Hiking in Lanai
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
Only 30 miles of Lanai's roads are paved, but red-dirt roads and trails, ideal for hiking, will take you to sweeping overlooks, isolated beaches, and shady forests. Don't be afraid to leave the road to follow deer trails; just make sure to keep your landmarks in clear sight so you can retrace your steps. Or take a self-guided walk through Kane Puu, Hawaii's largest native dryland forest. You can explore the Munro Trail over Lanaihale with views of plunging canyons, or hike along an old, coastal fisherman trail or across Koloiki Ridge. Wear hiking shoes, a hat, and sunscreen, and carry a windbreaker and plenty of water.
Koloiki Ridge. This marked trail starts behind the Lodge at Koele and takes you along the cool and shady Munro Trail to overlook the windward side, with impressive views of Maui, Molokai, Maunalei Valley, and Naio Gulch. The average time for the 5-mi round-trip is two hours. Bring snacks, water, and a windbreaker, wear good shoes, and take your time. A map is available from the concierge at the Four Seasons Resort Lodge at Koele, and notify them you are taking the hike. Moderate. Lanai City, HI, 96763.
Lanai Fisherman Trail. Local anglers still use this trail to get to their favorite fishing spots. The trail takes about 1½ hours and follows the rocky shoreline below the Four Seasons Resort at Lanai Manele Bay. The marked trail entrance begins at the west end of Hulopoe Beach. Keep your eyes open for spinner dolphins cavorting offshore and the silvery flash of fish feeding in the pools below you. The condition of the trail varies with weather and frequency of maintenance; it can be slippery and rocky. Take your time, wear a hat and enclosed shoes, and carry water. Moderate. Manele, Lanai City, HI, 96763.
Munro Trail. This is the real thing: a strenuous 12.8-mile trek that begins behind the Four Seasons Resort Lodge at Koele and follows the ridge of Lanaihale through the rain forest. The island's most demanding hike, it has an elevation gain of 1,400 feet and leads to a lookout at the island's highest point, Lanaihale. It's also a narrow dirt road; watch out for careening four-wheel-drive vehicles. The trail is named after George Munro, who supervised the planting of Cook pine trees and eucalyptus windbreaks. Mules used to wend their way up the mountain carrying the pine seedlings. Unless you arrange for someone to pick you up at the trail's end, you have a 3-mile hike back through the Palawai Basin to return to your starting point. The summit is often cloud-shrouded and can be windy and muddy, so check conditions before you start. Difficult. Four Seasons Resort Lodge at Koele, 1 Keomuku Hwy., Lanai City, HI, 96763.
Puu Pehe Trail. Beginning to the left of Hulopoe Beach, this trail travels a short distance around the coastline, and then climbs up a sharp, rocky rise. At the top, you're level with the offshore stack of Puu Pehe and can overlook miles of coastline in both directions. The trail is not difficult, but it's hot and steep. Be aware of nesting seabirds and don't approach their nests. Stay away from the edge, as the cliff can easily give way. The hiking is best in the early morning or late afternoon, and it's a perfect place to look for whales in season (December-April). Wear a hat and shoes, and take water so you can spend some time at the top admiring the view. Moderate. Manele, Lanai City, HI, 96763.
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