I’ve often looked at the West Maui mountains and seen the windmills lining up to the top of that mountain. I had heard about the trail Lahaina Pali Trail. It’s a hike that can be done on either side of the mountain and done halfway up or go completely to the other side of the mountain. The Lahaina Pali Trail is accessible from either side of the mountain. The trail is 5.5 miles long one way. It is strenuous and slow going. The east entrance is from Maalaea and the west entrance is on the same highway on the way to Lahaina. Most people park their car on either side and hike halfway til they reach the windmills. If you decide to cross over the mountain you will need a ride to get back to your car, unless you hitchhike or go back over the mountain to your car. Leave lots of time for stopping and taking breaks.
A tip when planning this hike from either side is to start as early in the morning as possible. It can get extremely hot from the sun coming over from the east Haleakala mountain and there are no trees along the trail to provide shade. Clouds can form and rain could happen at any time over the West Maui Mountains especially during the winter months. As always wear good hiking shoes or athletic shoes for this hike. The trail is rocky and there are deep ravines in certain spots. Bring water, some snacks, and wear a hat.
I’ve accomplished 3 hikes so far and have 7 more to go to complete my goal of 10 in a year. You can read about it my previous post Hike Maui Pt 1.
We decided to do the Maalaea entrance to the Lahaina Pali trail and not do the whole hike over the mountain. I would save the west entrance of the Lahaina Pali trail for another day. I am glad we did.
Horses, mules and foot traffic was the only way to travel this trail before roads were built. I read about my Hawaiian ancestors walking this trail in woven sandals or barefoot. I felt guilty as I complained about how hard it was while wearing my expensive athletic shoes. Traveling short distances for them were long and arduous and often dangerous. The hardship they must have endured. I get to walk the same trail my ancestors traveled and experience their journey. Well almost.
A huge feeling of accomplishment after reaching the top and taking in the view of Maalaea, Kihei and Haleakala Mountain.
Difficult Hike – Lahaina Pali Trail – West Entrance
I love a challenge but I probably would not do this hike again. This side of the trail was much more difficult and it took us longer to reach the windmill. The steep, strenuous trail makes this my most difficult hike so far. It’s not a good feeling when you see people pass by and then see the same people come back down. It’s also a reminder to stay focused on my own journey and not someone else’s.
Panoramic views from the west side of the Lahaina Pali Trail. A beautiful bird’s eye view of Lana’i island.
Until the next hike! A hui hou. until next time…..