Today we took a morning ride with Lahaina Stables up on the slopes of the West Maui Mountains. The Lahaina Stables are very conveniently located right above Lahaina Town on the West side of Maui. The owner Ray Fuqua has been doing trail rides on Maui for 25 years and recently moved to the new location above Launiupoko beach, just outside Lahaina to take advantage of the nearly perfect weather and amazing views. Our guide was already prepping the horses for us when we showed up in the morning. After being outfitted with optional helmets we were all ready to hit the trail. A few of the guests had never been on a horse before, but the animals were so well trained that the young girl who had never ridden before overcame her fears and fell in love with her horse before we ever set foot on the trail. Throughout the ride our guide was sharing her interesting knowledge of Hawaiian history and lore. After only a few minutes of riding we came to the first lookout point. We took in the gorgeous views of the neighboring islands of Lanai, Molokai, Kahoolawe, and the volcanic caldera, Molokini. The view from up on the Mountain side got better and better as we entered into the lush valley. We took a rest half way through the trip inside the valley at an authentic thatched hale halawai (meeting house) where our guide provided us with some light snacks and drinks as well as more fascinating history of the valley and Lahaina town below. While we were soaking in the views and stretching our legs some wild ducks came over to say hi, and beg for crumbs. After the respite we were ready to hit the trail and ride back down to the stables. Our guide continued to come up with interesting facts and lore, throughout the return trip. Apparently the type of information varies with each different groups interests, (as well as the guides wide knowledge base). It was an excellent way to spend the morning.
Ride along Kauaula Stream on the south rim of Kauaula Valley to a lookout at a 1,200 foot elevation. From this vantage point you can see the old hydroelectric plant (built in the 1920's), old sugar cane terraces, irrigation ditches and incredible views all the way to the old Pioneer Mill and Lahaina.
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