Polipoli Springs State Recreational Area

Polipoli Springs State Recreational Area, Maui: Hours, Address, Polipoli Springs State Recreational Area Reviews: 4/5

Polipoli Springs State Recreational Area

Polipoli Springs State Recreational Area
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
6:00 AM - 4:00 PM
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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36 reviews
Very good

White Mountains, NH529 contributions
The top of this road is only accessible by 4x4 vehicles. However you can take a few trails from a lower parking area by a hunters sign in shack. Hunting is active here so wear bright clothes. We did a loop trail which was beautiful through Eucalyptus Trees. The smell is fantastic!
Written December 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Oceanport, NJ42 contributions
First off: Heed the warnings about driving the dirt portion of this road in a car with low clearance. Don’t do it! You CAN make it to the park, but you will have to go so slow that you might as well as park at the end of the paved road and walk. On my second trip, I borrowed my folks’ Honda CRV which was perfect. Watch for cows in the road on the paved part too….
Unlike most Maui hikes, you may want to leave for this hike a little later as it tends to be cool up on Haleakala, even downright cold in the early morning. Bring a windbreaker, plenty of water and a lunch – the park is wonderfully isolated, with no stores anywhere near it. Despite the PoliPoli “Springs” moniker, the water there is not drinkable. Come to think of it, I didn’t see any springs at all. You won’t need hiking boots for these trails, but don’t be foolish enough to wear flip-flops. Save them for the beach scene and put on some sneakers.
What’s not clear from most trail maps of PoliPoli: when you get to the bottom of the road down to the park, there are TWO trailheads. The first is ahead of where you just parked – in other words, as you pull in and park the trailhead is directly in front of you. The other trailhead (to the Redwood trail) is not so obvious. It is off to the right of the parking lot, and leads first to a cabin, and then heads off to the right towards the redwood forest. The first trailhead can also get you to the redwoods but is longer – make a right when it ends at a “T” intersection.
This is a very pleasant woodland hike – you will find it hard to believe you are on Maui still. I was shocked to see how tall those redwoods are. Quite a sight! The trail is mostly dry, so even if some clouds roll in they feel refreshing. I decided to take the Plum Trail back up to Polipoli. This extra 4 miles turned out to be tough, with a LOT of uphill walking in the thin air. The worst is a series of stairs that will give you a good workout. After it levels out watch for the trail on the left that will take you back to PoliPoli.
I did the whole Redwood-Plum Trail loop in a little under 3 hours. Not a lot of views on these trails, surprisingly, but great hiking, and I was lucky to have perfect weather for it. Even if you’re not a serious hiker, do check out the Redwood Forest portion and enjoy yet another beautiful part of Maui that so many tourists seem to bypass.

Mick Seeley
Written June 26, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kip F
Sacramento, CA1,301 contributions
Monday we decided to go to PoliPoli State Park for a short loop hike. The road is up near Haleakala and winds about as much. We took Waipoli road which is about 6 miles of really windy paved road, sometimes 1.5 lanes wide, then came to the graveled road that our guide book said we could drive in a 2WD tho the sign suggests 4WD. We started out on the last 4 miles to the state park and discovered about 500 yards in that 4WD was absolutely necessary for the conditions. Turning around and parking we walked to the State Park and trail head. Turns out that even if the road had been in better shape, there is a sign about 1 mile in that states 4WD only, with fines if found with a 2WD. Got to the trail head, which is about 4 miles of walking on the muddy road if you don't have a 4WD. We then walked the Redwood trail, which starts out with lots of cedar not Redwood trees until farther along. The cedar trees are obviously not made for the tropics; they are about 80 years old and look terrible. The Redwoods are doing better but packed a bit too tightly together. Then we looped to the Plum trail after the abandoned Ranger cabin and it was thru tall grass and shrubs, then on the the Haleakala Ridge trail after stopping at the very old and decrepit CCC cabin. We got back to the road at a different spot, and from the amount of increased mud and water on the road back to our car, the rain had obviously been falling harder there than on us on the trail. Good 12 mile hike since we had to do 8 miles on the road, due to our not having the 4WD but even the road, since there wasn't much traffic, gave some good views. We enjoyed the trails, and there were possible side trails to do, but with the rainy weather and low clouds, we decided to cut our hike short.
Written October 9, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sharon D
Allen, TX49 contributions
If you thought the switchbacks at Haleakala were bad, brace yourself! This is 11 miles of constant S-turns. I started getting car sick. We had read about what a great hike this was and really wanted to do it and we were committed to the drive. We were so disappointed that 3 miles away from the park we were greeted with a sign that stated we could not proceed unless we were in a 4 wheel drive. We turned around and came back down the mountain. We stopped at the lavender farm on the way down and the man working the entrance said that police ticket people who proceed and aren't in a 4 wheel drive...glad we didn't try! I'm attaching a picture of the GPS of the road.
Written May 23, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Underhill, VT136 contributions
We were looking forward to hiking this State park in Maui's high counrty, but after calling a couple of state park numbers, found that the area is closed for the foreseeable future.
Damage from last summers two hurricanes is the main reason for the closure and the State doesn't seem to be in any hurry to reopen it anytime soon. Maybe next time.
Written January 7, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Melissa M
Maui, Hawaii149 contributions
Poli Poli is one of those places that is LEAST understood by the people that live here on Maui. The road has never been an easy one to navigate, even when I started going up there in the 70's to camp in my VW camper. I remember wrapping Christmas presents "by flashlight" with the cold mists of the mountain pressing against the side of my van. It is a pretty bad road and I certainly NEVER take my Miata up there! If it's raining, it's a mud bath for any vehicle. It's truly an "off the beaten track" experience.

Poli Poli, like Kokee on Kauai and other areas in Hawaii (and lost of places in the USA), were part of the CCC (Conservation Civilian Corp) projects that put American's back to work during the great Depression of the 30's. Before the coming of the white man to the islands, the slopes of Haleakala were covered with forests of Ohia, Sandalwood, Koa and Mamani. The CCC forest plantings were a combined effort to re-forest areas that had been wiped out and give the very sad economy of the 30's (50% unemployment) a boost. Many residents wonder what the big deal is because it is a planted forest. Their loss is "our" gain because that means you and I get to enjoy it more :)

As a nature lover and photographer, I adore Poli Poli. I'm also a big fan of the cloud forest-esk environment with magical misty clouds weaving in and out of the stately pines and then a burst of dazzling blue sky, the melodic twitter of the japanese bush warbler and the brilliant flash of crimson when an I'iwi bird darts by. At 6,800 it's COLD up there and can often rain when it is sunny and clear as a bell in the valley below. There is a camp ground (permit only). Rain gear required!!!

Although much of the forest was burned down by a gigantic fire in Dec 2006, the new growth is coming along nicely and actually gives you a better opportunity for bird watching. The I'iwi is one of the very few indigenous birds left in Hawaii and we are lucky on Maui to have a good population. Even though Poli Poli really does NOT have ANY native plants to speak of, these "survivors" find the nectar they need to survive. There is a sage colored bush with pink flowers that they are particularly fond of.

The one trail that was not affected by the fire was the Ranger Cabin Trail.
The cabin is abandoned and surround with hydrangea plants/flowers. It's an easy trail and very enjoyable. Instead of coming into the main part of the park, you can drive up to the Poli Poli ridge area and there are some great vantage points and some hiking areas.

I'm a sunset shutterbug in addition to rainbows, beaches, clouds, sunrises, etc. What Poli Poli has given me are stunning photos of sunlight and sunset through clouds & trees. Refraction of light seems to be the most special element of Poli Poli's photographic charm.

There is good cell service (and internet) in Poli Poli. If you get stuck you can call AAA :) An SUV type vehicle is definitely recommended. Bring tennis shoes if you plan on hiking. Bring a jacket/sweatshirt or something warmer. It was 46 at my house this AM and I'm only at 3,200 ft elevation. Poli Poli is 6,800! Invest in those one/some of those cute little ponchos in a pouch that cost about $3-5. I have one of those lifesavers in my car and in my travel bags. They are small, light and give you the freedom to do things in the rain (whether warm or cold rain). They can also help keep you warm. Don't leave home without it! If you are going to go up for sunset, bring a flashlight (or put the FREE App on your iphone :)

Stop by the Kula Marketplace on your way to Poli Poli (by the Kula Lodge) and get some goodies to eat and WATER! They even sell pizza by the slice!
Written March 23, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Alisha M
Pine Bluffs, WY112 contributions
Be prepared for the road on the island that will make you sick. Even of you dont get sick, it will make you sick. Then after driving the switchback you end up at the end of the road where you need a 4 wheel drive or ATV. We walked in where our car couldn't go any further and were not able to make it to the redwoods. We saw some smaller ones along the road. Not the easiest place to get to.
Written January 31, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

April R
Sacramento81 contributions
The Mamane-Skyline Loop Trail is a four mile trek which takes roughly two yours. Getting into and leaving Polipoli State Park is a bit of an adventure. After you leave the highway, the road into Polipoli State Park is a one lane well maintained paved road with narrow twists and turns. After about six miles, the road turns into a one-lane narrow dirt road with twists and turns. While there is a sign at the end of the paved road that warns travelers not to venture further without four wheel drive--we ventured on in our rented Mustang. The road wasn't that bad, but I could see if it was raining hard--you would have problems. We took the Mamane-Skyline Loop Trail which is about two miles down the dirt road. The trail is about a four mile loop and takes roughly two hours. I was attracted to this hike because of the description of the caves and lava pit crater. These were so covered in brush, that you could barely see them. The first part of the hike is not very attractive--climbing through a pine forest with a lot of dead trees. While I assume the views are good--the mountain was so socked-in with cloud cover that we couldn't see anything. We stopped for lunch just before getting to the top of the ridge and enjoyed a sunny spot--once you get to the top of the ridge, the weather changes dramatically and is chilly and windy. There were some lovely wild flowers along the ridge and the clouds finally broke for a short period to get a view of the coastline. The trail then drops through a very pleasant eucalyptus grove. At the bottom of the grove there is an overlook and junction with the Haleakala Ridge Trail. I was hoping to see Haleakala--but you couldn't see anything. This park is like a ghost town. We saw one runner, two mountain bikers, and a guy maintaining the trail by weed whacking. Other than that, a couple of pick up trucks passed us on the dirt road. The drive out of Polipoli State Park was harrowing as the cloud and fog had gotten so thick you could barely see 10 feet in front of the car. We were very relieved that we did not meet any other drivers or mountain bikers on the road out of the park. We arrived on the mountain about 10:30 a.m. and left about 1:30 p.m. I don't know if the day we went was more cloudy and foggy than other days--but visibility on the road and most of the hike was low, but it was a good way to spend the afternoon.
Written May 7, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

San Antonio, TX68 contributions
It's a bit of a bumpy drive up a zigzagging road that's mostly paved but the stunning views and amazing Redwood trees at the end of the drive make it all worth it.
During the 1920s through the 1950s, the USDA planted thousands of Redwoods throughout Hawaii. The Polipoli has some that are 200' tall! Simply amazing to see and walk among!
Get up, get out and LIVE!
Written October 9, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Winnipeg, Canada29 contributions
This was some of the best hiking I've done in Maui.

Instead of the high incline, typical hikes around the island, these ones are rolling and gradual, although still moderate enough for the seasoned hiker.

Getting to the main trailhead can be a challenge. A 4x4 vehicle is highly recommended. You would probably be fine with a higher stanced crossover as long as it was a drier day. We had a Jeep and it was no problem whatsoever.  Expect at least an hour's drive on Waipoli Road to the parking lot.
There is a large picnic\camping area, with a porta potty. Also water, I'd bring your own just in case.

There are many trails to choose from and you can determine how long of a loop you'd like to do.
We did Polipoli to Hale ridge to Plum to Redwood. About 5 miles, took just under 2 hours, with stopping.
The Redwood trail is a must see.
Written February 1, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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