Free Climb Chutes and Ladders

Honokohau Bay, Maui

Chutes and Ladders is an off-the-grid adventure on the Western coast of Maui recommended for expert free-climbers. Enjoy the challenge of a steep free-climb and the reward of a serene natural ocean pool.

The trailhead is located next to mile post 37 of the Honoapiilani Highway on the Western coast of Maui, Hawaii. Red dirt, lush green grass and impossibly blue skies mirroring the ocean call to hikers and climbers alike. Follow the red dirt path until you reach the cliffs.

You will scale down a vertical 60-foot sea cliff with help from a rope anchored to the top. I recommend doing this barefoot or with good climbing shoes. Do not attempt if it is raining, as the rocks become slippery. Once you reach the bottom of the cliff, you will maneuver around a series of red rocks which will lead you to the final destination of an enclosed ocean pool. The still water is protected from the ocean by rocks and is approximately 10 feet deep and 30 feet in diameter.

Cool off in this natural ocean pool and beware of prickly sea urchins before beginning the ascent back up to the trailhead.

Note: Hiking in coastal areas on islands can be dangerous due to slippery and unstable rocks, unpredictable weather, etc. Climb with those you trust. While Chutes and Ladders was in our comfort zone, don't hesitate to find another adventure if it is not within yours.

Pack List

  • Climbing shoes
  • Bathing suit
  • GoPro
  • Water
  • First Aid supplies
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RT Distance 1 Miles
Elevation Gain 60 Feet
Activities Swimming, Hiking, Rock Climbing
Skill Level Expert
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Swimming Hole


Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Don't Go With North Swell

We went when it was a north swell and the pools are un-usable due to massive waves pounding into both pools. It was still fun but nothing but pictures when we go to the pool. When your hiking on the trail go as far left as you can when you start to see a few trails near the cliffs. There's a few ropes at the top of the cliff which is where you start your descent. We went up and down without shoes no problem. Would have been so awesome without the big waves but still fun.

Challenging but worth it

Definitely go in runners and climb down the wall in bare feet! This is not for a novis climber. Experienced rock climbers is definetly suggested. And forsure not for someone afraid of heights. The trailhead is actually 37.5 and up the road about 30 steps. Right where the burnt car is.

Difficult to find

We had a hard time finding this. It took us multiple stops and hiked until we finally found the real stop. It is fun. The climb down was pretty easy but the trail is really fun. The tide pools are also fun and the waves can get big in this area.

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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