This page last updated: 13 October 2000


::: MAPS OF HAWAII - Island of Maui :::

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Maui color 150 - 1

Maui is nearly two islands connected by a low isthmus in the Wailuku District. It is the largest of a small group of islands at the center of the chain. To the left of Maui in this image, the eastern tips of Molokai and Lanai are visible. Usually uninhabited Kahoolawe is below Maui. West Maui consists of the Lahaina District with a central ridge of rugged mountains rising to 4,500 feet. The Districts of Makawao and Hana are on East Maui. Haleakala dominates the East Maui landscape at over 10,000 feet in height. The isthmus extends from Maalaea Bay on the south to Kahului Bay on the north. Lahaina, the once famous whaling port and capital of Hawaii until 1846 had no port as such but Lahaina Roads was a safe anchorage. Once the whaling days declined, Maalaea Bay was the main landing for Maui until Kahului Bay was dredged for a deep-water port. Other main landings were at Hana Bay, Huelo, Kipahulu, Makena, and Kihei.

Maui is 728 square miles in size. Travel on Maui was easy enough except for the northern shore of East Maui and the extreme north coast of West Maui. A carriage road connected the main town of Wailuku with Waihee, Maalaea Bay and Ulupalakua via Makawao. The dark line extending between Wailuku and Paia is the Kahului Railroad. Between West Maui and the isthmus, it was necessary to travel by horse across either end of the West Maui Mountains. Getting to Hana by land was a horseback ride from Ulupalakua. Through the wet and dangerous Koolau and Hamakualoa regions on the north coast of East Maui, there was a horse trail but it was usually avoided if possible. In later years, steamers ran regularly from port to port connecting the towns along the East Maui north coast.

For details on Overland Mail Carriage on Maui.
For details on the Town Postmarks of Maui.

West Maui

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Lahaina, the focal point of West Maui, is 72 miles east of Honolulu. North of Lahaina are the villages of Honokawai (5.5 miles from Lahaina), Napili (9.3 miles from Lahaina) and the small harbor at Honakahau (14.8 miles from Lahaina). Continuing past Honakahau (often spelled Honokohau) the trail went on toward Wailuku via Waihee (24.1 miles from Lahaina and 4.8 miles from Kahului). South of Lahaina is the hamlet of Olowalu (6 miles from Lahaina). Just uphill from Lahaina and unmarked on this map was the school at Lahainaluna. Along the coastal plain from Olowalu to the western edge of the Kaanapali region, travel was a simple matter but the trail around the north end was difficult. Mountain crossings to the isthmus were dangerous except at the southern end where a good horse trail connected Olowalu and Waikapu, crossing the southern end of the mountains. By the mountain road via Olowalu, Lahaina was 25.5 miles from Kahului. Going around the north end via Honakahau, Lahaina was 29.3 miles from Kahului.

Central Maui and Wailuku Environs

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Maui's Isthmus Region

Maui Kahului Environs color 200-1

Wailuku and Kahului Bay Environs

From the 1840's, foreign settlement in Central Maui was active. Wailuku eventually took the place of Lahaina as the administrative, social and business center of Maui. The region from Wailuku to Makawao, taking in the northern isthmus and upland Kula, was the second most densely populated of the entire chain. Distances were measured from Kahului (3.1 miles east of Wailuku). Roads from Kahului and Wailuku went north, south and east. The north road went to Waihee (4.8 miles from Kahului) and then a trail continued on via Honakahau to Lahaina. A good carriage road went south via Waikapu (5.5 miles from Kahului) to Maalaea Bay (9.9 miles from Kahului). At Waikapu the mountain trail to Lahaina met the carriage road between Maalaea Bay and Kahului. The main carriage road east from Wailuku and Kahului eventually ended at Ulupalakua via Paia and Makawao. The Kahului Railroad ran from the port at Kahului west to Wailuku and east to Paia (5.5 miles from Kahului). The carriage road ran parallel to the railroad track until Paia, passing the sugar plantation town of Spreckelsville (3.5 miles from Kahului). A branch road headed for Hamakuapoko (8.6 miles from Kahului) and Haiku (10.2 miles from Kahului). The main carriage road climbed uphill from Paia to the town of Makawao (10.5 miles from Kahului). Continuing on the main carriage road along the western slope of Haleakala through Kula one comes to Ulupalakua (18.5 miles from Makawao). A road descended steeply from Ulupalakua to the landing at Makena (3.3 miles from Ulupalakua). A horse trail went east from Ulupalakua into East Maui and on to Hana via Kaupo. A good horse trail (or poor carriage road) ran from Makena to Maalaea Bay via Kalepolepo (later named Kihei) and then to the main landing at Maalaea Bay. By this route, Ulupalakua was 25.6 miles from Kahului. By the main road via Makawao, Ulupalakua was 29 miles from Kahului.

East Maui

Maui east color 150-1

Relatively unpopulated East Maui includes the town of Hana, at the eastern tip. Travelers could enter East Maui by one of two overland routes. Both were difficult so most people traveled by boat. The more popular of the two overland routes was along the southern flank of Haleakala from Ulupalakua. This trail reached Kaupo in 15.5 miles across a quite arid stretch of ranch land. After Kaupo, the trail reached Kipahulu in another 10 miles. At Kipahulu, the sugar plantation region of East Maui begins. Hamoa is 7 miles past Kipahulu and Hana is reached in another 3 miles. On the north coast going west from Hana through a rain forest and steep canyons are the towns of Nahiku (unmarked on this map but 9.6 miles from Hana), Keanae (15.1 miles from Hana), Huelo (26.3 miles from Hana), Peahi and finally Haiku (32.1 miles from Hana and 10.2 miles from Kahului). By the better road around the south slope of Haleakala, Hana was 61 miles. Going through the wet and unpopular north coast trail, Hana was 42.3 miles from Kahului.

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