The Complete Guide to Maui Waterfalls and Why You Must See Them

by Barbara Jackson
waterfall maui

If you are heading to Hawaii, the Maui waterfalls are a must-go. Imagine this: the ethereal vibes and scenes that seem ripped from a dream. The Maui waterfalls are a surefire win. Picture yourself at the base of a cascading wonder, surrounded by lush greenery, soaking in the soothing melody of water meeting a crystal-clear pool. You are only witnessing a masterpiece by nature on the Valley Isle and not a fantasy.

With its impressive array of waterfalls, pristine beaches, deep blue ocean, volcanic rocks, and crystal-clear waters, Maui has solidified its place as the ultimate playground for thrill-seekers and nature buffs. Plus, you get a variety of fanciful vacation rentals to give you a dream-like experience. I mean, where else can you cool off with a rejuvenating swim in such a downright magical setting?

Follow us as we walk you through some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Maui. From trekking through lush bamboo forests to catching mesmerizing views from a helicopter, brace yourself for impact, and don’t forget your camera. These Maui waterfalls are a visual treat you won’t want to miss. Let’s make this journey unforgettable.waterfalls in maui

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Waterfall Safety

When exploring waterfalls in Maui, it’s common to get carried away in the excitement, but prioritizing safety is essential to have a good vacation time. Here are some tips worth having in mind:

  • Ensure safe parking; if unavailable, move on to avoid traffic jams
  • Pay attention to warning signs
  • Stay on the marked trails and be prepared for slippery conditions
  • Be careful around streams and waterfalls; they may not be safe for drinking or swimming
  • Know that rainy weather upstream can lead to dangerous flash flooding downstream

Best Waterfalls on Maui, Hawaii

Most of Maui’s waterfalls take the stage near the Road to Hana on the island’s east side. While most cascades are on the eastern front, you’ll find some gems tucked away in West Maui, too. Tackling the task of witnessing each one in this location is no small feat, even for the most ambitious traveler. But with some planning, the dream of experiencing every waterfall on the island could become a reality. Ready for the ultimate adventure? Here are some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Maui you must see.

Twin Falls

Your first stop on the epic Road to Hana is Twin Falls. It’s a bustling beauty and just a hop away from Paia Town. Park up and cross Wailele Farm, where a Hawaiian fruit stand marks the kickoff point for a sweet one-mile hike leading to this jaw-dropping cascade. Twin Falls plunges into a peaceful pool — a perfect spot for a refreshing dip and some exploration behind the falls, unveiling spectacular views.

Sourced from the Ko’olau Rainforest in the Ho’olawa Valley, Twin Falls is open for business year-round. For the full show, hit it up after a good rain shower. If you feel adventurous, get a spot and jump from the cliff into the pool below. Afterward, you can swing by the food stand for a quick snack.waterfall in maui

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Makahiku Falls

A majestic 200-foot wonder tucked away in Haleakala National Park, Makahiku Falls is a breathtaking natural masterpiece. It’s got the cool title of a horsetail waterfall, hugging the bedrock practically the entire way down. The water starts its descent as a slender stream, gradually widening towards the base, giving off that graceful appearance akin to a horse’s tail. Makahiku Falls lies on the same trail as Waimoku Falls — the Pipiwai Trail.

Allele Falls

Allele Waterfall is best seen during the rainy season. It’s 80 feet tall and not as popular as the rest on this list, so you’ll probably be there all by yourself as you take a refreshing dip in the waterfall’s pool.

Punalau Falls

While in Maui, don’t forget to check out Punalau Falls situated in northeastern Maui! Tucked away from the crowds due to its remote location, this 100-foot beauty is often missed on the Road to Hana.

Embark on one of Maui’s best waterfall hikes to witness this gorgeous cascade. Exercise caution as volcanic boulders and partially submerged rocks dot the trail. Pack your essentials — hiking boots, sticks, and rubber gloves — to navigate the terrain.

Pro Tip: Skip the visit if it’s recently rained or rain is forecasted to avoid flash floods and falling rocks. The challenging hike rewards you with breathtaking views.hawaii maui waterfalls

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Honokohau Falls

If you have the heart for a little adventure, hop on a helicopter and tour the Honokohau Fall, Maui’s tallest waterfall, sitting at 1,119 feet tall. Nuzzled in an inaccessible valley, this stunning cascade creates a scene straight from the clouds, disappearing amid picturesque green mountains.

Featured in “Jurassic Park,” Honokohau Falls symbolizes pure perfection in a sci-fi setting. Helicopter tours provide a bird’s eye view, offering you and your family one of the most magnificent sights in West Maui.

Waikani Falls

Put this enchanting beauty of Hana on your Maui bucket list! Also known as Three Bears, this trio of parallel waterfalls, plunging 70 feet into the Wailua Nui Stream, is a must-see just off the Road to Hana.

Parking is a bit tight, so most opt for car views, but adventurous souls can take an easy hike for stunning close-ups. The initial part is a bit challenging, but it gets easier. Want beauty with relaxation? Take a dip in the gorgeous pool below, unwind, and soak in the surrounding beauty.

Makamaka’ole Falls

If you love the idea of going on a waterfall hike with numerous stream crossings, then Makamaka’ole Falls is your go-to adventure on Maui! This rooty trail crosses the Makamaka’ole Stream 13 times, leading to a fork with waterfalls and swimming holes. Picture a thick green jungle, tall grasses, and a bamboo forest creating a magical, otherworldly vibe.

For a calorie-burning adventure with a distant view, try the five-mile Waihe’e Ridge Trail, ascending 1,500 feet. Less traveled than Hana Road waterfalls, Makamaka’ole Falls is a gem worth scouting.maui waterfalls

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Makapipi Falls

Makapipi Falls is easily accessible on the Road to Hana. What sets this Maui waterfall apart is the private vantage point amidst lush vegetation. Fed by Makapipi Stream, which you cross on the highway, there’s a bridge offering a bird’s eye view and a small pull-off area. For up-close magic, take a short, steep hike along the water’s edge. The falls shine brightest after heavy rainfall, showcasing their powerful flow.

Kopiliula Falls

You can easily spot this awe-inspiring waterfall from the Hana Highway. It takes a quick, two-mile moderate-rated trail to reach this natural gem. Located just off the highway, these stunning falls are impossible to overlook.

The trail’s steep and muddy, so grab your hiking shoes and comfy gear. Don’t forget your camera — the trail rewards you with stunning Pacific views.

Final Thoughts

Hawaii adventurers, Maui’s waterfall paradise awaits, but remember to always keep your head above water so you don’t catch leptospirosis, a common tropical bacterial infection. Leptospirosis aside, whether you tackle all our recommended waterfalls or just a few, we’re sure you’ll fall in love with these wonders and be itching to return soon.

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