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Pu'u Ola'i / Red Hill

Mākena State Park

Maui, Hawai'i

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Pu'u Ola'i / Red Hill

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  • The hike begins on Big Beach, also known as Makena Beach, one of South Maui's best beaches.- Pu'u Ola'i / Red Hill
  • The beach terminates at a vertical rock wall. A quick scramble up a rock ramp gets you to the top.- Pu'u Ola'i / Red Hill
  • Looking down at Makena Beach from the start of the Red Hill climb.- Pu'u Ola'i / Red Hill
  • Though beautiful, these lantana flowers are aggressive weeds that choke out native vegetation.- Pu'u Ola'i / Red Hill
  • Suddenly a trail appears at the top of the hill.- Pu'u Ola'i / Red Hill
  • A view from the summit crater showcasing Maui's beautiful coastline.- Pu'u Ola'i / Red Hill
  • Start your hike soon after sunrise to watch the hillside come alive.- Pu'u Ola'i / Red Hill
  • You'll overlook these views as you climb to the top.- Pu'u Ola'i / Red Hill
  • View of Kaho'olawe, the smallest Hawaiian island.- Pu'u Ola'i / Red Hill
  • There are lots of tide pools to explore at the base of the Red Hill.- Pu'u Ola'i / Red Hill
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Excellent viewpoint. Nearby beach for a post-hike rest stop.
Cons: 
Requires off-trail scrambling
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Region:
Maui, HI
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
340.00 ft (103.63 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
1.00 mi (1.61 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

Pu'u Ola'i, also known as Earthquake Hill or Red Hill, is an easily recognizable landmark on the South Maui Coast. It formed in the late 18th century when a dramatic volcanic eruption spewed lava into the sky. As the lava cooled and fell to the earth, it created the cinder cone we know as Pu'u Ola'i.

Today the hill stands as a reminder of Hawaii's volcanic origins. Many shrubs, trees and flowering plants have since colonized the rich lava soil. 

The hike begins on Big Beach, also known as Mākena Beach, then continues up to a rocky outcrop. Head straight across the outcrop to Little Beach, an unofficial nude beach. Turn right to climb Pu'u Olai and turn left to wander down to the tide pools. While there are no official trails to any of these locations, there are plenty of use trails that will guide your journey. Be mindful of the warning signs near the recent slide area on the south side of the hill, where the cliff edges are steep and the land is a bit unstable.

Once you're near the top of the hill, you'll see a well-defined pathway. This leads up to and around the summit crater. Walk around the crater loop to find your favorite view of the uplands of Maui, the sandy beaches, neighboring islands, and sparkling blue ocean. Start your hike early for lovely sunrise views, quiet beaches and cooler temperatures.

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Nearby Camping + Lodging

(3 within a 30 mile radius)

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(63 within a 30 mile radius)

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