Mahana Ridge Trail

HARD 29 reviews

Mahana Ridge Trail is a 9.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Kapalua, Hawaii that offers scenic views. The trail is rated as difficult and primarily used for hiking.

DISTANCE
9.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2565 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

hiking

beach

views

This trail is a moderate 6.4 mile hike. Starting at D.T. Fleming beach, the trail goes along the ridge to the Maunalei Arboretum, where it connects to the Honolua Ridge trail.  Note that the maps say this hike should be 7 miles. For the most part, the trail was easily visible, though it was getting overgrown in a few spots. The hotel provides a free shutlle back to the Kapalua Village Center. However, you must make a reservation at the center to get the shuttle.  The trip down on the shuttle has spectacular views so have your camera ready.

hiking
2 months ago

We did part of this trail, a total of 5.6 miles, in March 2018 using the Kapalua hiking trail system as a start point. We started at the Kapalua parking lot next to the golf course driving range. There’s plenty of parking and the first part descends a hill and you go through either of 2 tunnels that pass under the freeway. You turn left after you exit the tunnels and follow the signs that point to the trail. The trail then follows a road and winds down to a small bridge over a stream. You pass some golf course construction buildings and the winds back up to the Plantation golf course. You cross some roads that are under construction for a new housing development and you come to the edge of the Plantation golf course. The trail generally follows the edge of the Plantation course as you go up the ridge for a half mile or so. The initial portions after crossing the road are heavily overgrown with more than chest high (I’m 5,11”) jungle grass. It feels like you’re in Jurassic Park with the Velociraptors coming for you. As someone else noted there are spider webs you go through so have branch or walking stick ready to sweep them away. After you leave the grassy area, you enter a pine forest and eventually reach a steep stone staircase. In Strava, this portion is timed and called the 182 Stone Steps. A portion of the trail then crosses a steep bare red clay slope with intermittent stepping stones. This portion can be very slippery particularly if it’s wet or raining. I don’t think I would want to cross this in a heavy ran. Parts of the trail from here to the reservoir have very slippery red clay. The trail eventually levels off in a pine forest and you come out into a flat area where there is a large water reservoir and some power lines and a transformer station. At this point we had trouble finding the continuation of the trail and eventually turned around. There are several roads here that we tried but we didn’t spot a trail sign continuing. We had lunch here and turned around partly because heavy showers were forecast. I would probably download the trail map take a gps device next time. Overall a good workout, the foliage limits the ocean views at the level we got to, but some nice views of the valley. We are both fit, do 3-4 half marathons a year and a lot of hiking and trail runnng.

2 months ago

First, if you parked at the park the way to find the trail is to stare at the school and just to the left you will see a small dirt trail and a couple placards. it took a couple attempts to actually find it.

We attempted this trail but gave up about a mile in because we were not adequately prepared for the high grasses (we were wearing shorts and sleeveless shirts).

Lucky for us this trail crosses the village walking paths around an old golf course which we took advantage of.

if you go, prepare for lots of overgrowth.

hiking
2 months ago

We started out early driving from Makena, all day adventure!
The trail is extremely varied from hard dirt to quite muddy, all different zones of plants and trees and quite windy, very nice temperature but be cautious due to falling trees and branches.
Once at the ‘top’ (overlook) there are several options to continue on other trails, which were clearly marked along the way but lacking mile indicators.
We parked at the DT Fleming beach parking lot and thoroughly enjoyed using the restroom and shower to wash our feet and legs at the end of our hike!
Enjoy a forest of all different groves of beautiful cactus, pine trees and all sorts of fauna, including Guava trees and Lilikoi vines.
Take plenty of water and snacks, good shoes or sandals, bandaids for blisters and TP or wipes! I enjoyed phone service the entire hike, just in case.

hiking
3 months ago

Great day hike. Stunning views at the top. Make sure to do the arboretum loop at the top end (there is a posted map with local trails) - it's a short detour with some impressive and unusual species of trees like banyan and NZ kauri. The best part - it was completely desolate. I met a few hikers near the start but after that not a soul for 10 miles or so. It was on a Sunday too and the weather was fair. So, if you need to get away from the touristy areas and be alone in nature this is the trail.

5 months ago

people over 70, listen up. you need to take hiking sticks! we made it 7.4 miles but each of us fell once. it rains here and the trail is slippery! No ocean views in the 3.7 miles uphill, and no rational person would hike to the Aboretum None of the people half our age made it today!

6 months ago

low expectations but turned out to be a fun hike. got lost on the way back which was not pleasant. overall enjoyed it.

hiking
7 months ago

Pretty pockets to be sure, but lots of time spent in unattractive stretches including clear-cut sections and golf course maintenance areas. Arboretum was anti-climactic though still interesting. "Hard" rating is accurate for the overall length and heat even though the trail is not steep.

hiking
7 months ago

I started from JT Fleming park. The trail head was fairly obscure and not well marked. If you start here, it is on the same side as the school and just to the east of it and south side of entrance road.
The trail starts uphill, but not super steep. The first mile was not very attractive, and it was very hot and dry, so make sure to take plenty of water. If I were to do it again, I would choose a different starting point, but I didn't know the area, so this was easier.
The trail has a fair amount of elevation gain, but is not too difficult.

Pros: It was close to Napili where I was staying. There is a good variety of scenery...The vegetation changes quite a bit as you progress.

Cons: Not marked well. The trail markers are not too hard to follow, but there are no marked distances to the next spot. So even though GPS is great for total distance and pace, you have no idea just how far it is to the Arboretum that is mentioned. From GPS it looked like I was close to the end of the trail, even though I finally turned around at about 4 miles in and the trail is supposed to be about 10 miles long.
Another con...this isn't really a mountain bike trail. Parts of it could be really nice for mountain biking, but it's mostly more work than it's worth.

I cannot comment about the trail past the four mile mark, but will say just to be prepared with lots of water, snacks and some common sense if you're planning on doing the whole thing.

I did end up jogging most of the way back. I would do this again as a trail run. I think it would be more fun than just hiking. However, I would take a better large volume water pack...my camel back that I normally take mountain biking was not a good fit for trail running, and my small water pack doesn't hold enough to do longer trail runs. Oh yeah, and I'd use bug spray!

7 months ago

Quite easy hike without any technical difficulties. Never ever comparable to other trails rated as 'hard'. In my opinion easy and because of it's length maybe to be rated 'moderate'...

hiking
21 days ago

hiking
27 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
10 months ago