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Wailuku, Hawaii, United States

Waihee Ridge Trail, Maui

Dramatic and always scenic. Hiking the Waihee ridgeline up in the Maui mountains.

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 (13 votes, 5 reviews)
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 4.5 miles / 7.2 km
Duration: 1-3 hours
 
Overview: This 4.5 mile round-trip hike in West Maui Forest Reserve promises lush scenery, great valley views and some dramatic ridge-line hiking.

As on the windward side of all Hawaiian islands, you're more likely to be in for wet weather and muddy conditions. But it's not all that bad, since this means waterfalls are plentiful, the vegetation is greener and the cooler conditions make for a nice comfortable hike.

Elevation gain:
• 1,560ft (from 1,000 – 2,560ft)

Tips:
• As with all Hawaii hikes we recommend footwear with good grip, since the terrain can get a little slippy & muddy.


Points of Interest

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Camp Maluhia BSA

You might find the trail for this hike a little difficult to find, but that's what guides like this one are for.

Don't stop driving yet. You'll find the hike at the end of a paved road off the Kahekili Highway around 7 miles outside (North) of Wailuku. If you need a little more reassurance that you're at the right place, keep a lookout for the red "Camp Maluhia BSA" post.

As the road leaves the main highway, drive uphill through a series of sharp bends and take a left-hand fork, before reaching the parking lot and the trailhead.
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Trailhead

Pick up the start of the well signed Waihee Ridge Trail and head through the kissing gate and up the hill.

The first part of this hill will be across farm territory before heading into forest. And remember to take a look over your shoulder to admire the many blues of the Pacific Ocean.
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Forest Cover

Although this hike is located in the West Maui Forest Reserve, you'll only spending it under cover of this mixed patch of trees for a short distance.
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Valley Views

Leaving the forest behind, the deep valleys of the old eroded volcano of Puu Kukui provide incredible views.
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Milepost 1

A mile into this hike and you should already be making the most of the great views, and soon you'll be climbing steps and tracing a route along the Waihee ridge, with deep valley drops on either side.
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End

Just a little further uphill of the second milepost you'll finally reach the end of our trail and the summit of Lanilili Mountain 2,563ft above sea level.

A picnic table crowns this summit, where you can enjoy a rest and maybe a snack whilst enjoying the scenery.
Pictures in this guide taken by: Trailspotting

Trailspotting content © Stuart Green 2010 including text, images, videos and route detail.
Reviews
knucktatz
BEST hike on Maui. Don't bother doing this hike if you can't get on the trail before 10 AM, or you won't be able to see anything. Each time I've been on this, the clouds start touching down at the top altitude shortly after 11, and it'll kill your views. Still a great workout, though.
I spent a month on this island and this was the only hike just nagging for a redo. It's absolutely breathtaking, and never the same twice. WEAR ADEQUATE FOOTWEAR (this isn't a hike for someone wearing toe shoes, they don't provide enough support on the rock terrain) and be prepared to get low and maybe do a little sliding if it's wet. The rainy seasons/foot traffic really gut out the trail middle so you will have to stick to the sides. If you're decently athletic, up-and-back will take less than 2 hours if it's dry. After a rain, it's an ENTIRELY different beast. Gorgeous scenery with a full view of the Iao Valley and needle to your left, and untouched pastureland to your right.
Can't recommend this hike enough!

Visited on Oct 25, 2013

by knucktatz on Mar 29, 2014
Trailspotting
Added more detail to POI #1 based on Emilyra8's comment.

by Trailspotting on Aug 27, 2013
emilyra8
A gorgeous trail! One of the members in our party has pretty bad asthma and only made it to mile 1. Uphill the whole way there, but the views made it worth it! I misread the POI details and thought the trailhead started soon after the red sign; make sure you keep driving to the trailhead or you'll add another 3/4 of a mile to your trip.
Visited on Jul 28, 2013

by emilyra8 on Jul 28, 2013
PurvisBE
Access drive is at the highway change from two lane road to single lane road. Go up the driveway about 1 mile to a nice parking area with a port-a-potty.

Nice hike.

Visited on Jun 19, 2013

by PurvisBE on Jun 21, 2013
Makdreidel
Best hike on the island. The trail is in the shade for the majority of the hike, but it shouldn't matter, because the best time of the day to be on the trail is in the morning. This is because around 10:30-11:00 the clouds start to cover up the fantastic views of the valley. Expect some people because it is part of their morning workout routine, or they are visitors just like you and Helicopters to be flying by frequently. For me the most interesting part of the hike is just after the beginning where the trail divides two species of trees. For the family looking to hike this trail, I would recommend stopping somewhere after halfway, as the views will not get any better and the complaints will grow with the added elevation.
Visited on May 19, 2012

by Makdreidel on Jun 20, 2012

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