Maui Activities: Zip Lines

Maui Activities: Zip Lines
Zip line adventures are a relatively new activity in Hawaii. They are popular with people who are seeking an adrenaline rush while enjoying spectacular natural scenery. On Maui, there are several tour companies and locations from which to choose. Generally, the adventures involve being harnessed to a sequence of elevated zip lines and flying at high speeds over various natural features. This adventure is not for the faint of heart, and there are some restrictions and requirements involved, so a little planning is necessary if you want to experience Maui on a zip line tour.

Requirements & Restrictions

The most obvious restriction for visitors to Maui who are considering a zip line tour is that you must not have a great fear of heights or high speed rides. All zip line tours involve moving at high speeds and from high elevations. Tour companies impose age and weight restrictions on riders. Generally, you must be over the age of 10 and weigh between about 80 and 250 pounds to be permitted on the zip lines, but check with the individual company, as the requirements do vary. Most tours will involve some amount of walking or hiking over rough terrain, so a basic level of physical fitness is necessary. Those with back or neck injuries, people with heart conditions, pregnant women and those who have had recent surgery are not allowed to participate. You will have to sign a waiver, and under-18s must have a legal guardian sign.


Advanced reservations are always a good idea to prevent disappointment if you are hoping to take a zip line tour. Recommendations for attire vary between companies, but generally you will need to wear closed-toe shoes. For some adventures, hiking boots or athletic shoes and long pants are required. Sunscreen and sunglasses are essential to protect your eyes and skin from the sun. If you are planning to scuba dive while in Maui, make sure to schedule the dive and zip line tour at least 24 hours apart, as the elevation changes may cause problems.

Skyline Eco Adventures

Skyline Eco Adventures is the longest-operating zip line company in the United States. The company is based on Haleakala Ranch and offers two zip line tours: one on Haleakala, Maui's biggest volcano; the other is above Kaanapali. The Haleakala zip line involves a short hike and rides on five individual lines starting at 3,500 feet in elevation on the slopes of the volcano. The zip lines get progressively longer as you cross various canyons and gorges. The Kaanapali zip line takes you through the valleys of Mount Kahalawai, over picturesque valleys filled with waterfalls and streams. Be prepared for a fairly strenuous 2-mile hike to reach the first zip line.

Skyline Eco Adventures
12 Kiopa'a St. Suite 202
Pukalani, Hawaii 96768
(808) 878-8400

Piiholo Ranch

Piiholo Ranch is notable for having the longest zip line in Hawaii and the third longest in the world--the final zip line is 3,000 feet long. There is a series of six zip lines in total that take you soaring at elevations up to 2,000 feet, across the scenic Maliko Gulch and through a giant eucalyptus forest. The views along the tour are unsurpassed--you will be able to see two coasts, the upcountry Olinda region, native koa and ohia trees and endemic Hawaiian birds, including the endangered Nene.

Piiholo Ranch
325 Waiahiwi Road
(808) 572-1717

Kapalua Adventures

Kapalua Adventures hosts the longest course of zip lines in Hawaii (almost 2 miles in total) on the slopes of the West Maui Mountains. At their Mountain Outpost you can ride next to a friend on parallel zip lines, a feature that has the added advantage of reducing waiting times along the tour considerably. Another special feature is the "zipperlifter," a machine that hoists adventurers 3,000 feet vertically to reach the first line. Additional facilities and attractions are offered at Mountain Outpost too, including a 360-foot-long suspension bridge and a giant two-person swing.

Kapalua Adventures
2000 Village Road,
Lahaina, Hawaii 96761
(877) 665-4386

Article Written By J.C. Lewis

J.C. Lewis is the editor and co-owner of a weekly newspaper, as well as a staffer and regular contributor to a group of three newspapers in Los Angeles, Calif. Her writing has appeared on, and various other websites. Lewis holds a Bachelor of Science in politics from the University of Bristol, England.

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