Best Trails HI: Hawaiian Islands

• 8 day hikes
• 3 to 10 mile trails
• Medium & Hard difficulties
• Hawaiian Islands | Hawaii
• Driving Directions: See trail reviews

Best trails of the Hawaiian Islands

Step out of your beach sandals and into your hiking boots, because the Hawaii known to many as the idyllic land of palm trees, grass skirts and mai tais has a dramatic flip-side – a stunning natural wilderness just begs to be explored.

When hiking the trails of Kauai you can be forgiven for expecting to meet a T-Rex around the next bend, or to spot Indiana Jones running by with one hand on his hat and the other grasping some ancient artifact. Hollywood is a big fan of this Hawaiian island's spectacular landscape, which is why it's a popular filming location for movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark and Jurrasic Park.

Discover with us the spectacular coastal trails and dense jungle paths leading to towering waterfalls, remote swimming holes and into some of the biggest volcanoes on the planet.

Maui Island
Hiker walking through bamboo forestPipiwai Trails and Waimoku Falls | 5★, 3.0 miles, Medium | A favorite Maui hike, yet for some people the drive to the trailhead alone is excitement enough. The journey along the Hana Highway is sixty miles of scenic but curvy coastal road reportedly featuring six hundred and twenty curves and many single bridges. If you relish your driving experiences then the Hana Highway alone is a “must-do”.
See trail review.
Rustic gate on a lush green hiking trailWahee Ridge Trail | 4★, 4.0 miles, Medium | Ascend the Waihee ridgeline trail up Maui's western peak of Pu'u Kukui and you'll be hiking above the sightseeing helicopter tours and admiring the lush rainforest valleys and coastlines beyond. Hiking on the windward side of any Hawaiian island means wet weather, muddy conditions and the threat of heavy rains. This trail is subject to all these factors, but the wet weather means waterfalls are plentiful, the vegetation is greener and the cooler conditions make for a nice comfortable hike.
See trail review.
Hiker on a dirt trail, heading towards cinder conesHaleakala Volcano Trail | 5★, 5.3 miles, Medium | Explore cinder cones and old lava flows from within Haleakala, possibly the largest dormant volcano on the planet. Formed by erosion rather than volcanic activity, the valley at the summit of Haleakala boasts much to marvel at and the packed cinder and soil underfoot makes for a relatively easy hike. Here you'll find the silversword, an endangered plant found nowhere else on Earth with an alien appearance that compounds the other-worldly appearance of this remote location.
See trail review.
Gnarly trees framing a rough ocean backdrop. In the foreground is a broken surfboard and some wooden crosses.Hoapili Trail | 3★, 4.1 miles, Medium | The Hoapili Trail will take you across one of the most recent signs of volcanic activity on the island, across 200 year old lava beds to a secluded beach. Hike from kiawe woodland and beaches scattered with sand and white coral, through fields of barren lava formations, to Kanaio Beach where you can take a rest on a makeshift bench swing and look out onto the ocean in the hope of spotting one of the spinner dolphins which frequent this area of the coast.
See trail review.
Kauai Island
Hanakapi'ai FallsNa Pali Coast and Hanakapi'ai Falls | 5★, 6.4 miles, Hard | Trek along the fabled Na Pali coast to the remote Hanakapiai beach before heading inland through rugged valley to the spectacular 300 foot tall Hanakapi'ai Falls.
See trail review.
Hiker on a narrow wooden boardwalk, marshes below, fog enveloping the landscape.Alaka'i Swamp Trail | 5★, 10.4 miles, Hard | When you run out of road on a westerly drive around Kauai, you'll find yourself overlooking the plunging cliffs of Kalalau Valley on the famed Na Pali Coast. Grab your boots and hike along cliff edges, through jungle and across misty mountain-top swamps to reach the trail's end and clifftop views over Wainiha Pali. Miles of springy boardwalk trails helps make a fun and safe journey.
See trail review.
Dark rocky outcropping above a distant ocean coastline.Nounou Mountain East Trail | 3★, 2.8 miles, Medium | Nounou Mountain rises from the leeward (Eastern) lands of Kauai, where the best weather on this Hawaiian island can be found. Local legend tells of a giant who feasted so much at a party in his honor that he laid down for a nap and never awoke, and when you see the moutain's resemblance to a sleeping giant from the nearby town of Kapa'a you can see why the legend persists.
See trail review.
The Big Island
Flowers and a pineapple, placed on the edge of a dark volcanic calderaKilauea Crater Trails | 5★, 7.6 miles, Medium | The volcanic activity that created the Hawaiian island chain hasn't yet finished working on what's know as the 'Big Island' called Hawaii. If you need evidence, look no further than the lava flows and gas eruptions that spill from the Kilauea volcano located on the south-east side of the Big Island. There's something other-worldly about walking across a desolate 4-mile wide crater over huge expanses of strangely patterned lava flows. Steam and sulfuric gases venting into the air are stark reminders that you're standing on top of an immense volcano, but the sight of flowers and other vegetation rising out of the cracks reassure you that the lava you're standing on is decades old.
See trail review.

   ALL   CA   NH   HI   SW   3★  4★  5★ 

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