What to Wear While Hiking in Maui: Do’s and Don’ts

For those venturing out to hike in Maui for the first time, you might be a little unsure of what to wear.

The island has a rich biodiversity and weather patterns–hot and sunny beaches, wet rainforests, afternoon trade winds, a slightly cooler temperature up country. Depending on where you’re headed, make sure you plan ahead and know what to expect. For our Honolua Ridgeline Hike, we recommend you wear something practical and comfortable. Here’s what to wear (and not wear!):

Comfortable footwear.

Maui Hiking

The Do’s: We recommend close-toed shoes like athletic or running shoes. Just make sure they have some kind of traction and grip. You’ll be entering a watershed in Maui’s native forest, so you’ll want some kind of grip if you slip a little. However, the 500 foot climb is gradual, so even the most minimal of hikers will be fine. Even if you get a little muddy, you can always rinse them off with fresh water and leave them out to dry overnight (or in the afternoon sun).

The Don’ts: Yes, you’ll probably run into some locals who wear sandals or flip-flops (or as we call them, slippas) while hiking, though we wouldn’t recommend it. Sandals are usually fine–just make sure they have adjustable straps and a grippy sole for some traction. Regardless, most trails in Hawaii have at least some sections of loose dirt and gravel, so even shoes with the best grip might cause you to slip a little.

Comfortable (and breathable) clothing.

The Do’s: Much of our eco tour is under the shade of a canopy, though let’s face it–Hawaii gets hot. You won’t need more than a t-shirt or tank top, though whatever you go with, make sure it’s breathable or moisture-locking. It might also be a good idea to wear lightweight pants or leggings for protection from the sun or to avoid any cuts or scrapes from nearby branches.

The Don’ts: Though the 2-mile trek is through the West Maui Mountains, there’s not really a need to bring extra layers. You won’t get cold on this hike, though you can always bring a rain jacket if it’s in the forecast.

Maui Hiking

Protection from the sun
The Do’s: Have we mentioned the Hawaii sun? The majority of our trail is shaded, but once we get to the top of Pu’u Kukui Preserve, you’ll be thankful for bringing a hat, whether a baseball cap, bucket hat, or one with a fancy neck-cord. Sunglasses aren’t a bad idea either, and bringing sunscreen is pretty much a no-brainer. Regardless, you’ll want to be sure to protect your face from the unforgiving sun.

Here’s the Don’ts: We’ll keep this short: See above for the Do’s.

Yes, we know it’s technically not an item of clothing, but we can’t stress enough how important it is to stay hydrated. So whether you’re hiking with us or not, don’t leave home without it.