Hiking Into Nature
Wandering through bird filled pine forests to a tropical rainforest with waterfalls or a barren moon like crater there are so many landscapes to enjoy.
On Maui is one of the first frisbee golf courses in the state and possibly the country. For those who are not quite sure about what that exactly is here is a bit of a brief. This sport is where you go from tee to tee using a frisbee instead of a golfball. The terrain is not well groomed like a golf course but it’s completely unspoiled nature. You need to spin that frisbee around tree trunks over high grasses and across gullies. If you get off the course the hike to get your disc back may take you a good bit of time but it’s always fun. This course is set high up on the slopes of Haleakala just below the tree line. You will wander through meadows and bush collecting your discs as you miss throw them or if they bounce off trees. Bring a picnic and bring the family as kids will love wandering through this forest on a treasure hunt for the discs you are bound to loose or mis-throw.
Check out our little pice on hiking up Iao Valley. It’s a great place to spend a morning and if you are quite adventurous you can continue up over the pass. This route brings you out in south Maui above Lahaina. Expect to spend a good 8 to 10 hours doing this hike. Although it is not that long, it’s quite trek as the paths are overgrown and the terrain is very steep. You will be doing some mountain climbing so be prepared for that.
One of the favorites for any serious hiker is the trails coming down the slopes of Haleakala. There are many different routes depending on your skill level and time. Starting at the top of the mountain the most spectacular hike is down through the crater and out the Kaupo Gap. This takes only a couple days if you are quick. The weather really changes often in Hawaii so be prepared for anything. Being exposed in the crater on a wet windy days is never that much fun. The other option through the crater is heading north and venturing down into Keanae but that is not as popular. Many day hikers skip choose to follow the trails down the “front sides” towards Wailea or Haiku. In all cases for a good portion of the hikes you will still be above the tree line.
Still in the National park but on the Hana side of the island is a wonderful short hike up the Oheo Gulch. Following the creek that feeds the Seven Pools (Seven Sacred Pools) will take you past 200′ plus waterfalls, banyan trees and through the dark bamboo forest. It takes only a few hours to go right to the top but it is well worth it. Many people believe that if you hike down from the crater you can come out here but scaling down the 400′ waterfall at the end of this trail is not advised.
There are many Maui activities and tours related to hiking. Many of the hiking turs from Kaanapali take you around the west Maui mountains. There are very few tourists who venture out that way so it’s perfect for tour companies to provide services out to them. You rarely meet anyone and the land is unspoiled, as far as Maui goes.
Check out some of the other sites to get more in-depth hiking spots as there are hundreds. Wander along the Kings trail in Makena, adventure into Polipoli springs in Kula or find some of the ancient rock art above Lahaina. The big thing now is to hike up through the forest and Zipline down. It’s fun for most of the family and there are a few locations to do that particular activity on Maui but they are booked weeks ahead so plan early. There are many hiking books in the local stores that can give you pinpoint directions of where to go, where to park and the difficulty rating of each of the hikes. There is something for everyone.