Waihe’e Ridge Trail

Hike into the clouds, with spectacular views.

Rating: ★★★★½

In a nutshell: Hike into the clouds, with spectacular views.
Minuses: Fairly steep 2.5 miles, can be slippery back down.
Sound-bite: [Birds singing]

This is a nice hike with spectacular views. The photos here don’t do the views full justice. Every direction you look, you’re treated with a different view – lush rainforest valley, Makamakaole Falls in the distance, and many spectacular views of the ocean, isthmus and Haleakala side of Maui.

One of the many spectacular views into Waihee Valley

One of the many spectacular views into Waihee Valley

If you’re a birder you’ll be in heaven as you’ll encounter plenty of birds, several you’ll see nowhere else in the world.

More ferns than you can shake a stick at, along with Ohia (both yellow and red) and many other endemic flora species.

The trail is well maintained, with a couple of benches at choice overlooks along the way. There is even a picnic table at the pinnacle of the trail.

Waihee Ridge Trail starts out easy!

Waihee Ridge Trail starts out easy!

A few notes in getting here. The road to the parking lot is across the road from Mendes Ranch – if you aren’t paying attention you might miss it. At the start of the road there is a parking lot – don’t park here! Continue uphill on the road 9/10 mile until you come to another fairly large parking lot. Park here. When you walk to the trailhead you’ll first be confronted with a choice of two gates, take the gate and path that go uphill.

Key Info:
Mile Marker: #6.9 (Kahekili Hwy aka Hwy 340)
GPS Coordinates: 20.953104,-156.532334
Facilities: None.
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  1. This looks like a great hike! My fiance and I are heading to Maui in June and love hiking. I have a drone that I would love to fly but want to make sure I’m following local laws. It looks like this hike isn’t in a national or state park where drones are typically forbidden. Does anyone know if drones are allowed along the ridgeline?

    • Ken Caldwell says:

      You likely don’t want to hear this, but take it in with your eyes. Don’t worry about your friends experiencing the same thing as you. #dronesnotsomuch

    • Hannah says:

      I am wondering this too… I think it would be permitted but if you find out anything else please let me know!

  2. My wife and I did the hike the beginning is An extremely steep concrete ramp, for I would guess the first 1/4 mile. It’s a 2.5mile walk uphill almost the whole way and quite steep at times. We are not experienced hikers so it took us 2 1/2 hours to walk up and an hour to walk down. I personally wouldn’t do the hike again I would rather hike to a waterfall if I am going to hike such an extreme climb. The mud wasn’t an issue because we started around noon. Halfway up is a scenic platform and imho the view doesn’t improve significantly at the top and unless you want to say you made it the whole way. Don’t believe the people that say it’s not that bad unless you are into hiking steep mountains, it’s 5 miles roundtrip with a 2000+ elevation climb.

  3. Nicole Dewell says:

    Great trail! We hiked in summer so no mud but a little slippery at times. We wore Chaco sandals as we hike in those in Colorado for short hikes like this but recommend at least tennis shoes/sneakers or hiking shoes as we got blisters. Beautiful views -just amazing. I recommend getting there as close to 7 a.m. as possible as the parking lot fills up.

  4. Is there any way to start this hike before sunrise, or does the gate keep you from starting earlier than 7:00.

  5. Rohit Rai says:

    Hello !

    I want to do this hike however I do not have a car to reach the trail head. Is there any public transportation that goes close to the trail head?

    Thank you so much.

  6. Glenda says:

    Under key info / facilities, it says “none”. But there are in fact two outhouses in the main parking lot. Just FYI.

  7. My family hiked this yesterday afternoon. The mud wasn’t bad. —Maybe because of the time of day, but we didn’t experience any slipping. It took us about 1hr and 20 minutes to get to the top, and about 30 minutes to descend. There’s a lot of uphill, but other than being a great cardio workout, it’s not too challenging. I never felt like I was in danger, nor did I have to use my hands for climbing…it’s not that steep. The views from the top are definitely worth the work to get there!

  8. Yong Rhee says:

    This was not easy hike because mud and slippery, appeared few injuries hikers. Recommended must have a hiker stick and good hike shoes.

  9. Beautiful and fun. Very slippery due to mud. When I went early in the morning, it was too foggy to see anything, but on the descent it cleared and I saw all the steep drops I had been unknowingly navigating!

  10. Eight hikers in our group. Four of them did not make it 1/4 mile up due to mud. Others made it to top. If we do it again we’ll only go to the first viewing area. It is most beautiful anyway. Not much to see at top except clouds. Bring extra pair of old shoes for hiking.

  11. Jeanne says:

    Limited parking so make sure you go early. After an hour of driving I was super-excited for this trail, only to be one of many cars waiting for a spot at 10:00am. Was yelled at by a resident for being “part of the problem.” Ended up turning around to avoid the bad energy.

  12. Denise says:

    I am not an experienced hiker and found it difficult but I am so glad I persisted. It took me 1hr 40 to go up and 25 min to descend. Cloudy at the top but still happy I did it. Wear good traction shoes. Google map said the trail was closed but we are happy it was not.

  13. This was a fairly difficult hike, primarily due to the mud. We hiked with our children, all experienced hikers, and it took about 2:45 round trip. The mud slows things down significantly. Views are great.

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