Maui is an island filled with natural beauty. While the resort areas have their own perfectly manicured allure, there is so much more to see. On our most recent vacation, we ventured out to a variety of areas on the island. It made us realize how much we have missed on our previous trips. Here is what we discovered and some recommendations for your journey:
1. The Bamboo Forrest
This is a popular hike at the end of the road to Hana. You will need to enter the Haleakala National Park for this one. There is a $25 per car entrance fee, which is good for 3 days. Within the park is the Seven Sacred Pools, various waterfalls and the beautiful Bamboo Forrest. The hike to the forrest is along the Pipiwai Trail, which is a 4 mile round trip. It is pretty mucky and rocky, but manageable for seniors and children. Don’t forget to get your boardwalk shot!
2. Haleakala Ridge Hike
Talk about a change in scenery! We decided to visit the Haleakala Summit the next day as our park pass was good for 3 days. We went from a tropical forrest to a barren landscape in the matter of 24 hours. From 80 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit! This is what I love about Hawaii. There is such variety in the landscape. If you are doing the hike, make sure to dress warm. We always forget how cold it feels up there. Watching the sun rise or set is a must.
3. Iao Valley
If you are looking for beauty in Hawaii, a valley is always a sure thing. The Iao Valley is no exception. A lot of the viewing areas here were closed as the waters had become dangerous. We found a hike off of the upper viewing platform just behind the sign that says “Danger: Do Not Enter.” This hike is steep, narrow and on the side of a cliff. Enter at your own risk! Very glad we did the hike as the views were breathtaking. We ran into others on the trail, so we were not the only ones breaking the rules!
4. Hoapili Trail
There is a hike at the end of Makena Road that you could spend all day on. It passes by beaches with great fishing, a lava field and a black sand beach. Make sure you wear runners as you have to do a lot of navigating. If you want to make it to the black sand beach you will have to scale lava rocks to get there. Allow yourself at least 4 hours if you plan on making it there and back in daylight.
5. The Makawao Forrest
Who knew we would find a Borreal Forrest on a tropical island?! The trees were planted here in the early 1900’s by Europeans and have thrived in the upcountry region. The hike is 6 miles round trip. If you are looking for peace and quiet you will find it here. We only ran into a few people on our 3 hour journey. There is a great setup here for mountain bikers. They have paths, rails and jumps. Didn’t think I would find a Teepee on Maui!
6. Little Beach
I had to add my favourite beach to this list! It is a little off the beaten path as you have to climb up a rocky hill to get here. Access is to the north of of Big Beach in Makena State Park. This is a clothing optional beach with the best waves for boogie boarding and body surfing. There is great snorkelling here as well. On Sunday evenings there is a beach party filled with fire dancers, hula hoopers and lots of Aloha!
While we did a lot on this trip, there is still more to see (which means we have to return). I hope this has given you some ideas for your own trip. Maui has a lot to offer no matter what you are looking for in a vacation.
Kira Canadian Girl