Pipiwai Trail and Waimoku Falls

5-star hike.
4 mile out-and-back • Medium difficulty.
Elevation 200 - 1,200 feet. Gain 1,100 feet.
Maui, Hawaii.
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This is our favorite hike on Maui, yet for some people the drive to the trailhead alone is adventure enough. The Hana Highway is sixty miles of scenic but curvy coastal road, reportedly navigating 620 curves and 59 bridges (many of which are single-lane). If you enjoy driving then the road alone is a must-do, but then so is an early morning start to avoid the inevitable traffic.

Beginning at the rugged and remote eastern Maui coastline follow the Pipiwai stream inland and you'll soon be surrounded by dense jungle, heading towards a series of waterfalls each increasingly more impressive than the last. En route you'll cross bridges and streams, and negotiate an unforgettable boardwalk journey through a dense bamboo forest that towers so far above your head that daylight struggles to reach you. And since the Hawaiian islands are some of the wettest places on earth, you're sure to be impressed with the towering 400 foot wall of water at the end of the trail that is Waimoku Falls.

The most adventurous hikers will be tempted to cool off in the pool on the edge Makahiku Falls overlooking a 180 foot drop to the rocks below. We chose instead to visit the Oheo Pools near the trailhead where you can take a freshwater dip among smaller waterfalls and listen to the Pacific Ocean crash against the rocks nearby.

Pipiwai Trail is part of the Haleakala National Park which is also encompasses the Haleakala volcano - visit both areas within a three day period and you pay the park entrance fee only once. This part of the park includes a great interpretive center and traditional hawaiian reconstructions which illustrate how natives here once lived.

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