The trails covered are: -
- Kapalua Coastal Path
- Lake Loop
- Ohai Trail
Kapalua Coastal Path.
This picture guide is of the best known and most frequented trail in Kapalua. It is mostly a gentle stroll, but does have a rocky section not suitable for anyone with less than average walking ability.
There are also a few drop-offs and other places where care is needed, especially with young children.
This walk is an out and back starting at DT Fleming beach. Parking there is usually much easier than at the Kapalua Bay end. There is also limited parking at the end of Office Road and above Oneloa Bay.
Another benefit of the starting point is the excellent Burger Shack. Split the entrees to keep the price reasonable. A great oceanside spot, with 5 star restrooms – it is on the Ritz Carlton property.
Here is a pictorial guide to the Lake Loop Hike, one of the Kapalua trails. I took these pictures in late August 2018.
The Lake Loop is the longest of the old golf course trails, 3.5 miles, but can feel longer as there are some short but steep sections. It has varied scenery including the lake itself and viewpoints of the ocean and Molokai.
The hike has plenty of shaded sections and is especially good for all weather hiking, unlike most Maui trails which are unpaved and therefore can be muddy or even washed out. The trail follows the cart paths of the old golf course, the rest of the golf course is completely overgrown and returned to nature.
My guide takes some detours from the official Lake Loop on the downhill part back to the trailhead. Either the official part or my detour is a different way back than the ascent.
I take the detour as by the time I get up to the lake I have had enough of uphill sections and the detour is slightly shorter. Stay with the official loop and ignore my detour if you want the slightly longer hike and are not done with a few uphill sections – especially the ‘sting in the tail’ short steep climb to the parking lot.
Mahana Ridge Trail
I created the Mahana Ridge Trail photo guide to be generally helpful and with the following specific intentions: -
- The start of the trail can be hard to find for some
- Depending on where you start, you could have a steep climb right at the end of the hike, my guide avoids this climb, the last part of the hike is a gentle downhill.
- You start and end at Fleming Beach, a cooling swim is wonderful after the hike and the Ritz Carlton Burger snack is there for refreshments, restrooms etc (closes at 4pm)
- This route avoids a 100% out and back, the first third and last third (approximately) are different
Always take plenty of water and good walking shoes and be aware of weather conditions. It is only good for healthy and responsible walkers and not good for small children as in certain places a few false steps could have you tumbling down ravines.
The hike in my photo link is around 4 to 5 miles round trip. The full Mahana Ridge Trail is a 17-mile round trip if you include the arboretum trail at the top.
A photo guide that I made of my favorite way to walk to the Nakalele blowhole on the north shore of West Maui.
Pictures are at the link: -
I wrote this guide because many people that stop at milepost 38 do not find the blowhole as the way to it is less obvious than at milepost 38.5.
Most visitors continue to milepost 38.5 and climb down the long scramble over the rocks. If you stop at milepost 38 and park there, the walk is further, but more interesting and easier in my opinion.
There are more varieties of views, the climb down over rocks is shorter and you see the amazing rock formations carved by wind, rain and waves. There is also a small blowhole on the way to the main one.
Whichever way you go, wear sneakers not flip-flops.
Another benefit of this location is Julia’s banana bread stand. Cash only.
This is the furthest point to drive safely on this highway when coming from Kapalua. The road is well maintained, two lanes with plenty of lane width and drop-offs with good guard rails.
The parking lot is a little past mile marker 40 on highway 30.
There is a lookout with great ocean views and a 1.2 mile loop trail, also with great views and interpretive signs.
Good shoes are needed. It is not steep, but there are several short rocky sections where small children or others with walking challenges would need assistance. Not ADA compliant, except the lookout point.