Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Hiking the Pali Trail between Wailuku and Lahaina, Maui

"One of the roughest and most difficult trails imaginable. It is all the way zigzag and winding, up steep, rocky and barren precipices…" Chester Lyman, 1847, tourist.

On Thanksgiving Day, 2013 my brother, Andy, and I started up this "difficult" trail from Ukumehame at 7:30 AM. We had hiked the whole trail two years ago. A friend picked us up at the other end. This time we planned to hike to the top and double back since we did not have anyone to pick us up. By the time we reached the windmills at the top, 1600 feet later, it was getting hot.
My brother Andy admiring the view

As we stopped to drink some water and to admire the fabulous view a jogger joined us. He ran up the trail rather than "hiked" up it as we had! Pali means "cliff, precipice, steep slope, obstacle" but maybe he didn't know the definition.
The trail is marked with points of historical interest. It was hand built before 1825 for horses and foot travel between Wailuku and Lahaina. Around 1900 the trail fell out of use when prisoners built a one-way road at the base of the Pali.
Our round trip took nearly 3 hours to complete. It took me longer to get down than up the boulder paved trail with my 69 year old arthritic knees. Although we did not jog we certainly had a good workout and felt that we could eat a few extra calories of Thanksgiving dinner that evening.

Many Mahalos for this post to my friend Kay from Kelowna BC !

If you are ever in Lahaina on Prison Street you will see an old rusted out 1923 T-Ford Touring car sitting just in front of the old prison, which is now a museum.  The man who originally owned this car delivered produce between Wailuku and Lahaina, on the old Pali trail.  If you don't have the energy to do the hike you can see remnants of the trail on the drive over the Pali before the tunnel and imagine him bumping along and beeping his horn at every turn.
Following is a photo of the old car and a photo of the plaque which tells its history.

If you have hiked the Pali trail we would love to hear comments about your experience.

Read about Hiking the Haleakala Crater, another hike that Kay and Andy did in 2012. 

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