waihe'e ridge trail hike

Waihe'e Ridge Trail: A Gorgeous Maui Hike

Maui is a great destination for travelers of all ages, and the Waihe’e Ridge Trail hike is perfect for active visitors! Whether looking for a family-friendly beach vacation or an adventure-filled getaway, Maui is definitely the place to be. There are plenty of activities to do on the island, from surfing and snorkeling in its crystal-clear waters to hiking and experiencing the lush rainforests.

If you’re looking for a beautiful hike in Maui, Waihe’e Ridge Trail should definitely be at the top of your list! Located just north of Kahului on Maui’s northern shore, Waihe’e Ridge offers an invigorating and rewarding experience with breathtaking views that will stay with you long after the trail ends.

This moderate to difficult trail offers quite a challenge while winding through lush tropical vegetation and multiple scenic lookouts – all combined to make it one of the best hikes in Maui. Whether you’re a first-time hiker or an experienced outdoorsman, this is one destination you won’t want to miss!

waihee ridge trail couple kissing

Facts About The Waihe'e Ridge Trail Hike

Here are the most important things you need to know about this romantic and adventurous hike in Maui.


The Waihe’e Ridge Trail is located along Muluhia Rd, off the Kahekili highway. The trail is about 20 minutes drive from Kahului and about a 1-hour drive from Lahaina. The Waihe’e Ridge Trail is precisely in the West Maui Forest Reserve, West Maui Mountains, where the Territorial Government of Hawaii aims to protect, restore and control the forest cover.

Length and Time Required

The Waihe’e Ridge Trail is approximately 4 miles round trip. This will take approximately 2 to 4 hours to complete, depending on your fitness level and the time you spend stopping to enjoy the views. We recommend bringing snacks and plenty of water.

Waihe'e Ridge Trail Difficulty Level

The trail is rated relatively moderate, with an elevation gain of 1,610 feet. The lowest point stands at 1091′ and the highest at 2,563′. This makes it a great choice for experienced hikers and those looking to challenge themselves.

Activities To Anticipate

Waihe’e Ridge Trail offers its hikers plenty of activities to enjoy. Here, you can hike, engage in trail running, enjoy bird watching, and horseback riding. This trail will offer scenic views of Makamaka’ole Falls and Waihe’e Valley, among many other natural wonders, so carry your camera or get phenomenal video with our Maui GoPro rentals.

Best Time To Hike

The Waihe’e Ridge Trail is an all-year-round hike. However, you will likely experience more rain and slippery conditions from November to April. That said, the trial is always open from 7 am to 7 pm. You MUST arrive by 7 am to secure a parking spot and have enough time to finish the hike before dark.

waihee ridge trail view

Waihe'e Ridge Trail Overview

Once you have secured a parking spot, you are set for an amazing adventure. The trail has three main destinations: the Waihe’e Valley Lookout, the Makamaka’ole Falls, and of course, the summit. However, along the trail, you will have a chance to see the Pacific Ocean and Kahului.

The Waihe’e Ridge Trail starts at the cattle gate, where you must walk up for about 0.1 miles on an ascending concrete ramp. The ramp is perhaps meant to test your strength and endurance before the real hike begins!

There is no particular scenic view by now, the best awaits you in the higher regions.

At the end of the ramp, you get into a beautiful forest full of Eucalyptus and Lush Guava. You will also find some other exotic trees and plants along the trail. The terrain is fairly level, with lots of switchbacks.

After about 0.6 miles through the dense forest cover, you will take a left bend, and on your right, the amazing view of the Makamaka’ole Falls will appear.

The 270-foot two-tiered waterfall is one of the most beautiful sights of the West Maui Mountains, and it’s best to take some pictures here. After you enjoy this view, you can continue the trail for about 0.1 miles, and the rich forest canopy ends here; you get out from the shade onto the ridge itself.

From here, all those incredible pictures of Waihe’e Valley you saw online will begin to make sense. The views are breathtaking – from the clearing, you can see Waihe’e Valley and its lush vegetation. Waihe’e Valley formation is attributed to the mountains that date back about 1.7 million years ago. Over time, through stream erosion, the valley has taken shape.

While here, remember to turn behind you and consume the beautiful views of Kahului. The Pacific Ocean is also highly visible from here.

Continue your hike along the exposed ridgeline along the spine of the mountain. The trail is categorized by constant switchbacks, steep inclines, carved stairs, and flat sections. While on this stretch, you might come across helicopters, watching the views of Waihe’e Valley and its vastness.

After about 2 miles of hiking, you will eventually reach the ridge’s highest point. This point is known as Lanilili. From here, you can enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding Islands of Molokai and Lanai while taking a breather at the picnic table. Once ready to descend, you can take the same path back to the cattle gate.

waihee couple smiling after hike

Our Best Tips For Hiking The Waihe'e Trail

After deciding to embark on the Waihe’e Ridge Trail, be sure to read these tips before leaving to take on the trail.

  • Bring sufficient water and snacks
  • Wear sturdy shoes
  • Pack a light rain jacket for unpredictable weather
  • Arrive by 7 am to secure a parking spot
  • Start early to avoid the afternoon sun
  • Bring sunscreen and bug repellant
  • Stick to the path to avoid getting lost
  • Bring a camera and binoculars for stunning views
  • Bring a hiking pole for stability if you’re not an experienced hiker
  • Inspect the trail before you hike to avoid slipping on wet surfaces

You should also respect Maui’s natural environment and be sure to leave the trail as you found it so future hikers can enjoy this incredible experience. With these tips in mind, you are ready to embark on an amazing journey up the Waihe’e Ridge Trail.


The Waihe’e Ridge Trail is an iconic hike in Maui and one that you should definitely experience. With its stunning views, rich botanical life, and challenging but rewarding terrain, the Waihe’e Ridge Trail is an experience that should not be missed. Just remember to always follow safety tips and be respectful of the environment. Happy hiking!