This historic trail, built around 1800 (over a more ancient royal Hawaiian trail) goes up the steep volcanic hillsides to the Kealaloloa Ridge. The trail was originally built for foot traffic, and later horse and mule were used as well. The trail is approximately 5 miles total one way.
Starting at either the Maalaea or Ukumehame side it is about a 1600 feet elevation gain, either way, over 2.5 miles. You can see bays on both sides of the island as you go higher. You can also see the level marshy area along Maalaea Bay which is the remains of the Kealia Fishpond built in the late 16th century. It is now a wildlife refuge.
My sister and I hiked up the Maalaea side to about 1250 feet, me huffing and puffing till we saw the windmills poking over the hill. My primary goal was to find petroglyphs on volcanic boulders somewhere on the trail. Since we hadn’t seen any to the point where we could see the tops of the windmills and a barren path heading up, we decided to start down. We will have to go back another time, start up the other side, and maybe I’ll have more luck.
One thing, if you tend to be on the geriatric side of life you might want to take two hiking sticks. I only had one, so when my foot slipped on the loose volcanic pebbles I ended face down in the volcanic dirt. Fortunately I only ended up with a couple of minor scrapes and bruises. So as compensation for the fall and not finding the petroglyphs I took my sister to see the petroglyphs at Olowalu before heading back to Kaanapali, the pool and beer.