Volume #1  
by Adam Quinn

Hiking West Maui

As you venture out of the comfort of your hotel rooms around the island you may be lured towards the lush valleys and impressive ridgelines of the West Maui Mountains. In this region of the Valley Isle you can encounter a myriad of experiences. Challenging ridgeline trails, alluring waterfalls, and ancient Hawaiian villages are only a few of the discoveries that one could stumble across.

How do you determine what location to choose if you are new to Maui? A few suggestions… First, please, for your own safety, do not plunge into a location that is new to you without doing at least the most elementary research. Many of the valleys are private property and you may end up trespassing through someone's kuleana (community) they may not appreciate a simple, "I didn't know", for an explanation as to why you are on their land.

There are several resources to tap for excellent information. Your hotel concierge staff should be knowledgeable of the area you are interested. Also, a book that is highly recommended: HIKING MAUI BY Robert Smith, may be a good choice for those looking to venture out on their own.

There are also excellent guide companies on the island to choose from; This option is highly recommended due to the guides' local knowledge and expertise in the field. Quite simply they know how to get to all those great places you want to see safely and they will accommodate you by doing all the driving, narration, and usually provide any amenities that you will need for the day, such as, lunch, bug spray, rain gear, etc.

Once you have decided where you would like to go and know whether you will be going it alone or with a guide service and which one, you will probably want to choose the type of trail, which is best. Any reputable guide service will not take you on a trail that is too challenging for you or one that is not safe considering the current conditions of the day. You need to know what your own limitations are and not try to do a trail that sounds like it would be "tons of fun" but realistically out of your personal capabilities. There are plenty of trails to experience at all levels of challenge, choose the one that is best suited for you and your group.

Ultimately, the decision is yours, exercise common sense, enjoy yourself and remember
"Maui No Ka Oi" !
Hike Masters and Program Designers, Adam Quinn and Jason Latas, offer 4 & 6 hour Eco-Tours available daily. For more information on Eco-Tours personal guide service,
see [Things to Do / Hiking], go to their website at http://www.ecomaui.com or E-mail them at McGEEE@aol.com

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