The Ohai Trail awards hikers with panoramic vistas of the island’s North Shore.

West Maui Hiking Trails

There aren’t nearly as many hiking trails on the West Side of Maui as you might expect. Much of the access in West Maui is blocked by private land or lack of proper trails. Nevertheless, the hiking options in West Maui offer their own sort of beauty, from stunning coastal treks to grueling ridgeline hikes.

Shallow turquoise water of Hierve El Agua.

Hierve el Agua: Mexico’s Mineral Springs

Although the name of this place translates as boiling water, the springs that seep from the side of a limestone mountain less than an hour’s drive east of Mitla aren’t hot. Loaded with minerals, over time rock-hard deposits formed great algae-painted slabs in level spots and, on steep slopes, accumulated into what appear to be grand frozen waterfalls.

The best way to experience Kaua’i's Na Pali Coast is the 11-mile Kalalau Trail.

Hiking Na Pali Coast, Kaua’i

What may be the best way to experience Kaua’i’s Na Pali Coast is the 11-mile Kalalau Trail. There are several beautiful places to stop along the way to rest and refresh yourself, or to break the trail down into smaller—but not less challenging—chunks.

Makapu‘u marks the rugged and dry eastern tip of O‘ahu.

Sightseeing Southeastern O‘ahu

Nature rules sightseeing on southeastern O’ahu, with some breathtaking views and a truly stunning garden along with a bit of hiking and an impressively massive heiau. Expect to do a lot of walking when seeing these sights.

The predominant foliage in Volcanoes National Park is ‘ohi‘a, which contrasts with the bleak desert surroundings.

Ka‘u Desert Warrior Footprints on the Big Island

The 1.6-mile round-trip trek across this small section of the Ka’u Desert outside Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is fascinating, and the history of the footprints makes the experience more evocative. Because of deterioration, the footprints are faint and difficult to make out, but worth the trip to see for yourself.

Lady Bird Lake in Austin

The greatest attraction Austin has to offer is the stretch of the Colorado River called Lady Bird Lake, where by taking just a few steps you can go from bustling, urban downtown to an alternative world that’s peaceful, beautiful, and natural. You can also find hike-and-bike trails that are some of the best urban trails in the country, plus crewing, canoeing, kayaking, and stand-up paddle-boarding.

View of Kauai's coast from the Kalalau Trail.

Na Pali Coast State Park, Kaua‘i

Nature’s wonders all join together in the heavenly and harsh Na Pali Coast State Park. Day-use permits are required past a certain point even if you’re not staying overnight, while camping is strictly regulated. Most areas are accessible only by foot or boat, and more than the basics are needed to camp out here.

A cyclist on the last leg of the 2007 Ironman in Kona.

Hiking and Biking in Kona

Hiking and biking in Kona are two vastly different experiences. There are a lot of moderate trails that are almost always the means to getting to some awesome beach, but as home to the famous Ironman World Championship, Kona takes biking seriously.

In addition to being a great place to spot nene, Paliku is also the preferred camping area for hikers opting to walk out the Kaupo Gap.

Camping in Haleakala Crater and Beyond

While watching the sunrise, hiking the crater floor, or looking up at the stars as they come out are great introductions to the crater, spending a night in the backcountry is the absolute best way to commune with nature on this mountain. Learn how to make it happen.

If you want to swim in ‘Iao Stream, the best place for accessing the swimming holes is from Kepaniwai Heritage Gardens where short trails lead down to the refreshing—and cold—water.

Central Maui Hiking

Central Maui hiking options are varied enough that while most hikes aren’t exactly challenging, there are opportunities for a good workout. One hike in particular is flat, straightforward, but with excellent coastal views and ruins to explore, while another rewards intrepid hikers with waterfall pools to splash in.