Best Hikes on Maui: The Big Three Adventure Hikes
Maui is full of amazing hikes. I am going to go over some of my favorite that I have done over the past three years but keep in mind there are still many hikes left for future exploration.
The Commando Hike
This is the biggest secret hike on Maui. I get dozens of people everyday trying to find out information on my blog about this hike. I am still inclined not to give the location of the starting point but just know that if you find someone who will take you prepare to be blown away. This hike is on the road to Hana but not too far from the bamboo forest hike. For the adventure seeker this can be the ultimate hike. You have creek hopping, waterfall climbing, swimming, lava tube spelunking, giant cows on the trail, a jungle gym of vines, and the possibility of cliff jumping at the end. Not to mention it’s the only hike where you will have to face a waterfall in a lava tube.Be prepared for some tough moments so bring your game face and persevere. If you ever feel like turning back then just ask Caroline, she will tell you to push on, it will be worth it!
Oheo Gulch-Waimano Falls Hike
This hike begins across the street from the parking lot for seven sacred pools at Oheo Gulch. Many day visitors come to check out the sacred pools but don’t have time to do the 4 mile round trip hike above the pools. This has been my favorite hike on Maui ever since my first time doing it. About half a mile in you come to a beautiful waterfall overlook and lots of signs that say ‘no jumping-fatal drop.’
A little ways past this overlook there is a gate to keep the feral animals out. Once through this keep your eyes out for a small path leading towards the river behind the fence. If you find it you can jump the fence, carefully work your way down to the river, and soon find yourself on top of the same waterfall you were just checking out from the overlook. The rocky streambed creates pools of water when the river isn’t flooding. There is one pool right up against the edge of the waterfall which is called the infinity pool. Not a bad view from here, just make sure you are not there during a flash flood.
The trail from this point goes by a massive banyan tree, dense bamboo forest, and misty rainforest before emerging directly below another huge waterfall. This one you can walk under and let the waterfall cleanse you after your hike or climb the wall behind it and watch from behind a veil of water. The hike here is neither difficult nor steep. Slipping on the bamboo forest boardwalk in your slippers (sandals) is the toughest part.
Sliding Sands- Hiking Haleakala
This can be a big days adventure that starts early. Being at the 10,000ft summit of Haleakala volcano should be on your to-do list here in Maui. But for the more adventurous combining the sunrise with an out of this world hike is the way to go. From the visitor center you hike down the sliding sands trail into the crater. You start to get a true grasp of just how big the crater is. It’s 26 miles across and can fit the island of Manhattan in it!
The best way to do this is to have two cars. One left at the 8,000ft parking lot and another taken up to the summit. Then instead of hiking back up sliding sands you can do the entire 11 mile hike over to the switchback trail to the 8,000ft parking lot where your car is waiting. You can also hitchhike from this point back up to the summit. The views along this hike are like none other on Maui.