Updated on January 6, 2021
An interesting fact about the Thompson Ranch is that it looks more or less the same today as it did a century ago. One of the conditions of the sale of the property to the Thompson family was that it remains raw and undeveloped. The horses available are experienced and sufficiently trained to accommodate even the most novice of horse riders, while the terrain is sufficiently rugged and engaging for the more experienced riders. The Thompson Ranch has high caliber horses that are well cared for and work the cattle. The guides are quite passionate and knowledgeable about horse lore and speak enthusiastically about the preservation of native forest species and ranching operations.
The ride starts at the stable at four thousand feet and takes you uphill through the forests and ranch lands. The break at the cabin gives you an opportunity to enjoy stunning views of Haleakala as well as rolling fogs sliding across the hillside. It is a common phenomenon during the ride to be swathed with clouds creating a beautiful and dreamy atmosphere. As you make your way downhill back to the stables, the clouds lift revealing a panoramic view of both the north and south shores of the Island of Maui, as well as the large blue ocean beyond.
To get to Thompson Ranch in Maui, drive up the Haleakala Highway also known as HI-route thirty-seven going through residential areas featuring traffic lights, then going through a rural place referred to as Kula as you go further uphill. As you drive uphill, you will see a green park located to your left known as Rice Park, then go past Kekaulike Highway’s upper junction. Slow down as you approach Polipoli Road located to your left. Polipoli Road begins just before mile marker sixteen. Turn left, take the Polipoli road and proceed uphill towards the end of the road where it splits. Keep left and be on the lookout for signs to Thompson Ranch located to your left. You will soon reach an open gate. Enter and drive up for about a mile until you approach a flat area with a grassy guest’s parking spot on the left and a house located to the right. Park your car in the designated area, and a member of the Thompson family will guide you to the stables where your horseback riding adventure will begin.