This dry and rugged trail, part of the ancient King’s Trail that circles Maui, runs from Maʻalaea up over Kealaoloa Ridge (the unmissable wind farm on the edge of the West Maui Mountains), down through Ukumehame Gulch, and onto long and sandy Papalaua Beach, where you can snorkel and picnic.
Along the way you’ll enjoy great views of Kahoʻolawe and Lanaʻi, ancient petroglyphs, and whales in season. For explanations of the 16 numbered markers en route, download the excellent trail guide from www.mauiguidebook.com/adventures/lahaina-pali-trail.
The 5.5-mile trail ranges 1500ft in elevation, making it strenuous, and takes about 2½ hours one way. Drop a car at both ends if you don’t want to hike, hitch or taxi back. The eastern trailhead access road, marked by a Na Ala Hele sign, is on Hwy 30, just south of its intersection with N Kihei Rd. Starting early here will keep you ahead of the blistering sun. The western trailhead is also on Hwy 30, 200yd south of the 11-mile marker. For a shorter hike with excellent views, take the eastern trailhead to the wind farm and back.