Looking For Something Different To Do in Lahaina? Hike to the "L"

If you’re looking for something different to do in Lahaina, consider a hike to the “L.” The vast majority of residents you speak to have never been to the L. So you’ll have accomplished something that few people attempt and, hopefully, have a good story to tell.

l from the bottom

Going Up

Now, this hike is not for everyone; the elevation change is approximately 1,200 feet from start to finish. And, you have to come back down. It is not a walk through the park.

If you are up for it, the views are breathtaking and the workout isn’t so bad either. It is well worth the effort. Make sure you bring plenty of water, sunblock, and a light jacket. Depending on the time of year, you could get wet.

The hike begins at a small parking lot behind the football field at Lahainaluna High School. Cross the yellow gate and take the first “cane road” on the right. Then, go up and keep going up. Parts of the trail are marked, so it is fairly easy to stay on the proper path.

The photos I took on my first trip up.


Finally, arrival at the top

What is the “L” Made of?

I always thought the L was rocks, concrete, or some sort of structure. It isn’t. It is an area roughly the size of a football field, cleared of brush, exposing our famous West Maui red dirt. Onto this dirt is “drawn” the L using a chalk outline.

bottom of L

The bottom leg

The L is maintained each season by Lahainaluna boarding students and a ceremony is conducted each year to celebrate this storied institution and the many alumni that have passed through its hallowed halls.

looking towards Lanai

Looking over the southern edge of our seaside village toward Lanai

Heading Back Down

You have two options going back down. You can go out the way you came in, walking down the switchbacks. Or, if you want to take the highway, there is a trail that begins at the base of the L and goes nearly straight down. This is murder on the calves and thighs, but cuts your descent time in half. Watch your step, a fall here would be bruising to the body and the ego.

Headed back down

Headed back down

Back at the cars, turn and have a look at how steep this hike really is. Now you can appreciate it.

Ready to Live the Hawaii Life?

If you are looking for a home or condo in Lahaina or anywhere in West Maui, give me a call. I’d be happy to help you find your Hawaii Life.


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October 7, 2016

Great article! That’s one of the hikes I’ve never done. I would certainly like to attempt it soon. L


October 7, 2016

Great article! That’s one of the hikes I’ve never done. I would certainly like to attempt it soon. L

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