Puu Olai Cinder Cone Trail is a 2 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Kihei, Hawaii that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
This trail can be started from any point in the parking lot, but the trail really begins near the northeast end, on the beach. Hike up the ridge to the top, around the center, and down the backside. On the back side is "Little Beach." This hike is a cinder cone which is part of the long-dorment Haleakala Volcano system. It's not unusual to see a herd of deer at the base of the hill. There are also a few homeless people camping out, but they are few and they are friendly. The top is windy in a few places, but most of the hike has trees to shield you. The back side is far less traveled and requires a little more dexterity to manage the descent.
We started from the north Makena beach parking lot. Very steep ascent in pretty loose soil but only for first 1/4 mile and leads to some amazing views. The next 1/2 mile or so is fairly flat/easy on harder packed dirt trail. After this, as the trail starts descending and heading back towards the coast. From here the trail gets pretty thin and it isn't the easiest to find your way. But you make it down to some amazing beaches. Watch out, the first (small beach) is clothing optional so just be prepared. Overall not a bad hike, some good views for not much work and you end on a breach, but the actual hiking part isn't the best just due to the trail condition.
Very poorly marked trail start. It doesn't look like an official trail so we ignored it. We took the north face from the smaller north Makena parking lot. Not recommended to go this way up or down! Loose and very steep.
Took better route down. Top was nice good views of Molikini, Big Beach, and whales in the ocean. Bring your binoculars.
Easy hike, nude beach at the beginning. Saw a homeless guy droppin a deuce on the trail, but from San Fran so used to it!
The view from the top is amazing! If your starting from Oneuli Beach don't start from the parking lot unless you want to bush whack through thorn bushes. Instead walk about 30 feet back up the gravel road and take the trail between the two biggest stumps.
This hike had incredible views, my sisters and I had a wonderful time exploring the trail. It can be quite steep heading up the hills but the view from the top is absolutely worth it. The gravelly rocks can be very slippery at points on the trail, but as long as you're careful where you step you should be fine.
Fun hike. Pretty hot, but there's a rewarding beach at the end. Saw lots of deer. maybe 20 of them. No one else but us was on the trail