The Nakalele blowhole is a short out and back hike on the northern tip on the coast of Maui. The trail features a natural blowhole and a small lava rock formation known as Heart Rock.

Nakalele Blowhole and Heart Rock Hiking Guide

The Nakalele Blowhole is a short trail on the northern coast on Maui. The hike features a natural land formation known as a blowhole. Blowholes are developed along the coastline and are a small cave that has been formed coastal shelf which leads to an opening along the shore. When waves break along the shore they send a current of water underneath the coastal shelf through the cave and the end result is a powerful plume of mist similar in appearance to a geyser.

Blowholes are unique and usually formed over long geological time periods. One way that they’re formed is through the forces of the ocean eventually hollowing out a sea cave and forcing pressure upwards through the coastal plain.  Another way that blowholes are formed is through old lava tubes. Over time pressure from incoming waves and currents can breakdown the shoreline and form an opening. With each incoming wave water is forced through the cave and finds its exit through the surface.

On A Personal Note:

The Nakalele blowhole is a fun short trail to get out and stretch your legs. If you’re driving around the northern tip of Maui the trailhead will be clearly marked by the dozen plus vehicles along the side of the road. For those that have never experienced a blowhole before, this will be a unique experience. Keep your eyes out for an additional picturesque opportunity here. Along the east side of the trail there is a small hole like formation in the lava rock. The hole resembles a heart and is known as heart rock.

Caution: Keep a safe distance away from the blowhole. Water flows through the tunnel and when conditions are rough they can become quite dangerous. People have been swept off the shoreline here from large waves and killed. There have been other instances where people have fallen into the blowhole and sucked down inside and died.

Looking for something else to do nearby? Check out the short trail leading into Honolua Bay. Honolua Bay is a large bay popular for surfers and beach goers. This bay is a marine sanctuary and also popular for snorkeling and diving.

  • Overall Difficulty 30% 30%
  • Overall Views 80% 80%
Nakalele Blowhole Quick Facts:
  • Max elevation: 223 feet.
  • Elevation Gain: 223 Feet
  • Estimated Distance: 1.2 miles
  • My Actual Distance: 0.6 miles.
  • Estimated Time: 30-60 minutes.
  • My Time: 25 minutes moving; 38 minutes total.
Nakalele Blowhole Trail Directions:

Open in maps. The Nakalele Blowhole is located on the northern end of Maui off of Highway 340. The trailhead will be easily marked by the amount of cars along the side of the road. There is also a local coconut water stand along the highway. The trailhead has a small paved parking lot but it is often full. Others park parallel along the highway. If there is no parking allow yourself some patience for people to leave. This is a short trail and there is a lot of turnover here. Please be mindful that people live throughout this highway and call this place their home.

Nakalele Blowhole Trail Pictures:

Who The Nakalele Blowhole Trail Is For:

Novice Hikers: This is a great trail for new hikers or those looking for a short trail. For those experienced hikers used to longer trails, this hike is a great way to get out and stretch your legs or pairing it with smaller hikes nearby. 

Advanced Hikers: This is a short trail with nice views but it is not difficult. 

Expert Hikers: Same. Both advanced and expert hikers would enjoy adding this trail to other short hikes within the area. 

It’s always a good idea to be aware of what type of hiking level you’re at.

Best Time Of Year To Hike The Nakalele Blowhole Traill:

Generally speaking, there is no bad time of year to hike this trail. Temperatures and weather are pretty consistent throughout the year with mild fluctuations between winter and summer. This portion of the island does receive a moderate amount of rainfall but it is generally spread throughout the year. However, flash flood type situations have been known to occur. It can be raining one minute and sunny the next. Temperatures are tropical and temperate.

Please be aware of the weather conditions in the area.It’s always a great idea to check the weather before a hike.

Nakalele Blowhole Trail Conditions:

The Nakalele Blowhole trail is generally in good condition. The is a small use trail that leads from the main highway directly towards the coast where the blowhole is. As the trail starts it it leads directly to the shoreline on a clearly marked dirt path. Once you near the shoreline the dirt gives way to a combination of worn down lava rock and mixed sand. I personally don’t think that shoes are a necessity on this trail but if you have unstable balance they will be beneficial. Many people roll their ankles or slip along the small worn down lava rocks.