Maui Parks & Hikes

Kihei Sands is a fantastic jumping off point to explore Haleakala, many National Park destinations and sites on the Road to Hana.  Staying on this side of the island will also save you drive time.  

Kealia Coastal Boardwalk


This easy out-and-back boardwalk trail (about a mile round trip) is suitable for almost everyone and is a great way to explore the Kealia Pond Refuge.  The best part is that you can walk down Sugar Beach to the start of the trail, or hop in your car for a short 5 minute drive.  It is family friendly complete with a sturdy wood fence to keep little ones safe.  Informative interpretive signs explain the refuge and include pictures of the birds to look for. 

Iao Valley State Park

Iao valley is very accessible and will let you experience the lush side of Maui.  You will find paved walkways, steps and signage with historical information that is well suited for older folks and kids.  Beauty will surround you.  The valley is the 2nd wettest place in Hawaii receiving an average of over an inch of rain per day, but with luck you can catch it on a dry day.  The ‘Iao needle is a 1200’ peak that was created over many millennia. 


Twin Falls

Many visitors take a quick stop at Twin Falls at the beginning of their road to Hana adventure.  But Twin Falls actually has many waterfalls, streams and trails.  It’s the perfect place to hike, swim, and stay cool.  Here is a link to give you detailed information exactly where to go and how to stay safe hiking this trail system.


Kula Botanical Gardens

Kula Botanical Garden is located on the slopes of Haleakala and encompasses 8 acres of colorful and unique plants, rock formations, waterfalls, koi pond, aviary and a carved tiki exhibit.  You’ll also get to see the Nene which is the Hawaiian State Bird.  Admission:  Adults $10 and children 6-12 $3;  Open daily 9 – 4.  To get more information go to their website at:


Makawao Forest Reserve

There are some great hiking/biking trails a few miles above Makawao in the Waihou Springs Forest Reserve with an easy loop as well as a more adventurous hike. Here you will find an entirely different ecosystem with well-marked trails. For the easy loop, from the parking lot area follow the wide chip trail to a t-intersection.  Turn right or left to follow the short loop through the forest.  To hike to the old Lava Tubes, make a right at the T-intersection.  As the trail bends around to the left, you’ll see a sign and the Waihou Springs trail to the right.  Following this windy and steep trail will lead you to what used to be a large waterfall bottom.

Driving Directions:  From Haleakala Highway turn left on to Makawao Ave (State Hwy 400).  At the four way stop in town make a right on to Olinda Road.  Follow until you see dirt parking on your right.

Bamboo Forest ~ Pipiwai Trail

If you are going to drive to Hana, the Bamboo forest is a trail worth taking.  The trail is 4 miles (round trip) and will take around 2 hours.  The stunning bamboo makes soothing sounds while swaying to the breeze and is nothing short of magical.  At the end of the trail you’ll discover the 400ft Waimoku Falls.  You’ll need good shoes (it can be slick) and insect repellant.  The trail is meticulously maintained by the Park System.  To get there:  Drive the Road to Hana all the way to the town of Hana, and keep going for about 10 more miles.  A bit past marker 42, you’ll see the entrance to Haleakala National Park, where you either have to show your park pass, or pay an entrance fee of $10 per vehicle.  Park your car across the highway to get to the Pipiwai Trail.

Haleakala Hikes

The summit area of Haleakalā National Park has over 30 miles (48 km) of hiking trails. Trails range from just 10 minutes to multi-day overnight trips. You can hike in the native shrubland, looking for native forest birds and endemic plants, or in the aeolian cinder desert, exploring the geologic history of the volcano.  As there are many options and lots of hiking advise, we advise checking out the National Park Service website for complete hiking information at:

Haleakala Observation Stations

A visit to Haleakala summit, observatory stations, or sunrise is also worth a trip.  You’ll need a pass for entry and a reservation for sunrise.  Check with the office to see if we have a free pass available.  Our location is ideal to cut down drive time to the summit as opposed to folks coming from the West end.  And a secret to avoiding the large sunrise crowds- arrive at the park right at 7am when a reservation is no longer needed.  The upper level observation area will be nearly deserted.  You’ll miss the beautiful first break of sun over the clouds, but the view is stunning none the less and you’ll have the place to yourself. Vist their website for more info and reservations at:

Pali Trail

Lahaina Pali West is a rugged 5-mile trail that goes from Ma'alaea to Ukumehame and part of the ancient King’s Trail. This is not a hike for novice hikers  due to the rocky mountain slopes and the length.  Be prepared for wind, sun or rain.  Appropriate hiking footwear, a hat and lots of water required. 

The west trail head is a short ride from Kihei Sands.  It starts right before Ukumehame Beach State Park on Honoapillani.  There is a shady parking area on the right side just after the tunnel.

Along the way you will be able to enjoy great views of Kahoʻolawe and Lanaʻi, 34 windmill-turbines and whales when in season.  And of course you can spy Kihei Sands as well!


If you’re interested in experiencing more of Maui’s forbidden coast on land, La Perouse is the starting point for the King’s Highway, a trail once created by pounding sharp lava rock flat in order to allow King Pi’ilani to circumnavigate the island. The trail, later improved by Governor Hoapili, follows the rugged coastline for approximately 5.5 miles to Kanai’o Beach. Be aware that this hike is very dry, hot and rough due to the surrounding sharp lava rock. But if you’re up for a challenge, the views are excellent!  This site will give you a good description about what to expect: