One of the most unique things on the island is Makaluapuna Point, or more commonly known as Dragons Teeth in Maui. With its epic rock formations and coastal views, this formation is desolate.
The perfect example of the power of nature. Located in West Maui, this is one stop you don’t want to miss.
How was Dragon’s Teeth in Maui Formed?
Dragon’s Teeth were formed from one of the last ancient lava flows to occur on the island. As the less dense lava flowed, winds and waves swept over the lava, hardening it in upward points, leaving the appearance of jagged Dragons Teeth in Maui.
It reminds visitors of a Dragon’s Teeth. This unique formation can only be found in one location in Maui.
How to get to Dragon’s Teeth?
Dragons’ Teeth are on the western edge of Maui in Kapalua. From Lahaina, it is about an 18-minute drive north. It is tucked away off the Honoapiilani Highway and on private property at the Kapalua Ritz Carlton.
Because of the appeal of the unique formation, the Ritz Carlton has left a small public parking area and trail leading to the formation through the golf course. The trail is well-traveled and easily identifiable as it follows the rocky shoreline.
Where to park?
The closest parking is at the Ritz Carlton. From the Honoapiilani Highway at mile marker 30, turn onto office road and onto the resort. At the end of the road, you’ll see a small parking lot off to the right. If there isn’t any public parking there, don’t worry.
The alternative parking is at D.T. Fleming Beach. The beach has plenty of parking. There is a half-mile trail leading to the Kapalua Ritz Carlton Parking.
Don’t worry about parking if you are staying on Kapaulua Ritz Carlton.
Hiking to Dragons Teeth in Maui?
The trailhead for the Dragon’s Teeth hikes in Maui at the end of the Ritz Carlton lot, between two large trees and an information placard. On your left, you’ll see the golf course.
To the right are a hedge and trees. The worn dirt path will lead your way. Please be courteous and say on their approved trial. And keep an eye out for golfers.
Hiking to Dragons Teeth is a short quarter-mile trail from the primary parking and sits along the ocean. If you park at D.T Fleming Beach, it will be an additional half-mile to get to the formation.
Because it’s only .6 miles round trip, you may think it’s an easy jaunt. Experienced hikers may not even consider it a hike but more of a walk. I agree that it’s not strenuous, but it is on uneven ground.
Elevation changes were minimal. The trail leading up to the formation is considered easy. If you have mobility issues, this will give you a good vantage point of the formation.
If you like to get closer, be ready for rock hopping. I highly recommend doing so. During high tide, you’ll be able to see the turbulent waters splashing up against the rocks.
In warmer weather, you might even spot a few sea turtles. Take your time and have fun. At the end of the trail is a small prayer labyrinth that is open to the public.
Tip: with all Hikes in Maui, I recommend having good shoes or sturdy sandals. No Flip Flops!
Honokahua Burial Site
Before going to Dragons Teeth, you’ll notice a placard paying respect to the Honokahua Burial Site. While it is an important feature here, it is not open to the public.
The Honokahua Burial site is home to over 2000 native Hawaiians dating back to 610CE. They were first discovered during the building of the Ritz Carlton. The Ritz respected the ancient site and repositioned its hotel, preserving the site.
The site is just past the hedge, along the trail to Dragons Teeth. Because this is sacred, please stay on the other side of the hedge.
For expert direction right to Dragons Teeth, download the Shaka Guide GPS Tour. This audio tour is amazing! Gives you turn-by-turn direction as you travel around the island. It’s the only way to tour the Island. Get it by clicking here.
Cliff Jumping is popular for adrenalin junkies in Maui. But it’s not safe, especially around Makaluapuna Point. The waves are dramatic at high surf. Couple that with it being on private property, it is best to stick to places like Black Rock in Lahaina.
Looking for an adrenaline-filled adventure? Instead of cliff diving, consider doing a doors-off helicopter tour instead. These tours sell out fast so get your ticket before you leave.
Are the Dragons Teeth in Maui safe to visit?
Yes, hiking to the Dragon’s Teeth is safe. Use common sense and stay away during inclement weather. Be mindful of the uneven landscape and stay respectful. The area is a sacred space.
Would I go back to Dragons Teeth in Maui?
Dragons Teeth in Maui is one of my favorite adventures. To see the unique formation of lava is something I will never forget. Coupled with it being one of the many free things to do in Maui, I would recommend it to everyone!
If you’d love to learn more about the island, I highly recommend getting the Shaka Guide Maui and downloading their GPS tour around the island.