Maui – Hiking The Lush Green of The Mahana and Honolua Ridges

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It was hiking boots on time :D And a great thing to do whilst staying in the kapalua area of Maui. Rising up inland from the resort you see one of the lushest, greenest, untouched areas of Maui. Perfect for exploring on foot. Starting at the bottom in Kapalua itself you take the Mahana Ridge trail.

This trail takes you up towards the trees via views over the ocean and pineapple plantations. Gorgeous and gives a great variety for the lushness to come. Then suddenly there you are, in the thick tropical treeline, gradually heading upwards. Within the trees the colours get stronger and stronger as you make your way along the path. Every now and then you reach a point that peeks out over the treeline and you can do no more than enjoy and savour the remoteness and paradise around.

Maui - Hiking The Mahana and Honolua Ridges

Maui - Hiking The Mahana and Honolua Ridges

Maui - Hiking The Mahana and Honolua Ridges

Birds of all colours singing around you and butterflies seem to lead the way as in a fairytail. Very surreal I can tell you. Reaching higher the path changes minute by minute. It could be making a way through grass that is twice as tall as you, or taking turns through pine trees. Honestly it would take too long to explain all the variety. Each step is a wonder.

After about 5 miles you start to work around the top of the ridge and get some amazing views down the gorges along the mountainside. Greenery, blue skies and ocean to look out over.

Maui - Hiking The Mahana and Honolua Ridges

Maui - Hiking The Mahana and Honolua Ridges

Maui - Hiking The Mahana and Honolua Ridges

It is then time to enter the Honolua Ridge and the Maunalei Arboretum. This area is pure natural beauty. It features wild and amazing trees and flowers from around the world along with plants, trees and shrubs that are very native to Hawaii.Hidden in the middle for example is the huge and inticate Banyan tree. A sight to behold. Guava hangs down above your head invitingly and bright red tropical birds swoop through the trees. You could spend hours and hours wandering through there and still want to see more. Keep a lookout for the wild boar and great colourful wasps, they add to the adventure :D

Maui - Hiking The Mahana and Honolua Ridges

Maui - Hiking The Mahana and Honolua Ridges

Maui - Hiking The Mahana and Honolua Ridges

Maui - Hiking The Mahana and Honolua Ridges

At the end of the trail it opens up before you and there you are, looking out to Molokai across the ocean or Honolua bay even. And to cap it all I had not seen a single person the whole way! Paradise to yourself. Amazing. If you would like to learn more about this hike or others in the area then look here.

Maui - Hiking The Mahana and Honolua Ridges

Maui - Hiking The Mahana and Honolua Ridges

Maui - Hiking The Mahana and Honolua Ridges

What a lovely day and especially being a hiker. One of my favourite 7 – 10 mile walks yet. Itchy to see more! :D

4 comments

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  1. Nice synopsis! I’ve done this hike a few times, and as you mentioned, it’s really interesting with the variety of terrain, plants, and views. It’s a unique way to experience Kapalua too :)

  2. I’ve been to Maui a couple of times but I’ve never been hiking there. I have hiked in Kauai and loved it. Some of the best photos I’ve ever taken were from hikes in Kauai. While many people go for the beaches, the scenery and beauty of the land shouldn’t be missed. Get out and explore!

  3. Aloha Paul,
    Thank you for the article on hiking in Hawaii. Anytime we can highlight a great activity that showcases our State is good for all of us in the travel industry. We invite you to come to Kauai next time and check out our hiking trails on the Garden Isle. Mahalo nui loa

    Of note were the photos of two invasive plant species that threaten all of Hawaii, Guinea grass and Guava. Both spread by birds and ungulates (guava more so). They crowd out native species and threaten agriculture at lower elevation levels.

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