Let me be honest upfront and let you know that this hike is not for the faint of heart. If you are scared of heights, I still recommend you push yourself and go. The view is completely worth it and you will feel so great at completing this strenuous hike.
Waihee Ridge Trail is a 4 mile roundtrip hike located in the West Maui Mountains. The road to the parking lot is across the road from Mendes Ranch. If you aren’t paying attention, you might miss it. As soon as you enter, there is a parking lot but don’t park here! This is the overflow parking lot. Meaning if the main parking lot is full then you have to park here. The hike, as mentioned before, is quite a hike and if you end up parking in the overflow parking, you will be hiking an additional half a mile to three-quarters of a mile back and forth. So after you turn into the road to the parking lot, continue uphill on the road and park in the main parking lot (unless it is full).
You will pass mile markers letting you know how far you have come and how much more you have to hike in either direction. These can be great motivation and encouragement when you are hiking up and also helpful when going down that it’s just a little more way to where you started.
You will see amazingly beautiful flora and fauna including butterflies and some fruits. We saw guavas and bananas!
There were also many beautiful waterfalls along the way. They really look like paintings drawn on nature’s canvas!
However, a very important point to note is that if it rains, the hike becomes more challenging and slightly dangerous. As the trail is unpaved and is covered by mud for the most part of it, rainwater and heavy foot traffic results in sludge causing climbing (or coming down) the trail dangerous. We talked to many people who slid and fell and had mud all over their back and bottoms. My recommendation for anyone hiking in such conditions is to take small steps and be extra careful. There are no cookies at the top, I promise but I will give you one for completing this hike.
Tips & What to Bring:
– This is one of the wettest parts of Maui. It rained lightly and then really hard several times despite being sunny down in the beginning. Take a rain jacket or poncho or some sort of rain protection.
– Cloud builds up during the day so it’s a good idea to start as early as possible. The parking lot is open at 7 AM.
– Walking poles are a must (or just grab two sturdy sticks) especially for stability on those muddy down and up sections.There are a bunch of sticks lined up at the beginning of the gate so feel free to grab those.
– If you are into dining at altitude, there’s a picnic table at the one of the resting/viewpoints.
-Bring an extra pair of clothes in case you get drenched in the rain, incredibly sweaty, and/or fall in the mud.
-Bring wipes, a snack (nuts & bananas are great options), and water.