Hike the Pipiwai Trail to Waimoku
Hawaii › Pipiwai Trail
Added by Brian Fulda
The hike to Waimoku Falls via the Pipiwai Trail is one of the most rewarding hikes on Maui, and maybe all of Hawaii. This trail features a stunning giant Banyan tree, 200-foot Makahiku Falls, and a lush bamboo forest before reaching the grand finale of Waimoku Falls, which drops over 400 feet
Located in Haleakala National Park on Maui's southeastern coast, this trail is well maintained by the National Park Service and is quite popular with visitors. Like most popular hikes, it is advised you get there early and try to go on a weekday and in the offseason if possible. Entrance to the park is $15 which will get you a three-day pass, so if you plan on visiting Haleakala's summit, this will also cover that. To get to the Pipiwai Trailhead, take the Road to Hana from Kahului past Hana until you reach the parking lot at the Kipahulu Visitor Center. The trailhead is located just to the left of the Visitor Center. The Road to Hana is the northern route you can take to get to the park and is an exciting drive. The southern route, via the Piilani Highway, is a very rough road and is not recommended unless you have a suitable vehicle (SUV or 4WD) and are comfortable with cliff drop-offs and one lane driving.
The hike itself is a sensational experience, especially if you've never hiked through a bamboo forest before. Most of the second half of the hike is through this forest, with bamboo stalks rising 20+ feet above your head, encasing the forest in darkness from the hot Hawaii sun. Adding to the experience is a wooden boardwalk that winds its way through the forest, leading to endless photographic opportunities. You won't want to leave your camera at home for this hike.
Once you reach Waimoku Falls, you may choose to take a dip in the pool below at your own risk, which many hikers choose to do. Do not get too close to the waterfall itself, though, as there have been cases of rocks tumbling down its 400-foot drop. Some people say this hike can be completed in two hours, which is technically true as it's only 3.5 miles round trip. However, you will want to allow at least 4 hours for this hike, especially if you are a first timer, due to all of the beautiful sights along the way. The popular Seven Sacred Pools are nearby and also located partially on the Pipiwai Trail. If you are coming from Kahului or another part of the island and aren't already in the Hana area, allow at least a full day for the drive as well as the hike.
- Closed toed shoes or hiking boots
- Camera (and optional tripod)
- $15 for entrance fee to Haleakala NP
- Bathing suit (optional)
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Chillin, Hiking, Swimming
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A Little Bit Of Everything!
Loved this trail -- ocean views, a bamboo forest, pools, and a waterfall! It does get incredible hot on the exposed parts of the trail so bring plenty of water. Make sure you go a little passed the sign at the end of the trail to get a close up of the waterfall.
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