Waterfalls and Volcanic Craters
Maui’s wilderness—that magnificent open space that blankets about half of the island’s landmass—is made for hiking. Here you’ll find rainforests, volcanic craters, cloud forests, lava coastlines, mountain ridges, extravagant vegetation and roaring waterfalls. Sure you can head out on your own, but the best way to explore Maui’s backcountry terrain is to find a guided tour.
There are a number of excellent tour companies that offer guided hiking, kayaking and mountain biking adventures in remote areas. Tours may include West Maui rainforest/waterfall hikes, waterfall experiences, hike/kayak combinations, and adventures in the Hana region. Expect your guides to range from botanists and mountaineers to boat captains and backcountry chefs.
The route in Haleakala Crater is a strenuous trek with the added challenge of hiking at high altitude. If you’re not familiar with hiking at 10,000 feet, check with your guide about what to expect.
Haleakala National Park rangers also lead guided hikes in the 30,000-acre national park at no cost except the $10 vehicle entrance fee. Hiking in the park is strenuous. Be prepared for either warm or cold weather by wearing layered clothing.
If you prefer to hike without a guide, maps and other hiking information are available at the park visitor centers or online (www.nps.gov/hale/). Another good source of hiking information is Na Ala Hele, the state’s trail and access system (www.hawaiitrails.org).
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