Chasing 6 of Maui's Most Famous Waterfalls

Posted by Mapuana Andrade on Wednesday, July 28th, 2021 at 6:45am

When living or visiting Maui, there is always so much to do and so little time. Whether you're looking for a thrilling adventure or a relaxing retreat away from it all, your time here is sure to be one for the books. We could argue that coming to Maui is never complete without witnessing one of the many breathtaking waterfalls on the island. Their reputations precede them as many flock to marvel at the cascading falls, lush surrounding forest, and sparkling pools. 

So when you're packing your next adventure bag, be sure to remember those hiking boots, and Maui will do the rest. 

Road To Hana

The Road to Hana, often known as Hana Highway, is a 64-mile stretch of road that runs along the Valley Isle's northeast coast. The narrow road winds its way through tropical forests, past rushing streams, and beside some of the island's tallest bluffs. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled as you'll pass many hiking paths that lead to running waterfalls, some of which are viewable from the road. Before you embark on your exciting journey, make sure you are packed with essentials such as water, food, sunscreen, towels, and enough gas to get you into Hana. 

Pīpīwai Trail and Waimoku Falls

Pipiwai Route and Waimoku Falls are two trails that run along the same path and are a modest 3.4 mile in and out, perfect for families, inexperienced, and seasoned hikers. The hike is through a tall and massive bamboo grove that leads you deep into the lush forest before arriving at the 400-foot waterfall at the finish. As you're treading through the trail, you'll be able to see many smaller yet just as beautiful waterfalls flanking each side. While the path is an easy walk, expect most of the way to be muddy. It's best to bring good hiking shoes or shoes you don't care about. You can access the Pipiwai Trail and Waimoku Falls from the Kīpahulu Visitor Center. 

Twin Falls Hike

Twin Falls hike, located at the crossroads of mile marker 36 and 360, is the perfect pitstop as you leave Haiku and begin to enter the Road to Hana. When you first arrive, a delicious fresh fruit and smoothie truck are available for quick snacks and refreshing libations. A short journey of a little over a mile through the forest will leave you with magnificent views of colorful local flora and the infamous two waterfalls that mark the journey's end. Bring your swimsuits and take a moment to relax in the refreshing pool below the falls at the end. The trail passes alongside private property, so be sure to stay on the marked path and be respectful to the area. 

'Īao Valley State Park

If you're looking for a beautiful and easily accessible hike or trail to walk with your family, you should check out Iao Valley State Park. This park is a must-see for travelers of all ages and is very accessible, with concrete walkways and steps. The Iao Needle, or Kuka'emoku, is a 1,200-foot tall mountain and one of the park's most prominent views that can be seen from the park's paved trails. The park is a sacred native landmark that holds many Hawaiin histories and should be treated as such. Remember to always stay on the marked trail and leave the park better than when you found it. 

Four Falls of Na'ili'ili Haele

The Four Falls of Na'ili'ili Haele, or Bamboo Forest, is an incredible uphill hike through a dense bamboo grove that passes four equally breathtaking waterfalls. Each waterfall sits above beautiful pools of freshwater - perfect for a dip along the way. After the second waterfall, hikers must scale a rugged ladder to reach the second half of the hike. Many turn around at this point since this trail is geared towards experienced hikers and able bodies. Like most waterfalls on Maui, this trail is prone to flash flooding, and it is best to save this hike for a sunny day with guaranteed clear weather. If you see rain clouds begin to form, exit the trail immediately. The trail runs through the private property owned by East Maui Irrigation Company (EMI), so always check their website and make sure the path is open to visitors at the time of your visit. 

Oheo Gulch

Oheo Gulch or The Seven Sacred Pools is a remarkable sight located in Haleakala National Park in Kipahulu, approx 7 miles past Hana town on Maui's most eastern coast. Oheo encompasses natural swimming pools that are linked by cascading waterfalls. The pools all lead to the ocean giving visitors a unique experience of seeing both the sea and waterfalls at the same time. Today, swimming in the pools has been halted but can still be seen from the park. 

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