Riding can be a lot of fun for the whole family, if you’re adventurous and looking for unique perspectives on Maui sightseeing. Most sightseeing is done via car, or helicopter, or boat (in our case). Each option has its own enticing qualities. What makes horseback riding unique is the natural feel that you get from your exploration, along with the engine-free quiet that brings the subtler sounds of nature to the forefront of your senses. Take it from us, when we arrive at our Maui snorkel tour destinations and turn off the engine, a whole new level of tranquility sets into the experience. Whereas our guests get to enjoy the soothing sound of the water gently lapping against our hulls, Maui horseback riding tours take you through lush landscapes where you get to listen to the whisper of the balmy island breezes rustling through the leaves. We hope you’ll get to experience both! So, here are Maui’s favorite horseback riding tours.
Mendes Ranch – This ranch is celebrated most for its beloved tour guides and stunning ocean views along the Kahakuloa trail. You’ll find yourself surrounded by rich greenery at every turn, but with the sapphire blue of the ocean always in the distance. Unlike the other tours on our list, this one introduces you to the north-facing ocean, which is wilder and greener than locations in South and West Maui. In fact, it might feel like a totally different island! Their tours even include the option of a terrific barbecue lunch. Another stand-out feature of this ranch is the amazing care that the horses receive. You’ll find that they are healthy, happy, and in good form.
Website: Mendes Ranch – Location: Wailuku
Ironwood Ranch – If you want to opt for a ranch where the staff is extra patient with beginners and safety conscious, this is the ranch for you. Their tours take you out into the gorgeous West Maui landscape, up on the slopes of the West Maui Mountains, where the temperatures are comfortably cooler than sea level. The sunset tour is breathtaking and takes advantage of the amazing sunset views that you get from this part of the island. The guides are knowledgeable, and a lot of fun. (They name all their horses after celebrities.) The horses are responsive, well-trained, and in excellent condition.
Website: Ironwood Ranch – Location: Kapalua
Piiholo Ranch – When it comes to this ranch, the private tours are an especially enjoyable option, and you’ll find yourself surrounded by the cool, soothing forests and emerald green fields that blanket the slopes of the mountain in Upcountry Maui. The majesty and expanse of Haleakala is really felt here as you roam the gentle hills overlooking the ocean and the better part of the island. If tranquil forests and sprawling vistas appeal to you, this may be the perfect option for your tastes. The horses are in great condition, too!
Website: Piiholo Ranch – Location: Makawao
Thompson Ranch – If you’re an animal lover and you enjoy unobstructed views from the mountainside, this ranch is the way to go. It’s not just horses here. There are also cows, goats, dogs, rabbits, chickens, and more, so it’s the favorite ranch for kids and those who love animals as much as the owners do. They give all their resident creatures plenty of TLC. For example, they only hold one horseback riding tour per day, so the horses get just the healthy exercise they need. Conveniently, you can still choose from three time slots, and they also keep their groups small for a more personal experience. As for the views, you get bi-coastal views, and you can easily see both the neighboring island of Kaho’olawe and Molokini Crater off Maui’s mesmerizing south shore. At this location up on the slopes of Haleakala, you often get cooling mists and clouds rolling down the mountainside, depending on the time of day.
Website: Thompson Ranch – Location: Kula
Lahaina Stables – At this ranch, the sunset rides are breathtaking, while the guides are personable, knowledgeable and friendly. This part of the island tends to be warm and dry, with a rugged beauty that many riders enjoy. The location couldn’t be more convenient if you’re staying in West Maui. They offer morning, lunch and sunset rides, and the latter is particularly beautiful.
We hope you enjoy your horseback riding experience, and when you’re ready for a fantastic Maui boat tour, we look forward to being your guides on the dazzling Hawaiian ocean. Mahalo!