Lahaina Pali Trail – Maui, Hawaii
The Lahaina Pali Trail is not far from Kihei on the south west side of the island, making it an ideal trail close to home! This trail is a 5 mile there and back hard trail that takes hikers to see the windmills and offers beautiful views of the coastline.
We started this trail with lots of energy. The sun was shining and the views on the drive were stunning. Feeling the heat of the sun after coming from snow the day before and rain at Haleakala was just divine. The parking lot is a bit small – we got lucky that someone was leaving when we arrived but people were already starting to park along the highway.
The trail begins with a rocky incline in the trees but the shade quickly disappears. We continued on a dirt path for a while – a trail that mimicked the highway we were just on. As we started to get close to a tunnel we drove through and the dirt path started to disappear, it was clear we missed a turn somewhere along the way.
Every so often we would notice someone way above us and we wondered how they got there. We doubled back down the dirt path until almost the beginning of the trail. We found the sign indicating where the Lahaina Pail Trail started along with a giant yellow arrow on the ground.
I really do not know how we missed it but the dirt path looks like it should be hiked and the trail itself is up a series of rocks so it is understandable why people miss this entrance. The sign is also located on the left side of the walkway and perhaps would benefit from a right side sign as well. I can’t justify missing the giant yellow arrow though! We caught many hikers make the same mistake we made.
Anyway, back to the trail! The rock climbing continued for a majority of the trail and it was completely exposed to the sun. We were glad to have packed sun screen and water as we continued to climb. The views were just amazing – everything you could want for a Hawaii coast line. We even caught our first glances of humpback whales! Two blow holes, though small and far away, indicated that we definitely spotted them – so, so cool.
At some point I hit a wall of tired – I had been up since 1AM wide awake (thanks to jet lag and Haleakala) and climbing up and up these rocks was starting to wear me down as we reached to hottest point of the day. While we were only half way through the hike, we decided to make our way back to the car. We were satisfied with the views on the trail thus far and wanted to make sure we conserved energy for the rest of the trip.
I definitely recommend this trail and I think when we return to Maui, we would prioritize it for an early morning at our peak hiking time.