The island of Maui has some of the most undeniably beautiful scenery any location has to offer. Commonly known as more relaxed and easygoing, than the congested island of Oahu, it is the perfect trip for an easy getaway.
The Best Maui Waterfalls
One certain attraction Maui has much to offer is the breathtaking waterfalls all along the famous Road to Hana, also known as the Hana Highway. The path is great for a road trip adventure, allowing easy access as well as a relatively low drive time for visitors. In addition, there are many other equally as beautiful waterfalls all across Maui – some equally as accessible, and others remote, hidden, or “secret”.
For a more hidden, secret waterfall experience visit the lesser-known Punalau Falls. While it is still on the Road to Hana, it is unable to be seen from the road, resulting in many travelers passing right by this magnificent waterfall.
The journey to the falls goes right through the lush rainforest, crossing through streams and taking between 10 minutes to half an hour. Depending on the level of skill, some parts of the hike could be seen as difficult when traversing over rocks.
This will all be worth it when you make it to the 135 feet-high Punalau Water Fall at the end of the canyon.
Pua’a Ka’a Falls
Located in the Pua’a Ka’a Hawaii State Wayside Park is the beautiful Pua’a Ka’a Falls. The park is located on the Road to Hana, allowing easy parking for the public all year-round. After a few minutes walk from the parking lot, visitors will be pleased to see that Pua’a Ka’a not only has one waterfall but two! Surrounded by astounding greenery, the first waterfall is incredibly beautiful and very popular with tourists. For the adventure-seekers, the second is a bit higher up and a more challenging hike, but just as amazing.
After hiking, feel free to take a well-deserved dip into the watering hole basin beneath the falls. Along with this, there are nature tours available and excellent bird-watching.
Another fall just off the trail of the Hana Highway would be the hidden Kopiliula Falls. A more steep and muddy trail than others, Kopiliula Falls is situated right next to the Kopililua Stream. To make their way to the larger waterfalls, hikers will need to climb up and over the rocky smaller-sized falls.
It is heavily recommended to wear clothes you are comfortable in and also don’t mind getting a bit wet. Once you reach the very end, you will be greeted with a well-worth complete view of the Pacific.
Probably the easiest waterfall to reach on the Road to Hana would be the infamous Makapipi Falls. You can stand right atop Makapipi, and take in all the natural beauty. This is very unlike many of the other waterfalls on Maui, where visitors must hike only to the basin of the fall.
For an even greater view atop the waterfall, go to Makapipi stream and stand on the bridge which overlooks the entirety of the falls, as well as the blue watering hole directly underneath.
Ohe’o Gulch (Seven Sacred Pools)
The Ohe’o Gluch, otherwise known as the Seven Sacred Pools are within the Kipahulu District of Haleakala National Park. What makes the Seven Sacred Pools so “sacred” are all of the seven swimming holes being linked together by the Ohe’o waterfalls.
It is incredibly unique to see how each swimming hole flows into the next one, ending with the last streaming out into the ocean. Visitors may dip into these freshwater swimming holes, but be aware there is a tendency to have flash floods due to high rain levels.
The tallest waterfall in all of Maui, standing at 1,119 feet tall is the great Honokau Falls. Unfortunately, due to it being located in a valley that is inaccessible by any trail or road a helicopter tour must be taken to see it. It is tucked away deep into the West Maui mountains.
It is a breathtaking waterfall, having both a small and large tier, right on the amazing Haleakala National Park.
Given proper weather conditions, a helicopter ride over Honokau is a great date idea or family-fun experience. A true birds-eye view of the Honokau Falls will allow tourists to grasp the true grandness of the waterfall.
Makamaka’ole Falls (13 Crossings)
One of the best falls to visit that is not located on the Road to Hana, but instead is along Maui’s Western coast would be Makamaka’ole Falls. It can be accessed by driving 5 miles through the land, on the Waihe’e Ridge Trail or it can be seen on the northwestern Kahekli Highway.
The view of the Falls at sunset on the highway is quite amazing. On the other hand, if you are looking for an adventurous hike you can navigate the Makamaka’ole Falls Trail, which is popularly known as the 13 Crossings Trail. It is named this because of the multiple times you must cross the Makamaka’ole Stream to reach the eventual waterfall.
Although it’ i’s not the easiest hike, it will be worth the effort when you make it to the impressive 270 feet high Makamaka’ole Falls, which beautifully drops at several different levels down to the eventual basin.
Wall of Tears
To end our list of the 8 best waterfalls to visit in Maui, we must mention the Wall of Tears. A hidden, largely unknown waterfall within the West Maui Mountains that lies near the summit of the Pu’u Kukui mountain peak.
The Wall of Tears can best be seen by a helicopter ride to truly take in the stunning beauty. About 17 waterfalls flow down into the narrow Waihee Valley, to make up the Wall of Tears.
The waterfall gets the interesting title from the ancient legend that the gods poked their fingers onto the cliffs of the great mountain to express sadness and grief.