King's Highway: Hoapili Trail to Hanomanioa Lighthouse and Kamanamana Beach

MODERATE 137 reviews

King's Highway: Hoapili Trail to Hanomanioa Lighthouse and Kamanamana Beach is a 8.9 kilometer moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Kihei, Maui, Hawaii that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
8.9 km
ELEVATION GAIN
53 m
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

fishing

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

off road driving

paddle sports

road biking

scenic driving

trail running

walking

beach

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

bridge out

rocky

no shade

This trail is part of the Ahihi Kinau Natural Area Reserve. It traverses the youngest lava flow on Maui, and rewards with ancient cultural sites and great pools for snorkeling and fishing. This 4 mile trail runs along a section of the King's Highway. This road is a feat in construction, as it is long and straight; and although hot and barren, it bears many interesting features. Note that it is not only straight but it also does not undulate with the uneven lava field. There are many sections in which the road is elevated in order to keep it flat. This trail is also called Hoapili Trail; named after Governor Hoapili who built it between 1824-1840. Brings lots of water and wear a good pair of hiking shoes. The loose lava can make the walk challenging. At the end of the trail is a pristine bay that the lava did not touch. You can also visit a nearby lighthouse, and some interesting olivine pools. Don't forget your swimming gear as snorkeling here is a must. Finally, if you come early in the morning, you can also catch a view of spinner dolphins at play.

hiking
5 days ago

The reviews are accurate in terms of difficulty because of some difficult footing but a beautiful hike with lots of views. Keep to the right hand fork if you are time limited as it offers better views of the ocean with quite a few side lookouts of ocean. Other worldly is a good description I see on other posts and recommend sunscreen for fairer folks as there is little cover except on the first half mile or so. Lava kicks off lots of heat so bring a good size bottle of water.

hiking
no shade
rocky
15 days ago

Bring water and hard sole shoes and start early: It’s a long walk through a loose rock lava field with no shade. The beaches at both points are beautiful and worth the hike.

hiking
29 days ago

Nice morning hike. Beautiful near the coastline and other-worldly as we tromped over the lava rock trail to the “lighthouse” (lamp post). Definitely enjoyed it. Do not try without at least good sneakers. Rocky trail caused a few near ankle twists. Just what I needed to justify a quiet afternoon of reading and relaxing!

1 month ago

Hiked part of this yesterday. Definitely a good idea to wear running shoes or hiking boots. It was also quite windy so my wide brimmed hat was constantly an issue and I had to hold the sides down for most of the hike.
Started off nice and there was some shade but once on the lava part it was hot. We did see some spinner dolphins in the bay when we first started which was awesome. We turned around probably 1/2 way as some other hikers told us the pools were too shallow to snorkel in and the end beach was anti climatic and that they’d lost where the trail went.
Did see wild goats several times on the lava fields as well as remanants of ancient Hawaiian civilizations. .
All in all had fun at a slow pace and not sorry we turned around.

hiking
3 months ago

My favorite trail on Maui! I truly feel like I am walking back in time with every step.

Be sure to wear sturdy shoes with ankle support and bring lots of water.

There are a few small “off shoot” trails to the right of the main trail as you get to the open cliff area. Taking one or two of these will lead to the best views of the cliff edges. Also found a small and safe wading pool.

But for me the real beauty is the end ~ the Olivine Pools are so interesting to me. Amazing color and mossy vegetation.

Leave snorkel gear in your car, and after the hike, take a dip in a very shallow cove on the North side of La Parouse Bay. As you pull into the parking lot, facing the ocean, that snorkel spot is far right. Trail is off to the left.

hiking
3 months ago

Nice and interesting trail through lava field. If you go to the old lighthouse, there are two pools on the way that are worth to stop and swim in them. Just go to the lighthouse and when you see small path leading to the right side, go for it and you will find them! Enjoy! :)

3 months ago

Loved this trail! It was mostly flat but navigating through the lava beds created a great workout. The olivine pools were beautiful, as was the rugged coastline. Make sure to take the spurs off the main trail to see the rugged, but gorgeous, cliffs along the ocean. A bit of rock scrambling on the spurs, but well worth it. Also there was a special viewing of some wildlife. I did not think the trail was as hot and sunny as stated, but I would recommend a hat and sunscreen.

3 months ago

Easy. Exceptional view on lava field. We have seen a monk seal and her baby.

trail running
4 months ago

No good for a trail run. First mile is nice and smooth, couples of beaches and trees along the way. Then rolling rocks for the entire trail. Easy to hurt yourself. The kind of trail to wear down your hiking boots.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful coastal views! During hide tide there are view small blowholes. While the trail is wide and flat, closed toed shoes are a must. The ground is lose stone and lava.

hiking
4 months ago

Little dry/hot if you start late. Some good views near the coast before going in towards a bunch of volcanic rocks. Some wild goats along the way tagging along. Might be better during early morning but not a whole lot to see. Casual workout

5 months ago

great morning hike. good shoes, sunglasses, and water are a must.
well marked, moderate hike.

hiking
7 months ago

7 months ago

Nothing i would recommend someone doing!
No nice views, no nice path!

trail running
7 months ago

Quite the disappointment
Really tough to run this trail and there's not much to see.
The pristine beach at the end of the trail is a campers dump with beer bottles and quasi permanent tents.
The light house is not what you think - it's not an east coast light house - it's more like a street sign.
Too many other great places in Maui to go - recommend to avoid.

7 months ago

We’ve hiked this twice. I prefer the inland trail as opposed to the coast because it ends at a pretty beach where we could eat lunch under some shade trees. It’s very beautiful.

Advice: Start early, before 9 is smart. It heats up quick. Be smart and wear over the ankle boots. Real easy to twist an ankle; most of the journey is traveling over loose and very course rock. Bring more than a store bought water bottle. Bring a hat if you don’t want to burn. There’s no place to hide from sun once out in the open. Get there and park in the opposite direction of the sun. You’ll appreciate a cooler car upon returning.

Highlights: Beach at the end of interior trail. Awesome landscape that looks lunar. Ocean views spectacular. Feels remote and peaceful.

hiking
8 months ago

Definitely worth the trip. Hiking through the lava field provides very interesting scenery but it gets extremely hot so bring plenty of water and start early. Closed toe shoes are a must but hiking boots aren't 100% necessary. Keep left to the Kings Highway to get to the beach. Doing this again I would skip the lamp post and head straight to the beach. Getting in the water at the beach at the end of Kings Highway is very rocky so wear shoes you don't mind getting wet.

hiking
8 months ago

Best to complete early in the day as it does get warm quickly. The wind is a great help but still plan accordingly with water or other hydration efforts and good shoes as the path is volcanic rock.

Also, if you take the lighthouse path there is an awesome natural arch bridge near the coast in the vicinity.

hiking
9 months ago

Wondrous landscape starting along a beach trail then walking thru lava flows. The lava rocks composing the trail are tough on the ankles. Lighthouse is not really a lighthouse. It’s a navigation light and pole.
Left early (7am) to beat the crowds. On the way out - no one; in the way back - dozens.

hiking
10 months ago

Hiked almost 2miles of this trail on 4/17/18. Beautiful trail! Great views (and spots for pictures)! Easy to find with the directions provided. It really is like being on another planet - walking on all the lava rocks! Make sure to wear proper footwear; there can be sharp rocks at times. Take extra water and sunscreen (even if there are a few clouds out, the sun WILL burn you!)

I wish we would’ve had more time to finish the hike. I will definitely return to finish!

hiking
10 months ago

What a great day! Easy drive to the trail head and easy to find. My wife and I are mid 50 and active but this hike is still a good challenge. Like others have said on their reviews: take more water than you need, wear hiking boots, protect your skin. Going there was about 2.5 miles and we took a loop that had us going over large lava rocks for a great distance. This was a fun challenge and it seems to go on forever. We took the trail straight back which knocks of almost three quarters of a mile and almost an hour.

The path is almost all rocks so it can be hard on the feet after a day in the sun. We went to the end to find a beach but were disappointed in not seeing swimming holes. The options are not real clear. If you get lost follow the white rocks in the lava field. It really is like being on Mars I would assume.

There is no place like this on Maui. A must do.

hiking
10 months ago

The trail is like being on another planet. Not difficult, but prepare yourself. The hot weather can quickly become dangerous if you’re not prepared. There are two parts of the trail that run parallel to each other. They connect at clearly marked spots. They also connect in some not so clearly marked spots. Watch for the white coral marking the “paths” through the lava fields. These “paths” are difficult and dangerous, but they are what make this a 5-star trail.

11 months ago

Beautiful! So glad we came. Must wear hiking shoes and bring water.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

It was a good morning walk. Not strenuous but wear shoes that have some protection- the lava rock can be brutal on the feet. It gets crowded mid morning. Don’t mind the campers when you get to the end- go explore.

hiking
Monday, February 12, 2018

got engaged here!!!

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Loved this trail. Loved the lava terrain and views. Very unique. Saw whales near the coast at the light beacon and goats on the lavascape. The heads up to wear sturdy shoes, start early, bring water was much appreciated.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Phenomenal views. I cannot stress enough that a person should go in the morning hours for 2 reasons. 1- gets a lil toasty on that volcanic rock once the sun peaks and 2- you’ll encounter a ton of folks lingering at the beginning of the trail on your hike out. Also, there’s some back roads that locals take to the beach so your hope of exclusivity and triumph of a private, refreshing reward are somewhat dashed upon sharing this gem with cheaters who didn’t use their legs.

hiking
Sunday, November 12, 2017

Marche pénible dans des cailloux de lave.

hiking
Saturday, November 04, 2017

Very Hot Hike. Footing is uneven. Hiking on Lava rock is a different experience. Definitely a side to Maui most will not see

hiking
Saturday, October 28, 2017

Some of the best views are along this trail. As everyone else has already stated, bring plenty of water and wear sturdy shoes. Trail is made of lava rock and very sharp so be careful. Be prepared for high winds and/or heat.

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