Blog: A taste of what you may find on Maui

Mahana Ridge Trail

Last week my hiking friend and I went on a new-to-me hike, the Mahana Ridge Trail. This one is a bit of a drive from Kihei, way up on the west side in Kapalua. What really sold me on this hike is that it is mainly forested with some views. If you know me, I am not a huge fan of heat and prefer to be in the shade. This hike was great for that! I would say it’s a moderately difficult hike, do come prepared.

We drove to DT Fleming Beach Park, just past the Ritz Carlton in Kapalua. From Kihei it was about an hour’s drive (depending on traffic). We went on a weekday and got there by 9am. I don’t know if we got lucky, but the parking lot was pretty empty.

Mahana Ridge Trail

The trail starts just to the left of the preschool building, look for the sign. Fleming Beach is at the (eastern) end of the Kapalua Coastal Trail. It is the yellow marked trail on the very right of this map.

The trail goes up the Mahana Ridge for about a 12-mile loop hike. I wasn’t up for the entire thing, so we hiked 3.5 miles in and then out again (7 miles total). Next time we’ll try for the entire loop and come better prepared. I’ll update this blog when we do!

As mentioned, the majority of this trail is in the forest. Do be prepared for it to be muddy. I wore hiking boots and was glad for the good grip, but my friend was fine in her sneakers.

The trail isn’t maintained and with the rain, it can get overgrown. Keep an eye out for signs for the Mahana Ridge Trail and the Maunalei Arboretum which marks the end of the trail. You may also want to save the map to your phone prior to starting. For the most part we had cell service the first 3.5 miles of the trail, but like I said, we didn’t go all the way.

Mr Fleming, a former owner of this land, planted many native and non-native trees and shrubs on his land. The vegetation changes as you hike, making it really interesting. At one point we passed through a deserted ‘field’ of pineapple in the middle of the forest.

We were xhausted and hungry when we got back to the parking lot. Next time we’ll pack a lunch and plan to chill at the beach park before the drive back home.

Enjoy hiking? Check out some other Maui hikes we’ve done!

The Arboretum

Note there used to be a shuttle to the Maunalei Arboretum where you could take a tour. As far as we can tell, the only way to get to the arboretum these days is by hiking there. Despite what the signs say, there is no shuttle. You do have to hike back. Confusingly there is also a Fleming Arboretum, but that is in Ulupalakua (different location).

Fleming Beach

Have you checked out some of the West Maui beaches? Fleming is popular with surfers. There was a red flag warning when we went. Careful as there is a strong rip current. The lifeguards have the beach divided with the area on the left reserved for swimmers, on the right for surfers. As always, if in doubt, don’t go out.