Hiking in Hawaii is a breathtaking experience. The islands have hundreds of miles of trails, many of which reward you with a hidden beach, a private waterfall, an Eden-like valley, or simply an unforgettable view. However, rock climbers are out of luck: Most of Hawaii's volcanic cliffs are too steep and brittle to scale.

Hawaiian Trail and Mountain Club, P.O. Box 2238, Honolulu, HI 96804, offers an information packet on hiking and camping in Hawaii; to receive a copy, send $2 and a legal-size, self-addressed, stamped envelope. Hawaii Geographic Maps and Books, 49 S. Hotel St., Honolulu, HI 96813 (tel. 800/538-3950 or 808/538-3952), offers the Hiking/Camping Information Packet for $7. Also note that the Hawaii State Department of Forestry and Wildlife, 1151 Punchbowl St., No. 325, Honolulu, HI 96813 (http://hawaii.gov/dlnr/dofaw; tel. 808/587-0166) will send you free topographic trail maps for the island of Oahu. For trail maps of all of the islands, go to www.hawaiitrails.org.

The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii, 923 Nu'uanu Ave., Honolulu, HI 96817 (www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions; tel. 808/537-4508 on Oahu, 808/572-7849 on Maui, 808/553-5236 on Molokai, 808/246-0543 on Kauai, or 808/939-7171 on the Big Island) and the Hawaii Chapter of the Sierra Club, P.O. Box 2577, Honolulu, HI 96803 (www.sierraclubhawaii.com; tel. 808/538-6616 on Oahu) both offer guided hikes in preserves and special areas during.

A couple of terrific books on hiking are The Hiker's Guide to the Hawaiian Islands and The Hiker's Guide to Oahu, both by Stuart M. Ball, Jr. (both from University of Hawaii Press).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.