10 Best Waterfall Hikes In Maui, Hawaii

waterfall hikes in maui
| 4 min read

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.

Planning a trip here soon? Check out the beachfront hotels and monthly rentals for your accommodation needs.

Travel Advisory

Trip101 recommends assessing the risks before hitting the hiking and trekking trails. Please be especially aware of the difficulty levels, the locations’ ground conditions, as well as the seasonal risks.

1. Twin Falls

Hidden Treasure
Source: Photo by Flickr user Thomas used under CC BY-SA 2.0

One of the non-touristy things to do in Maui is taking a trip down to the Twin Falls. Maui’s most known, most visited, and most accessible waterfall 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 which 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.

Twin Falls

Address: 6300 Hana Hwy, Haiku, HI 9670

Waterfall height: 10 - 30 feet (3-9 meters)

Access: Park at “Twin Falls Fruit Stand” just past mile marker 2 on Hana Highway, carry bathing suits.

Difficulty of hike: 1 mile (1.6 km), Easy

Time taken: 10 - 15 minutes one way

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2. Waimoku Falls

East Maui
Source: Photo by Flickr user Andrew K. Smith used under CC BY 2.0

Skip the luxurious dinner cruises just this time and explore the waters of the 400-foot-high (122 meters) Waimoku Falls instead. Considered 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!

Waimoku Falls

Address: Hana Highway, HI 96713

Waterfall height: 400 feet (122 meters)

Access: Pipiwai Trail, opposite the parking at Kipahulu Visitor Center, wear good shoes

Difficulty of hike: 2 miles (3.2 km), Moderate

Time taken: One hour one-way (minimum)

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3. Wailua Falls

Wailua Falls
Source: Photo by Flickr user Jim Bahn used under CC BY 2.0

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.

Wailua Falls

Address: Hana Highway, Hana, HI 96713

Waterfall height: 80 feet (24 metres)

Access: Hana Highway just past mile marker 45

Difficulty of hike: 60 feet (18 metres), Moderate due to steep incline and slippery, muddy rocks

Time taken: 10 - 15 minutes one way

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4. Puohokamoa Falls

Lower Puohokamoa Falls
Source: Photo by Flickr user Will Scullin used under CC BY 2.0

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.

Puohokamoa Falls

Address: Hana Highway, HI 96708

Waterfall height: 200 feet (61 metres)

Difficulty of hike: 0. 25 miles (0.4 km) to the lookout point, Easy

Time taken: Five minutes one way

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5. Makamaka’ole Falls

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

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 Waihe‘e Ridge Trail to see this beauty up close. Stop at the mile marker 1 along the trail for the best view.

Makamaka’ole Falls

Address: Hana Highway, HI 96708

Waterfall height: 270 feet (82 meters)

Access: One mile hiking up the Waihe‘e Ridge Trail or Kahekili Highway just past mile marker 8

Difficulty of hike: 2.5 miles (4 km), 1,500 feet (457 meters) ascent, Moderate-Difficult

Time taken: One hour one way

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6. Hanawi Falls

Hanawi Falls
Source: Photo by Flickr user Kirt Edblom used under CC BY-SA 2.0

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 arising from the cascades, making for million-dollar photo ops.

Hanawi Falls

Address: Hana Highway, HI 96708

Waterfall height: 200 feet (61 metres)

Access: 30-foot path (9 metres) going down to the pools from the road

Difficulty of hike: Moderate

Time taken: 10 - 15 minutes one way

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7. Makahiku Falls

Makahiku Falls
Source: Photo by Flickr user Brian Uhreen used under CC BY 2.0

Makahiku 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.

Makahiku Falls

Address: Hana Highway, HI 96708

Waterfall height: 185 feet

Access: Trailhead is opposite the ‘Ohe'o Gulch National Park Visitor Center, just past mile marker 42 on the Highway 31 south from Hana

Difficulty of hike: 0.5 miles (0.8 km) from the trailhead, 650 feet (198 meters) elevation, Moderate

Time taken: 10 - 15 minutes one way

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8. Honokohau Falls

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

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.

Honokohau Falls

Address: Hana Highway, HI 96708

Waterfall height: 1,119 feet (341 metres)

Access: West Maui/Moloka‘i chopper tour to view Honokohau Falls and the dramatic sea cliffs of Moloka‘i.

Time taken: 45 minutes total

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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.

Makapipi Falls

Address: Hana Highway, HI 96708

Waterfall height: 40+ feet (12+ metres)

Access: Pullout just past mile marker 25 on Hana Highway

Difficulty of hike: Walk across Makapipi Stream bridge, Easy

Time taken: Five minutes one way

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World of waterfalls - Maui

At every turn you take, Maui will surprise you with gorgeous, gushing cascades, each one different from the other, nestled in a world of lush, green Hawaiian foliage. Head to Maui and don’t miss seeing any of these water wonders!

Consider staying in one of the hotels with kitchen or hotels with infinity pool for a pleasant accommodation that would welcome you after a thrilling waterfall hike.

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Malavika, a freelance writer and coffee enthusiast, is well-versed in Kopfkino. Her interests include engaging discussions on New Zealand, the domino theory, dystopian fiction, and Harry Potter.

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