One of Maui’s grandest attractions is its splendid waterfalls, cascading from mountaintops and hillsides. Created from the consistent bounty of rain, these falls are also surrounded by lush, emerald jungles making them even more profound sights to behold.
You don’t have to hike for strenuous miles to catch a glimpse of many of these natural works of art. The following are some of the more easily accessible waterfalls on The Valley Isle.
The Road to Hana is where you’ll find most of Maui’s waterfalls but you don’t have to make the trek all the way to the eastside town to enjoy this one. Located in Haiku around mile marker 2 on the makai (ocean) side of Wailele Farm in Ho‘olawa Valley, this gem is nestled on private property that only requires an easy five-minute walk. Stay on the designated paths and do not roam near the cave, as rocks are consistently falling from this area. Buy a smoothie or purchase some mangoes at the produce stand to help support this operation which is open seven days a week.
This some 80-foot-tall vision is on the other side of Häna around mile marker 45. This is a hot spot for visitors, and the best time to stop by for a moment of serenity is first thing in the morning. Wailua Falls is one of the most touted falls on Maui and it flows right next to a one-lane bridge. There is a parking area here for convenient access, and arts and crafts vendors will gleefully sell you their goods while you peruse the area.
Upper Waikani Falls
Farther along the Road to Hana at about mile marker 19 is this triple tiered beauty. Commonly known as “Three Bears,” each tier represents the three bears in the Goldilocks fairytale. This waterfall is located just off the highway, and as long as you’re not blocking traffic, you can slow down and catch a brief glimpse. The approximate 70-foot-tall falls is situated in Wailua Valley where an ancient ahupua‘a or land division from mountain to sea exists, and where taro once grew and fish and plant life were abundant. If you choose to park, head about 1/10 of a mile past the falls to the parking lot.
Makamaka‘ole Falls and Honokohau Falls
Only a few waterfalls are located in West Maui, and there is only one that’s relatively easy to access by land. After a moderate one-mile hike along the Waihe‘e Ridge trail that begins just past mile marker 8 on Kahekili Highway, you will see the some 270-foot tall Makamaka‘ole Falls.
Finally, what’s considered the most astounding waterfall on the island is only seen by helicopter. Honokohau Falls descends from a 1,100-foot drop amid steep verdant cliffs. The two-tiered stunner is said to be one of the tallest waterfalls in the world.