Take the 4 mile round-trip hike through lush tropical natural rainforest and dense bamboo forests to reach the spectacular destination of Waimoku Falls. If you have braved The Road to Hana, carve out enough time to make this hike. It will be well worth your efforts.
The Pipiwai Trail is 12 miles south of Hana on 360 at the Kīpahulu District of Haleakalā National Park. This area of the coast is undeveloped and has been inhabited by the native people of Hawaii for hundreds of years and remains an integral part of a thriving culture. The hike to the falls takes you 2 miles into the dark bamboo forest and wet marshland over several wooden boardwalks with an incline of 650 feet. Depending on how much you want to "become one with nature," you can take from 2/12 to 5 hours to make this trek.
The 180ft drop of Makahiku Falls is an appetizer for the postcard-perfect Waimoku Falls to come and can be observed from the trail overlook, or if you're feeling adventurous you could explore it up close. Note: Due to steep drops and potential flash flooding risks, people have lost their lives by being over confident and taking too many risks on this trail.
Although Waimoku Falls is your final destination, many will be tempted to stop here as it is a mile into the trail. You are here in Hawaii, don't get this close to magnificence and not go all the way.
As you emerge the bamboo forest, Waimoku Falls is a 400 foot towering monster that will take your breath away just from its sheer size. You are free to get as close to the falls as you are comfortable with. However, use caution here, since the constant rush of water can produce an occasional rock or branch that comes plummeting down to the pools below.
You have a few options in the park to cool off by taking a dip in the fresh water pools. Ohea offers spectacular scenery s you listen to the Pacific Ocean pound the rocks nearby. The pools are just a short hike from the visitor center toward the ocean.
• You will need an early start if you want to beat the tour buses on The Road to Hana.
• Flash flooding is always a possibility on the hiking trail. Know the weather forecast and do not attempt the hike under threat of rain.
• Be sure to wear appropriate footwear with good grip since the terrain can get a little slippery & muddy.
• You will need lots of sunscreen, bug repellent, rain gear and food and water. The weather is always hot and humid here.
NOTE: The entrance fee to use this park is valid for several days. You can use the same pass to explore the Haleakala Crater.
If you plan to take the Pīpīwai Trail Guided Ranger Hike, it is now on a reservation basis offered on Sundays at 10:00 am. Hikes cannot be booked until 9:00 am, one week prior to the hike. To reserve, please call 808-248-7375. Click for more details.
Key Info: (for trailhead @ HNP Kipahulu.)
Mile Marker: #42 (Hana Hwy aka Hwy 31 – *After Hana markers go back down)
GPS Coordinates: 20.661458,-156.045299
Facilities: National Park Rangers, Information Facility, Camping (no permit req’d), grills, picnic tables and toilets. (No potable water.)
Fee: $15 for private vehicles – NPS Info: http://www.nps.gov/hale/planyourvisit/kipahulu.htm
“There is a waterfall in every dream. Cool and crystal clear, it falls gently on the sleeper, cleansing the mind and soothing the soul.”
― Virginia Alison