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A Guide to Maui, Hawaii Parks

Maui's landscape is incredibly varied, from pristine white sand beaches to dramatic black and red sand shores. One can wander through dense jungles and rainforests, hike up majestic mountains, or explore surreal lavascapes. This natural diversity means there's always something new and exciting to discover, whether you're an avid hiker, a beach lover, or one who enjoys the great outdoors.

Maui is also home to the world's largest dormant volcano, Haleakalā, which is tall enough to be seen almost anywhere on the island. Watching the sunrise from its summit is a life-changing experience and just one example of the island's many wonders. The world-famous Kaanapali Beach is another gem, offering soft sand, crystal-clear waters, and perfect conditions for swimming and snorkeling. Olowalu's Reef, over 1,500 years old, provides an incredible underwater spectacle with its vibrant coral and diverse sea creatures.

As you settle into your new life in this tropical paradise, exploring Maui's parks will become one of your favorite pastimes. Let's explore the best parks that Maui has to offer.

Haleakalā National Park


Haleakalā National Park is known for its spectacular sunrises. It is a breathtaking start to the day as the sun ascends over the horizon, painting the sky in brilliant hues. At the park's summit, which towers over 10,000 feet above sea level, visitors have panoramic views that seem to stretch on forever. The summit area's landscape is incredibly unique, resembling a lunar surface with its stark, otherworldly appearance.

Exploring Haleakalā is like taking a journey through multiple worlds. The park's diverse ecosystems range from lush, verdant rainforests teeming with life to arid, desert-like regions. This variety makes for an exciting hiking experience, with each trail offering something new and intriguing. Whether you're trekking through dense foliage or navigating rocky paths, the park's natural beauty is always on display. Haleakalā is also a prime spot for stargazing. With minimal light pollution at such a high elevation, the night sky comes alive with countless stars, offering an unparalleled view of the cosmos.

'Īao Valley State Monument

54 S High St, Wailuku

In Central Maui, the 'Īao Valley State Monument is a lush, verdant park that captivates visitors with its breathtaking natural beauty. The park is most famous for the iconic 'Īao Needle, a towering 1,200-foot rock pinnacle that rises dramatically from the valley floor. This unique geological feature is a striking centerpiece of the park's stunning landscape.

'Īao Valley holds a special place in Hawaiian history as the site of the Battle of Kepaniwai in 1790. This significant event marked a turning point in the unification of the Hawaiian Islands under King Kamehameha I.

The park features a variety of short hikes that wind through the lush valley, through dense tropical vegetation, alongside babbling streams, and up to vantage points with spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and the 'Īao Needle.

Waianapanapa State Park

Along the Hana Highway, Hana, HI

Waianapanapa State Park has a striking landscape characterized by black sand beaches, rugged lava rock formations, and lush vegetation. Volcanic activity formed the park's black sand beaches. The dark sands contrast beautifully with the turquoise waters, creating a dramatic and picturesque setting. These beaches are perfect for sunbathing, picnicking, and soaking in the stunning ocean views.

Waianapanapa State Park is also home to fascinating sea caves and lava tubes, offering a glimpse into the island's volcanic past. Exploring these natural formations is an adventure, providing a sense of wonder and discovery. The park's coastal trails are equally captivating, winding along the shoreline and offering panoramic vistas of the Pacific Ocean. The park's diverse habitats attract a variety of bird species.

Makena State Park

4670 Makena Alanui, Kihei

Makena State Park, also known as Big Beach, is in South Maui and is renowned for its golden sand beaches and breathtaking scenic beauty. As one of the island's largest and most picturesque beaches, it draws visitors with its expansive shoreline and stunning ocean views. Makena State Park is a paradise for beachgoers, with excellent swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing conditions.

The park has two sections: Big Beach and Little Beach. Big Beach is famous for its vast stretch of golden sand, making it an ideal spot for sunbathing, picnicking, and enjoying the magnificent scenery. The gentle slope of the beach and the clear, inviting waters make it perfect for swimming and snorkeling. The wide-open space and scenic vistas provide a sense of tranquility and openness that is truly captivating.

Just a short trail away lies Little Beach, a smaller, more secluded section of the park. While it is less expansive than Big Beach, Little Beach is favored by those seeking a quieter, more intimate beach experience. The trail leading to Little Beach is a short but rewarding hike, allowing one to enjoy the natural surroundings before reaching the secluded shoreline.

Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area

Kula, HI

Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area in Upcountry Maui offers a refreshing escape from the island's tropical heat with its cool climate and lush forested trails. At an elevation of around 6,200 feet, this park provides a serene mountain environment that is a world away from the beaches below.

The park's diverse flora includes a mix of redwood, eucalyptus, and native Hawaiian trees, creating a unique and tranquil atmosphere. The towering trees and shaded paths make it an ideal destination for hiking, camping, and picnicking. The park's trails offer a variety of routes where you'll be rewarded with panoramic views of Maui's central valley and the surrounding landscape. The vistas from these heights are nothing short of spectacular, offering a different perspective on the island's beauty.

Twin Falls

6300 Hana Hwy, Haiku

Twin Falls, located along the scenic Hana Highway, is known for its stunning waterfalls and lush surroundings. The area boasts several waterfalls, each cascading into natural pools ideal for swimming. The refreshing waters provide a welcome escape from the tropical heat, and the serene setting makes for a delightful day trip. Whether you're a seasoned swimmer or just looking to dip your toes, Twin Falls offers a refreshing experience for everyone.

Visitors take a short hike to reach the falls, with well-maintained trails leading through the vibrant tropical vegetation. As you wander along these paths, you'll be surrounded by the rich greenery and the sounds of nature, adding to the overall sense of tranquility. The hikes are relatively easy, making them suitable for all ages and fitness levels, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the natural beauty of this location.

Embrace the adventure of life in Maui

Living in Maui means embracing a lifestyle filled with natural wonders, outdoor adventures, and stunning landscapes. When finding your dream home in Maui, the Ohana Real Estate Team is here to help. Guided by the spirit of Ohana, they develop relationships and build trust with their clients. They provide the same level of service and care as they would to their own family, ensuring a high level of service to all types of buyers. Whether you are searching for a cozy cottage or a luxurious oceanfront real estate in Maui, the Ohana Real Estate Team will guide you through every step.

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We pride ourselves in being able to provide a high level of service to all types of sellers and buyers. We are here to help you achieve all your real estate goals here in Hawaii.