The waterfalls in Maui are straight out of picture-perfect postcards – blinding white streams of water cascading down dark grey rocks to plunge into the depths of brilliant blue pools of water, surrounded by verdant, lush tropical forests. Almost the entirety of Maui is dotted by waterfalls, which range from spectacular by-the-roadside ones to cascades deep in the heart of the rainforest jungles, making reaching them adventurous and daunting in equal measure. If you’re a water baby, Maui’s waterfalls are sure to soothe your soul. Get out your hiking boots and raingear and get your cameras clicking as you set out on these best waterfall hikes in Maui, Hawaii.
1. Twin Falls
Maui’s most known, most visited, and most accessible waterfall, Twin Falls, lies along the Road to Hana. The stunning falls are nestled amidst a gorgeous jungle setting and it’s surrounded by swimmable pools, with the larger of them (including the picturesque ‘Caveman’) are about a mile’s (1.6 km) hike from the main road. In actuality, there are more than just two waterfalls that lie along different trails and which are less crowded as well. The roadside parking is typically full. Do buy some nice Hawaiian fruits from the roadside stand to support the rural community.
2. Waimoku Falls
The 400-foot-high (122 meters) Waimoku Falls are the granddaddy of Maui’s waterfalls – the sheer height, drama, and flow of the falls is enough to make you stop in your very tracks. Located at the very end of the Pipiwai Trail, the setting of Waimoku Falls is simply breathtaking, and all about bamboo forests, banyan trees, challenging paths, and jaw-droppingly blue pools of water. In this case, it’s as much about the journey as it is about the destination!
3. Wailua Falls
The unmissable Wailua Falls is located a few miles past the town of Hana on the Hana Highway itself. The 80-foot-tall (24 meters) cascade can be viewed from a lookout point, where they flow under a one-lane bridge. Leave the vehicle in the ocean-side-of-the-road car parking and walk to the bridge to snap pictures of this epic water wonder.
4. Puohokamoa Falls
The towering, 200-foot-miracle (61 meters) of the Lower Puohokamoa Falls are, incredibly, often missed by travelers bound for Hana. A five-minute hike from the main road gets you to a stunning lookout point, wherefrom you can see the cascade from a distance. Even at that distance, Lower Puohokamoa is a sight to behold. The actual hike is on a narrow, slippery trail on private land and it is only meant for experts, who can take the treacherous hike to the pool at the base, offering spectacular views.
5. Makamaka’ole Falls
The gorgeously lush West Maui has few waterfalls which can be accessed by land, and Makamaka‘ole is one spectacular one. This gushing marvel is actually two waterfalls – the bigger, 270-foot fall (82 meters) is set against the lush, verdant backdrop of the jungle, while the lower, 60-foot-high one can be seen from the highway itself. Hike the stunning Waiheke Ridge Trail to see this beauty up close. Stop at mile marker 1 along the trail for the best view.
6. Hanawi Falls
Hanawi Falls is one of the Hana region’s most spectacular and cherished spots. Sustained by the spring-fed Hanawi stream, both the Upper and Lower falls cascade throughout the year – a stunning aquatic splendor that is one of the most photographed spots on the island of Maui. The lush green of the Hawaiian forests surrounding the cascades glisten in the mist rising from the cascades, making for million-dollar photo ops.
7. Makahiku Falls
Masahiko Falls is also located along the Pipiwai Trail and lies before Waimoku Falls. Even at 185 feet (56 meters), which is half of what Waimoku is, Makahiku is majestic and the hike to it is amidst a lovely bamboo forest. The best time to view the falls is before noon so that crowds can be avoided.
8. Honokohau Falls
Watch the waterfalls of the Jurassic Park movies come alive right in front of your eyes in the form of Maui’s tallest, most exclusive, most majestic, and most terrifying waterfalls – the 1,100-foot (341 meters) jaw-dropping Honokohau Falls. Not only is the waterfall the tallest in Maui but it also happens to be two-tiered, plunging into the depths of its base pools with great force. These falls are so exclusive that the only way to access them is via a helicopter/chopper as the waterfall lies deep in an inaccessible region of the West Maui Valley.
9. Makapipi Falls
Unlike most of Maui’s waterfalls, Makapipi can be viewed from the above, making it a unique Hawaiian waterfall and offering waterfall lovers a bird’s eye view of the pools as well. The falls are located along the Hana Highway, where you’ll need to cross the Makapipi Stream, which flows within the lava streambed into a pristine azure pool.