Maui’s Wild West: Explore Kapalua

From native forests to windswept coastlines, Kapalua's hiking trails offer rich exploration.

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Kapalua Coastal Walk in Maui

Kapalua Coastal Walk

Don’t be fooled by its size. This easy 1.76-mile walk packs in enough scenery to fill your camera’s memory card. The trail is bookended by D.T. Fleming Beach to the north and Kapalua Beach to the south. In between, you’ll pass golden beaches, crystalline bays and rugged wind-swept coastlines.

A highlight of this trail is Hawea Point (near Kapalua Beach), where you’ll find resident ʻua‘u kani, or wedge-tailed shearwaters. These pelagic seabirds spend most of their life on the ocean, and retreat to the shore to nest. Their short time on land is risky, though, and loose dogs and feral cats have been known to destroy entire colonies.

A sign at Hawea Point honors retired Maui Land & Pineapple worker Isao Nakagawa, who found remains of ʻua‘u kani there in 2001. At the time, there were only sixteen known burrows in the area. Nakagawa got to work setting traps for predators, fencing burrow areas and restoring beach habitat. Maui Coastal Land Trust and Kapalua Resort have pitched in to continue Nakagawa’s vision of protecting these beloved birds, and Hawea Point now is home to the island’s largest nesting colony of ua‘u kani, with more than 1,000 burrows.

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