Hiking the King's Highway - the Hoapili Trail, Maui

Back to the Maui posts - one at a time as I mentioned. After a day of relaxing, snorkelling and checking out the local area, we had our first activity on Friday afternoon. I had downloaded a couple of hikes that I had wanted to try out, and one was pretty close to us - at the end of the road (literally) that our hotel was on. Called The King's Highway (Hoapili Trail), this hike is in the Ahihi-kinau Natural Reserve Area, and to quote the description, "scrambles over the desolate lava beds of eastern Maui to reach a secluded beach."

Justine and I at the end of our hike, enjoying the secluded beach - and it's log swing!

Justine and I at the end of our hike, enjoying the secluded beach - and it's log swing!

The hike started at a cool little beach at the end of the road that our hotel is on. We had come by the day before and watched some guys surfing, and upon returning the next day were greeted by an almost full parking lot. The hike started by hugging the shoreline, giving some amazing views of the rugged shore and some pretty big waves. Initially, this seemed like a very busy, popular hike, but it soon became apparent that most people were only going a short way into it, before heading back to the park lot. We of course, decided to push on.

The hike itself wasn't that bad - a couple of miles each direction - but as advertised it was across lava beds. Fortunately, the path was well defined, and while it's not the easiest stuff to walk on, it was easily managed. There was a nice wind blowing, which helped with the heat of the afternoon. We encountered some of Maui's feral goats along the way, and after an hour or so, got out to the beach at the end of the trail.

The trail across the lava beds was very clearly marked, and seemed to go on forever in places.

The trail across the lava beds was very clearly marked, and seemed to go on forever in places.

There were some interesting lave formations along the trail. Justine dubbed this one 'the dinosaur' - you needed to see it from other other side.

There were some interesting lave formations along the trail. Justine dubbed this one 'the dinosaur' - you needed to see it from other other side.

While interesting, you can only look at lava beds for so long before they get a bit tedious. 

While interesting, you can only look at lava beds for so long before they get a bit tedious. 

After about an hour, our trip across the moon ended at the top of a slight rise, with an amazing view down to the beach, and our final destination.

The view of the beach at the end of the King's Highway.

The beach was pretty cool - black pebbles - and as advertised we had the place to ourselves for a little while before one other couple showed up. The waves were pretty big so there was no swimming this day, but we enjoyed the breeze, played around on the log swing and had some lunch before hiking back out to the parking lot and the quick trip back to the hotel. It was a good little hike, and the lava beds were pretty cool to see.