Friday, July 13, 2012

Running in Hawaii

On April 25th my wife and I headed down to Maui for a much needed tropical vacation.  What this mean to me was hitting up some trails and getting in some quality runs that didn't involved snow.  After doing much research the weeks leading up to our trip I scouted out 3 different areas I wanted to visit, so after a few months I am finally posting some pictures and data.

Makawao Forest Reserve - The parking area is about 40 minutes from Kehai, the road is all paved and you are blessed with some great views of the island as as you climb about 2,500 ft on the way (parking area is about 2,700 foot elevation).  I headed out for 3 loops, a little over 5 miles per loop with 900 ft of climbing each. The trail was all single track and went through several different areas of vegetation.  The moderate climbing meant running uphill was doable and bombing the downhill was really fun.  The only problem I had was this was my first run with any sort of vertical for the year so I pretty well destroyed my quads on the downhills, but it was fun either way!

Up at 4 AM for what turned out to be an awesome run.  First person in the parking lot and glad Hawaii doesn't practice daylight savings time. 

Really big tree.

Overall a totally awesome trail.

Hard to believe this is on a tropical island.

Lahaina Pali Trail - This trail goes up and over the southern point of the northern mountain of Maui, and is only about 10 minutes drive from Kehai.  I tried to hit the east side trail head before sunrise to catch the sun coming up over Haleakala but I couldn't find the trail head in the dark, so I headed over to the west side trail just off the highway.  The trail climbs about 1,500 feet in about 3 miles then goes up on the point for about a mile before dropping back down the other side.  Due to time constraints I just went to the top, VERY windy, buy some great views!

Windblown and barren landscape. 

Anyone see the irony in a conservation area with giant wind turbines?

Looking west toward one of Maui's smaller offshore islands. 

Looking north at yet another island.

Polipoli State Park, Kula Forest Reserve - This is a beautiful redwood forest located about an 1 hr and 15 minute drive from Kehai  After taking winding paved switchbacks through farm country you eventually end up on a dirt road built for logging.  I drove the road in our rental car (and got a flat tire) but it was very derivable in a sedan despite the 4-wheel drive only sign.  However, this was under dry conditions, had it been raining a 4-wheel drive would definitely have been needed!  Due the unexpected length of travel time I only managed a short 5 mile loop that I created based on a map I found.  The unique part about this location is that it is located about 5,500 above sea level and you can actually connect to a massive system of trails including the spine of Haleakala volcano.  The 5 mile loop I did had about 1,500 ft of elevation gain with a high point of 6,500 ft.

The drive provides some incredible views. 

Another awesome trail!

Deep in the redwood forest of Maui.

You can actually go all the way up the spine to the summit from here. 

Good shot of the sun rays beaming through the trees. 

Watch for cows!

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe how much you run! 4am is seriously committed!