At just over 720 square miles, Maui is the second largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago and one of the best things to do while visiting this island paradise is to visit the famed and picturesque Maui waterfalls.
Filled with lush jungles, massive sea cliffs, an active volcano, and innumerable waterfalls of every size and variety, Maui is the place to visit if you want to experience the natural wonders of this exotic American state.
In addition to the breathtaking sights, the waterfalls of Maui are one of the biggest tourist attractions of this Hawaiian island, and for good reason!
While visiting them all would be a difficult feat, planning ahead can grant you the opportunity to see at least these most popular Maui waterfalls to visit while in Hawaii.
Maui Waterfalls NOT To Miss
Towering nearly 1,120 feet high, this waterfall is one of the only Maui waterfalls on the list that is not accessible by car or foot, but for its sheer size and magnificence, earns a top spot on the list!
Reportedly one of the tallest waterfalls on Maui, the only way to catch a glimpse of this breathtaking spectacle of the islands of Hawaii is via helicopter tour.
If you plan right, you can get a combination tour that will take you all around the protected jungle habitat of the Haleakala National Park as well as the Moloka’i sea cliffs in addition to stunning views of this mammoth two-tiered waterfall.
Located on the western side of the island, it is one of the few waterfalls to see in this region, but for its magnitude stands as one of the best Maui waterfalls to visit when spending time in Hawaii.
One of the most frequently visited spots along the Road to Hana is the Twin Falls, but even this tourist hot spot has a few secrets up its sleeve!
Most tourists and travelers stop at the parking lot and visit the fruit stand that is located there and a few venture along the footpath to the first waterfall located just off the path, but for those with a little patience and adventurer’s spirit, Twin Falls is actually only the first of many waterfalls and swimming holes in this location!
Because this area is actually a cluster of waterfalls and not just one single one, it is one of the best Maui waterfalls to visit if you want to do some easy exploring and perhaps find a private pool and waterfall to enjoy without the hustle and bustle of other travelers and tourists.
Another waterfall located on the western portion of the island, this waterfall holds a top spot because it is the only falls on that side of the island that can be reached by land.
Whether you choose to visit the top portion of the waterfall by hiking through the lush jungle paradise on the Waihe’e Ridge Trail or settle for a visit to the lower portion located just off the Kahekili Highway, the Makamaka’ole Falls is nearly 300 feet of rushing water flowing through dense, vibrant jungle and well worth the effort it takes to get there.
If you are located on the western side of the island but still want to take advantage of the opportunity to see some of the best Maui waterfalls, a visit to this location will be the perfect compromise.
Also known as the Seven Sacred Pools, this stunning spectacle is comprised of seven tiered waterfalls, each emptying into a swimming hole in a terrace formation on the edge of Haleakala National Park. You can watch the water cascading down each tier before finally emptying into the ocean below.
While the swimming holes are accessible by foot, they are often closed during inclement weather and the rainy season by the National Park Service for safety reasons, since the water can often flow quite rapidly and deeply over the rocks of the tiers.
Regardless of whether or not you can take advantage of the swimming, this series of tiered waterfalls is such a breathtaking sight that you won’t regret making the effort to get there!
As one of the most popular of the Maui waterfalls, it is advised to arrive early to avoid the crowds of tourists and visitors.
Located upstream from the Seven Sacred Pools is Waimoku Falls, another one of the stunning Maui waterfalls that tourists venture to in droves. Often dubbed the granddaddy of the waterfalls, this cascade towers at over 400 feet and marks the end of the famed Pipiwai Trail through the National Park.
The hike is roughly two miles long and brings you to this breathtaking vision of natural beauty. Regardless of the season, the waterfall is stunning and powerful due to the sheer height from which the water falls, but it is particularly intense during the rainy season as a higher volume of water splashes over the cliff face.
Once you reach the waterfall, you can stay as long as you like and it is often suggested by many travelers to linger for a time to allow passing hikers to return down the path so you can immerse yourself in the unspoiled natural beauty and magnificent waterfall without the distraction of other hikers and tourists.
Upstream from the stunning rush of Waimoku Falls is the smaller but no less impressive Makahiku Falls. Located just half a mile from the trailhead of the Pipiwai Trail, the thing that makes this waterfall so special is the fact that you can see it from above on an overlook located just off the trail.
From afar, this 200 foot high waterfall appears particularly breathtaking set against the thick, lush background of the jungle of Haleakala National Park.
This variety of waterfall is known as a horsetail waterfall. Rather than falling outward from the top, the water cascades directly down the cliff face, resulting in a spray effect that starts narrow at the top and becomes wider at the bottom, resembling a horse’s tail.
Upper Waikani Falls
Most of the waterfalls on the eastern portion of the island of Maui are located along the Hanu Highway, also known as the Road to Hana.
The Upper Waikani Falls are one of these cascades and often top the list of popular Maui waterfalls to visit while in Hawaii. Comprised of three side by side waterfalls often referred to as the Three Bears, these beautiful waterfalls all cascade into the same large swimming hole and the access trail to them is located right off a parking lot along the highway.
The beginning stretch of the descent is occasionally wet and slippery, but once you get closer to the bottom, the trail becomes much easier and the swimming hole at the base of the three waterfalls is a pleasant and easy place to take a relaxing dip among the lush jungle foliage of the surrounding forests.
Lower Puohokamoa Falls
This is another hidden gem among the Maui waterfalls do to it’s easy to miss trail. There is only one trail marker located on an innocuous telephone pole that is very easy to miss when traveling along the Hana Highway.
Those in the know can look for the marker around milepost 10 and the trek down the narrow and sometimes slippery walkway is well worth it. At the end of the trail, you will find yourself gazing up at the 200 feet tall Lower Puohokamoa Falls.
The added benefit is that this secret gem is often empty of travelers who don’t know the secret to finding it, making it a perfect spot to truly soak in the pristine water and admire the lush vegetation of the jungle around you!
Four Falls of Na’ili’ili Haele
Located on private property owned by the East Maui Irrigation Company, this collection of waterfalls is sometimes closed to public use but if you check the website of the company and find it to be open, it is well worth the visit.
The waterfalls are a special treat on the list of Maui waterfalls in part due to the lands that surround them. Access is made possible through a ten minute hike through towering bamboo forests that open up to stunning views of the four individual falls spilling into a large swimming hole.
They tend to run stronger after the rain, but even during the drier seasons, these seemingly private falls are still a sight to behold.
This would be a great stop if you only have one day in Maui.
Maui waterfalls are numerous in number and high in appeal for so many reasons in addition to their plentiful locations and great hiking.
Whether you are seeking a private jungle paradise or the breathtaking magnificence of larger than life cascades, the multiple waterfalls found all around the island of Maui come in all shapes and sizes to fit the ideal of any traveler or tourist.
When in Hawaii, be sure to visit this lush island paradise to chase some waterfalls for yourself and consult this article detailing the best Maui waterfalls so you can find exactly what you are looking for!
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