La Perouse Bay to Cape Hanamanioa Trail

Located in Makena on the south shore, this gorgeous trail follows Maui's southern coastline for 5.5 miles, from La Perouse Bay to Kanaio Beach. It crosses unique landforms and lava beds, giving parts of the trail a surreal, barren atmosphere.

At the beginning of the trail, it is quite rough with jagged rocks and is closed to vehicles, even ones with four-wheel drive.The actual Hoapili trail is easy to follow with smooth stepping stones that were laid out to form a path through the lava flows so that the kings and their retinues could easily travel around the island exacting taxes and tribute from their people in the various districts.

The first part of the trail passes through kiawe trees along a portion of sandy beach at La Perouse Bay. It then climbs up onto a rough lava field which it traverses for 2.0 miles inland from the coast. Just past the beach a .75 mile spur trail heads down to the tip of Cape Hanamanioa where a Coast Guard lighthouse is situated along a low sea cliff. Past the 2.0 mile lava flow the trail hits the coast again at the beginning of an older flow. This flow is thinly vegetated with kiawe and other dryland plants and is the site of many old Hawaiian stone walls and house foundations. It is the beginning of a broad stretch of coastline known as Kanaio Beach. There are many narrow coves with pebble or coral beaches. After about a mile of this older flow, the trail hits another recent lava flow 2.5 miles wide that originated from the big cinder cone, Pimoe, 3.0 miles inland. The trail again passes inland nearly a mile from the sea and goes straight across the point to a last small portion of older flow along the coast. Just past this cove the King's Highway leaves state land and passes out of our jurisdiction.

Pole fishing along the coast is excellent but the area is extremely hot and dry and there is no water or other facilities. If you are hiking into this area you must be self-sufficient. Hiking boots are a must. Camping is permitted along the coast beyond the end of the first big flow at Kanaio Beach. The land around La Perouse Bay and the lighthouse is privately owned and camping is not permitted.

Getting to the trail: Take Kihei Road (31) going south. Go just past Makena State Park where a dirt road continues to Makena Village. Continue on for another 5 miles through the Ahini-Kinau Natural Area Reserve to La Perouse Bay. Warning this road can be somewhat rough. We recommend not attempting in a standard sedan as Jeeps and pickups are better suited.


Photo Gallery - La Perouse Bay To Cape Hanamanioa

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La Perouse Bay to Cape Hanamanioa Trail