Climb to the top of the Ancient Kahakuloa Head

Tom’s experience climbing Kahakuloa Head:

Kahakuloa Head is a steep hill outside of the quaint village of Kahakuloa in Maui. Getting to the trailhead requires a short drive along a treacherous bit of highway.
Climb Kahakuloa Head

The trailhead is a dirt pullout right next to the highway overlooking the steep ocean coastline along northern Maui past the Nakalele Blowhole if you come from the west.

Hawaii Kahakuloa Head

There is no real trail to the summit of the Kahakuloa Head so you will have to bush wack and crawl under bushes some. The trail is very steep and nearly vertical in some areas. At the summit there is a survey marker to let you know you made it.

Kahakuloa Head Hawaii

Getting down is more difficult than getting up. The grass you are hiking through is often moist from dew or rain and the hill is so steep it is easy to slide down.

Maui Kahakuloa Head

Be careful if you try to climb this. Legend has it that King Kahekili would climb 200 feet up the Kahakuloa Head and then dive into the rough and shallow waters below.

Kahakuloa Head Maui

The summit of Kahakuloa is 646 feet above sea level.

Tom’s Rating:

Trail Info: The trailhead is easy to find but difficult to reach. From the Nakalele Blowhole, continue along highway 30 until it becomes highway 340. 340 is very narrow in spots but is mostly paved. The trailhead is on the ocean side of the highway after the town of Kahakuloa.


Parking Lot: 20.99848,-156.545691

Kahakuloa Head Summit: 21.000821,-156.545311

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Enjoying the day on Canaan Mountain

Tom’s Experience hiking Canaan Mountain:

Canaan Mountain is an interesting mountain to climb. You gain most of your elevation near the beginning of the hike and then the trail is practically level all the way to the summit.

Hiking to Canaan Mountain

The summit is surrounded by steep cliffs on all sides so you must hike up one of the few canyons. You can approach the summit from either Water Canyon or Squirrel Canyon.

Trail to Canaan Mountain

When we climbed to the summit we combined it with the Squirrel Canyon and Water Canyon Loop.

The Slot Canaan Mountain

Once you arrive at the top of the giant mesa there are a lot of interesting rock formations. The trails aren’t very easy to follow so a good map and GPS are necessary.

Canaan Mountain Trail

Once you reach the white domes you will leave the loop trail and start heading towards the summit. This is a long hike and seems to take forever since you are hiking along a mesa, you never feel like you are climbing towards a summit.

Canaan Mountain Rock Formations

Once you reach the summit you return back to the white domes and exit through water canyon. After hiking to the summit, we decided the loop itself was worth doing, but the summit wasn’t worth all the time it took to get there. If you are looking for a neat hike, I would suggest only hiking the loop and not heading off towards the summit. Dogs are allowed on this trail.

Tom’s Rating:

Trail Info: From Hildale, Utah, turn north onto Utah Drive and reset your odometer. Follow this road 1.8 miles until you reach a stop sign. Continue straight through the intersection. At 2.8 miles there will be two dirt roads on the right. Take the second dirt road called Water Canyon Road. The road will be come very sandy so 4 wheel drive is recommended. At 3.5 you come to an intersection  but continue left on the main road. A short distance further there is another intersection, stay right this time. After that just a little further and you will arrive at another intersection, take a right and the parking lot is right there next to an old fence.


Lower Parking Lot:     37.026332,-112.952918

Squirrel Canyon Entrance:     37.040688,-112.940891

White Domes:     37.062793,-112.983897

Canaan Mountain Summit:     37.082481,-113.010477

Water Canyon Exit:     37.037905,-112.954967

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 Please comment below to share your experience climbing Canaan Mountain. Don’t forget to register to receive the Travel Tom’s Newsletter by submitting your email in the bar above.