31 Aug

The great thing about hiking on Maui is the variety of environments you get to explore.  You could be hiking through lush, green rain forests in the morning, and trekking through dry, sunny lava fields in the afternoon.   Last weekend we discovered yet another unique hike that left us feeling like we were in northern California or back in Washington state.

We left Kihei and drove an hour up to Polipoli State park.  Just after we passed the Kula Lavendar Farm, the road narrowed and we began switchbacking the rest of the way up.  The views were breathtaking.

Polipoli sits within the fog belt of the Kula Forest Reserve at about 6200 feet.  When we left Kihei it was sunny and 76 degrees.  When we got to Polipoli the temperature dropped to 60 degrees, and the fog that surrounded us gave the park such an ethereal feel.  The misty haze drifted across the road and seemed to float above the trees as if they were on fire.  It was very eery.

Eventually the paved road we were on became a dirt road which appeared to be one part dirt and three parts wood chips.  We were going to attempt the drive to the campground so we could do the 4 mile loop trail, but did not trust the Nissan Sentra we were in to make the trek over all the potholes (especially since it was a rental).  We parked in a little dirt turnout close to the boundary trailhead and embarked on what became an 11.3 mile hike.  Ouch! But definitely worth it!

I was amazed at the variety of vegetation that surrounded us along the way.  We would be walking through a forest of pine and cedar trees (which smelled like Christmas, ahhhh)….

….and suddenly we would be surrounded by hundreds of fresh fragrant eucalyptus trees.


There were groves of bare branches……

…. and a forest of redwoods.

There was even a trail surrounded by hydrangeas.

This is definitely one of the best hikes I have ever been on.  The trail was well marked making it impossible to get lost.  There was not a single soul in the park that we could tell, and the solitude was nice.  It wasn’t very strenuous, but enough to get your heart rate going, and the views were amazing.  It was cool and crisp, and the grey dreariness was actually a welcoming feeling when you’re used to sunny and 83 degrees.  (I am not complaining; it was just a nice change of pace.) This is definitely not something I would expect to find on an island in the middle of the Pacific ocean, but a must do hike if you’re ever here!!


I think Tyler was getting tired of all the pictures I was taking.

It started raining 3 miles before the finish. Sooo refreshing!!




One Response to “Polipoli”

  1. Estelline Owens September 8, 2012 at 6:38 am #

    We love the way U 2 r having so much fun & sharing the beauty with us! Love U, Mom & Pop

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