inspired to help preserve and protect the ‘aina (land).

Plan for the essentials. Because Maui is so biodiverse, weather conditions vary depending on where you are. At Haleakala National Park, for example, you’ll need plenty of warm clothing as the elevation reaches over 10,000 feet. Hiking near a waterfall or beach? Bring water-appropriate shoes. Before venturing out, make sure you bring:

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  • Weather-appropriate and comfortable clothing. Chances are you’re probably going to get wet and/or hot, so you’ll want to dress accordingly.
  • Sunscreen and bug spray. Both go without saying, but here’s a tip: Because of Maui’s fragile ecosystem, find sunscreen that’s reef-safe.
  • Camera. There’s always a gorgeous view to capture. And it’s be a great way to remember your hiking experience, whether with family, new friends, or solo.
  • Water and snacks. You’ll want to stay hydrated regardlesss, as Maui is hot and humid.
  • Phone. Reception can be spotty, but you can always utilize your phone’s GPS or download maps before starting out.
  • Backpack. You’ll want to be hands-free during your hike and be able to throw everything in the bag, including your trash. Remember: Leave the trails as you found it or pick up trash you see along the way.

So whether you’re an experienced trekker, looking for an easy hike with family, or want to discover the island’s rich cultural history, you won’t be disappointed. See you on the trails!