horseback riding in Maui Hawaii

Where to Go Horseback Riding in Maui

Among the beautiful cities of Hawaii, Maui takes it home. From the tropical forests to the cool beaches, Maui offers the most adventurous experience. Now imagine horseback riding while adventuring in this wonderland!

Besides the many ranch farms, Maui has been home to cowboys, ropers, and ranchers since the 17th century. The place itself became a ranching industry, as horse saddling spread fast in the area.

Ranching became the most regarded economic activity not until the economy declined. However, there developed ranches that offer horseback rides to save the legacy. 

Here, you will find a list of the best and popular ranches to go horseback riding in Maui, but let’s have a taste of the Maui horseback tours.

Horseback Riding Tours in Maui

Maui is an equestrian paradise, with a variety of activities for everyone. If you just landed in Maui for some equine fun, here is what you are in for:

The Ocean and Waterfall Tours

Experience the Maui Mountains and waterfalls on Maui horseback tours. You will also view the Pacific Ocean at a distance in suitable weather.

The Cowboy Experience

Get a chance to experience the life of a cowboy for a day. This tour is available in most Maui ranches, where you will also work with them as a cowboy.

You will ride through the forest as you get to view the breathtaking mountain and ocean sceneries.

There are cowboy activities to engage in, including cattle sorting and rounding them up. After the tasks, there is a picnic lunch set in the cowboy tradition.

Ranch Picnics

What’s more beautiful than having a picnic lunch in such an epic landscape? After the long horseback rides, they will serve you a cowboy lunch under the Banyan and Koa Trees. 

Sunset Rides

Enjoy the spectacular sunset of the Maui islands while riding through the farmlands and the tropical forests. Guides will accompany you as they share with you the ancient history.

Horseback Riding

Since Maui upholds horseback riding as a culture, you will experience the full Hawaiian tradition. You will ride through the pastures of the rain forests and enjoy the countryside’s spectacular views.

So where can you find all these adventures? Here is where to go horseback riding in Maui;

Mendes Ranch

Mendes Ranch is one of the popular ranches in Maui that offer horseback riding services. The trail rides, also known as aloha, begin at the foot of Waihee Ridge. You will view the Pacific Ocean from a distance at the valley but feel the cool ocean breeze from the saddles. 

The friendly and engaging Mendes Ranch guides will take you through the valleys as they take your photos with the ocean as the background. The guides are the best company. They will make your day and ensure every member is comfortable and coping well with the horses.

What You Should Know 

  1. You should make advanced reservations.
  2. Only riders above seven qualify for the horseback rides
  3. Riders should weigh 250 pounds or less
  4. Riding attire is a requirement; closed shoes and long pants will do
  • Address: 3530 Kahekili Hwy, Wailuku, HI 96793, United States
  • Website:
  • Phone: +1 8-8-871-5222

Thompson Ranch

On the foot of Mount Haleakala lies the Thompson Ranch. It’s a coast landscape with ocean views all over the place. You will encounter the historic ranching sites leisurely on horseback. 

There are various equine activities in Thompson Ranch for different skills. Groups are allowed for families, couples, and friends. However, a group should have five to seven individuals. If you are not a public ride fanatic, you can book a private one. 

Thompson Ranch provides meals and snacks at the ranch. There are also mountain cabins if you would love to explore the night. 

There are uneven terrains that may result in uncomfortable rides, especially for those who experience back difficulties. Safety gears like helmets are recommended to avoid any hazardous events.

Maui Mountain Activities

Maui Mountain Activities is all about ATVs, horses, and mules. You will climb the mountains to view the waterfalls of the Pacific Ocean. There are also photograph sessions to capture the rain forest and ocean sceneries. 

The Morning Rides

This morning rides last from 2 – 2.5 hours. The staff will take you to another ranch with ATVs. In addition, refreshments are also provided.

The Afternoon Rides

During the afternoon rides to the coastline, you may ride your horse or the ranch horse. If the weather is fair, the guides may lead you to ride the horses near the ocean, but not too close!


  1. Best mountain and ocean views
  2. Riding along the Pacific Ocean
  3. Rides last for 1.5 to 2.5 hours 
  4. All tours are guided
  5. No prior horse riding experience is needed
  6. Waterfall views
  7. Any riding levels qualify for the tours
  8. Horse owners can ride their horses
  9. Refreshments are provided
  10. Saddlebags and helmets (optional) are available
  11. The minimum age allowed is seven years
  12. Riding attire is recommended
  13. The maximum weight is 230 lbs

Ironwood Ranch

Ironwood Ranch offers e-bike adventures, nature walks, and horseback rides. As for the equine lovers, both novice and pros are welcome. There are pretty terrains and wide countryside sceneries to enjoy. The rides are through the ironwood forests, farmlands, unspoiled mountains, tropical valleys, and the pineapple fields as you get a full view of Maui Island. 

The guides are experienced and will ensure your ride is a memorable adventure. They will not only share the Hawaiian history but will lead you to the ancient sites too. At the same time, the guides and the horses match the energy, and they have great respect and sweetness towards each other.

The horses in Ironwood Ranch are full of energy and disciplined. Before you mount one, the staff there will help you choose a horse that matches your personality and abilities. Furthermore, the staff is keen on the horse’s temperament before leaving the horse under your watch. Since there are many horses in their large stables, there is always a horse for any height, age, size, and experience. 

Horses in Ironwood ranch are named after celebrities. Well, you may end up riding on Beyonce, Taylor Swift, or better still, choose your favorite. 


  1. Horseback riding through the Napili valleys and rolling hills
  2. All Ironwood horseback tours are guided
  3. Reservation is made days before the events
  4. Private rides are available for a maximum of four riders
  5. Riders should be older than nine years
  6. The riders should be less than 185 lbs
  7. There are no exceptions
  8. Morning, afternoon, and sunset rides are available
  • Address: 741 Hui Rd A, Lahaina, HI 96761, United States
  • Website:
  • Phone: +1 808-669-4991

Makena Stables

Horseback rides in Makena Stables have been amazing since they started their operation. Their horses are well raised and trained. You are assigned a horse according to your personality and experience. The riding groups are always at the minimum, not more than six, giving the guides an easy track of each rider’s performance. 

Guides lead you to Ulupalakua Ranch, where you will view the La Perouse Bay and the Ahihi Kinau Natural Area Reserve. Therefore, you will get a chance to see the wildlife from a distance. You will also enjoy the view of the lava flow and the neighboring islands. 

The Makena morning rides will do you well if you are the early morning adventurist. They start at 8:30 a.m. and last for approximately two hours. Though challenging, this ride can accommodate first-time riders. After a thirty-minute snack break, the ride continues to the Kaula O Lapa hills. You will witness the recent eruption that forms a beautiful view of a glowing vent. The Hawaii islands and the lava fields also add to the glamour. 

Makena also offers sunset rides that last for 2.5 to 3 hours, bringing an ultimate experience of the Maui sunset and the cool oceanic breeze. The trails ride through the Ulupalakua slopes, where you will view the sun glowing on the ocean waters and hiding behind the Kaula O Lapa hills. 

Refreshments are provided on all rides. Makena Ranch will arrange that for you if you plan on a private ride. 

  • Address: 8299 Makena Rd, Kihei, HI 96753, United States
  • Website:
  • Phone: +1 808-879-0244

Makani Olu Ranch

Makani Olu Ranch, based in Central Maui Valley, offers opportunities to explore the gems of the Maui Mountains leisurely on horseback. You will ride through the Mauna Kahalawai Valley and enjoy the amazing views of the valley isle and the mountains. 

There are plantation rides where you can pick fruits as you head to the ranch. You will also encounter fields with different cattle types, including the Black Angus. 

The guides are experienced equestrians and knowledgeable. You will learn a lot from them; the ancient history, plantation basics, and more on the field animals. They are also engaging and will gladly answer your questions. 

The horses are disciplined and receive the best care. The tacks, too, are comfortable for both kids and adults.

What You Should Know

Makani Olu Ranch welcomes all riding levels. Newbies get basic skills in horsemanship, horse mounting, dismounting, stopping, and steering a horse. There are horses secluded specifically for first-time riders that are gentle and tolerant. 

There are private, and group rides in Makani Olu Ranch. Group rides can only accommodate six riders per tour, while the private ones have a maximum of two riders. 

Reservations are made days earlier, at least two to three weeks before the tour. However, one may book at the last minute, but chances to get the tickets soon are minimal.

  • Address: 363 W Waiko Rd, Wailuku, HI 96793, United States
  • Website:
  • Phone: +1 808-870-0663

Can You Ride Horses on Maui Beaches?

Maui is an island with beautiful beaches that you may be tempted to ride your horse on them. Unfortunately, Hawaiian rules prohibit horseback riding on the beaches. However, you may ride closer to the oceans, at least 150 feet away, to get that ocean view. 

Hawaii discourages horseback riding on the beaches because all beaches are public. People riding horses directly on the beach will lead to poor beach sanitization since there may be no regular manure cleaning on the public sites.

Final Verdict

Maui is home to the cowboy culture, so there is more to learn and experience in the land. Most ranches have horseback riding services, which is the best way to keep the culture going. We hope you get the best experience from the listed ranches.