Most of the accessible waterfalls on Maui are on the road to Hana. This is Puohokamoa Falls. It is located near mile marker 12 on the Hana Highway ... usually there are many cars stopped here. It is just a 2 minute walk to the falls. It is a great place to swim, and a trail to the left hand side of the pool leads to a rocky ledge. Brave souls like this guy draw applause from the crowd when they jump. You can continue up this trail, above the falls, and on to a more private pool with an equally beautiful waterfall.
This picturesque spot is right along the road, a few miles after passing the Keanae Penninsula. There is a rough trail that leads to the falls ... it begins on the far side of the bridge. In season, there are stunning torch ginger blooms here.
It is hard to believe, but this is the very same waterfall after several days of heavy rain. If it is raining while you are driving to Hana, don't be surprised. This IS a rain forest. And the more rain, the more waterfalls there are to photograph.
Delicate waterfalls and pristine pools are found along Hanawi stream. This is what Maui is all about!
My favorite place in all of Hawaii! This is the beautiful Blue Pool ... it is impossible to capture the entire scene in one photo. To the left is a rock wall with a wide lacy waterfall framed on both sides by wildflowers. To the right is the crashing of the surf. And in the middle is a natural pool perfect for swimming. Unfortunately access to this site is often blocked by locals who have "had it" with the number of tourists who began visiting this place following the publication of its location in a popular guidebook. The road leading to the area is private property owned by the local landowners. While some landowners seem to grant permission to use the road by collecting a parking fee, others say they prohibit you from going there. If you don't want coconuts thrown at you (yes, it's really happened) we suggest you stay away as you are clearly not welcome.
A small but beautiful waterfall in the Hana area.
Beyond Hana, Wailua Falls is majestic and accessible. Everyone stops here for a photo, and local artisans are usually found here selling their wares. This picture is taken from the bridge ... watch out for traffic while you are looking through your viewfinder.
Seven Sacred Pools
Oheo Gulch in Kipahulu is within the boundary of Haleakala National Park. This area has long been known as the "Seven Sacred Pools" but this name was invented to promote tourism. This is not a sacred Hawaiian site, and there are a lot more than seven natural pools! It is a great place to swim and jump from rocky overhangs, but don't expect privacy.
This photo shows beautiful Waimoku Falls, which is upstream from the Kipahulu ranger station. This is the one and only really tall waterfall on Maui that you can reach on a well-maintained trail ... it begins from the crowded parking lot at the so-called "Seven Sacred Pools." The hike to Waimoku Falls climbs about 600 vertical feet and takes about an hour one-way. The trail passes through a mystical bamboo forest ... when the wind blows the trees are transformed into giant bamboo chimes. While it is impressive to stand at the bottom and look up, the best perspective is from a helicopter.
Alelele stream is easy to find, and there is a trail of about a 10 minute walk to get to this falls. Look for the bridge that says "Alelele" on the side just a few miles beyond the Kipahulu area. This is one of my favorite waterfalls. It is beautiful, and hardly anybody knows it is here. Technically, it is also inside of Haleakala National Park, but most people spend their time at the overcrowded Oheo Gulch area
These next two waterfalls are in the West Maui Mountains. The first one is between Wailuku and Kahakuloa. From the place where this stream intersect the road, you can hike either direction. A 40 minute hike upstream takes you to a place known as "three ropes" because you can climb from one waterfall to another. The hiking is a little rougher going downstream, leading to this ledge. If you are brave, there is a rope dropping over the 60 foot overhang. Thus far I haven't been brave enough to try it. This waterfall sometimes flows "backwards" ... strong winds blowing off the ocean head up the valley and water goes over the edge, only to be blown backwards by the wind.
Notice that I saved the best for last. This is the most amazing waterfall on the island of Maui, and the only way to see it is by helicopter. This falls is not on the Hana side of the island ... it is buried deep within the West Maui Mountains. Your best chance of seeing double-tiered Honokohau Falls is by taking the 30 minute West Maui flight, or the 65 minute West Maui / Molokai flight (which is the same price as the 65 minute complete island of Maui tour). In my humble opinion, West Maui is the part of the island you MUST see by helicopter ... if you plan to do the Hana/Haleakala flight, upgrade to the longer complete island tour and see it all!