Blog: A taste of what you may find on Maui

Waihe’e Ridge Trail revisited

I first hiked Waihe’e Ridge Trail with the family at the beginning of Covid. Our older teens hiked the entire trail, while we hung back with our youngest. I’ve hiked Waihe’e Ridge twice this past year with my hiking buddy.

Let’s preface with this, Waihe’e Ridge Trail is not for the faint of heart. It is a very popular hike, but you do see people turning around after the steep concrete driveway. Don’t let the driveway discourage you. That is the most difficult part. I swear it’s to weed out the weak.

The hike

The hike to the top is 2.5 miles (5 miles there and back) with a total 1500-foot elevation gain. If you are comfortably fit like me, take your time, and enjoy the views and all the ferns and endemic plants along the way while you catch your breath. It’s a truly beautiful hike.

the view just past the forest

After the concrete driveway, you enter into a forested area. At the bench you can enjoy a view into Makamakaole Gulch (with a few waterfalls). A little further at the top of the forest you have a gorgeous view of the Waihe’e Valley. Throughout your hike you will see helicopters flying into the valley. I took a helicopter tour a few years ago, at the back of the valley, there is the Wall of Tears. A green wall covered in waterfalls. Beautiful.

You keep hiking through the endemic brush with many ferns until you reach a picnic area at the end of the trail. If you are lucky, you will have great views. Be aware the clouds do settle in and you may have to wait til you come back down to enjoy the views.

Tips

Wear shoes with good grip. The trail can be slippery especially when wet.

Arrive early. The gates open 7 AM-7 PM. The Waihe’e Ridge parking lot is busy and fills up quickly. If you need to return to the overflow parking, it adds another mile to an already difficult hike.

Brush your shoes prior to entering ~ avoid bringing non-native seeds into this protected area.

Stop and enjoy the view. It is so beautiful.