Saturday, July 30, 2011

Quick Climb to Maui's Waihe'e Ridge

A few miles north of Kahalui on Maui's windward coast lies Waihe'e Ridge, a five-mile round-trip hop up 1,500 feet. The view hike ends enticingly short of the interior peaks of Pu'u Kukui and Mount Lanilili—too bad—but give it high marks for a half-day trek. The walk can be combined with a stroll to scenic Kikuipuka, a fabulous, if tiny, restored heiau (temple) that is near the trailhead. Or, for a full-on adventure, do the ridge and then drop down and hike up the Waihe'e Valley on better-known Swinging Bridges trail along a stream to a waterfall. A private concession charges a modest fee for the valley hike.

See Maui Trailblazer pages 85-90 for the details on these hikes and others on this un-touristy section of the island.