Looking for ‘something different’ to do in Hawaii, how about a great hike? I love the sliding sands trails in Haleakala and also the Seven Pools Hike mentioned in a previous post. However, the Waihee Ridge Trail is a great quick hike that won’t take up a ton of time in your day. This hike is about 20 minutes from Kahului on Kahekili HWY (HWY 30). If you are driving from Lahaina and want a ‘scenic route,’ you can drive past Kapalua and Honolua Bay to save time – this is one of my favorite drives on Maui.
The hike is at the entrance to Camp Maluhia on Maui – the campground used by many local groups and the Boy Scouts of America. If you are coming from Kahului, the camp entrance will be on the left side of the HWY right around a hairpin turn about 7 miles north of Wailuku. A short drive past the entrance you’ll see a parking lot at the head of the trail.
The hike is also on the Windward side of Maui so, like Hana, it’s green and ‘wetter’ than you’d experience say in Lahaina or Kihei. We went after a short rain so we had a little mud on our shoes by the end of the hike but the slight cloud cover made the hike very comfortable.
This isn’t a long hike, about 4.25 miles roundtrip, but it has an approximate 1500 ft elevation gain. The beginning of the hike is the steepest part but past that, it’s a nice steady climb the rest of the way. Get past the first 400 meters and it’s A LOT easier!
There is a bench at the .25 mile marker that gives you a great view north. You should be able to see a waterfall in the distance. Oh, so I didn’t realize that our lens got wet on the hike so some of the pictures will have a small blur in it. The previous pictures are a short while after the .25 marker once you get through the ‘forest.’
By now you might be thinking, “what if I don’t have a ton (or any) hiking gear?” We did the hike with a few water bottles, cellphones, and my daughter was in slippers. We ran into a number of people doing the hike, two of them were simply trail running so they had nothing on them. I also took my twins on the hike and they handled it relatively well. I’d advise to be careful with kids on the hike since, as the picture above shows, there are dropoffs and wandering children will make it dangerous. Use your own judgement – the picture above shows probably the narrowest section of the path.
If there is minimal cloud cover, there are fantastic views on the hike. I wish my waterfall pictures had turned out better. The one above is of the valley on the opposite side of the trail. Despite it being summer, there is always rain in HI and you could hear the river from our vantage point.
We found some guavas along the trail – most at the beginning. This was my daughter’s first time having a guava straight from the tree . . . . actually, I think it was her first time having guava at all! Great stuff!
My sister and her husband are very active and love the outdoors – they suggested the hike and it was perfect for them. I am very out of shape thanks to a knee injury yet I finished the hike with my kids so I guess it’s safe to say it’s a good hike for everyone (again though, very young children who wander should not be on the hike – use good judgement). I think our entire route took us about an hour, maybe a little more. I know there is a TON to occupy your time when on Maui but, this is a great hike and one that I will definitely do again!