10 Best Hikes in Maui with Waterfalls

Best hikes in Maui with waterfalls

Maui is often called the “Valley Isle” due to the abundance of lush valleys, cascading waterfalls, and winding streams found across this gorgeous Hawaiian island. For hikers seeking the most scenic trails showcasing breathtaking waterfalls, Maui is a paradise.

This guide features the 10 best hikes in Maui with waterfalls, offering stunning views, refreshing swims, and unforgettable encounters with majestic waterfalls. From family-friendly treks to challenging routes deep in the rainforest, discover the island’s most magnificent falls.

Table of Contents

Garden of Eden

Garden of Eden Maui

Trail Distance: 1 km roundtrip

Elevation Gain: 53 m

Terrain Rating: Easy to moderate

Hike Time: 21 minutes

Trailhead Location: Off Hana Highway past Wailua. Get Directions

Features: Kid-friendly | Hiking | Walking | Views | Waterfall | Wildflowers | Wildlife | Fee | No dogs

The hiking trail to Garden of Eden features two spectacular waterfalls that emerge from openings in the lush green cliffs to tumble picturesquely into sparkling pools below. Visitors cross back and forth over Puohokamoa Stream on this relatively short but adventurous hike along uneven terrain and through untamed jungle dotted with guava trees and fragrant blooming ginger.

The sound of rushing water leads hikers upstream first to three-tiered Makahiku Falls and then onward to the thin, delicate ribbon of Upper Makahiku Falls cascading 200 feet down the cliffside. Vibrant green ferns, red hibiscus blooms, and yellow ginger flowers flourish in this small piece of unspoiled Hawaiian paradise with no handrails or safety features obstructing the awesome displays of nature’s raw power. Come prepared with sturdy shoes and swimming gear to take a plunge into the heavenly waterfall pools.

Iao Tableland (Iao Valley "Secret" Trail)

Iao Tableland Maui

Trail Distance: 4 km roundtrip

Elevation Gain: 280 m

Terrain Rating: Challenging

Hike Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

Trailhead Location: Unofficial trailhead past Kepaniwai Park. Get directions

Features: Dogs on leash | Hiking | Forest | River | Views | Waterfall | Wildflowers | Wildlife | Rocky

For experienced hikers willing to brave an unofficial yet unbelievable waterfall trek, the steepSecret Trail scaling the valley walls in West Maui’s gorgeous Iao Valley leads to a breathtaking payoff. The strenuous uphill through muddy forest eventually emerges to reveal a landscape filled with scenic vistas of the lush valley that make the quad-burning workout worthwhile.

The Iao Tableland crosses seasonal streams and passes a lovely triple-tiered waterfall on the way to the massive 240-foot Wailuku Waterfall pouring off a high green ridge. Standing atop the misty tableland looking out at perpetual rainbows and the towering falls in their full glory is a memory that will remain etched in the mind forever. Be prepared with proper footwear for slippery, dangerous conditions on this unique waterfall adventure. Feel your spirits soar as high as the falls!

Makamakaole Falls

Makamakaole Falls Maui

Trail Distance: 0.6 km roundtrip

Elevation Gain: 17 m

Terrain Rating: Easy

Hike Time: 12 minutes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Recommended Seasons: Year-round

Trailhead Location: Off Hana Highway near Mile Marker 32; Get directions

Features: Kid friendly | Hiking | Walking | Forest | River | Waterfall | Wildlife

An easy 20-minute walk through ginger-scented jungle leads to the sparkling 120-foot Makamakaole Falls, whose name means “eye-catching view” in Hawaiian. And the sight ofcrystal water cascading down ancient lava rock cliffs draped in emerald ferns and neon-orange flowers is definitely eye-catching, making this roadside waterfall well worth a stop.

The short hike crosses over Makamakaole Stream on your way to a viewpoint of the lovely double waterfall and its perfectly oval-shaped pool. Dip your toes into the cool water or simply sit and meditate to the relaxing sounds of nature on this family-friendly trek ideal for all ages to glimpse one of Maui’s most magical waterfalls. Bring your camera to capture these special memories amid an enchanting tropical paradise!

Makamakaole Stream: 13 Crossings

Makamakaole Stream Maui

Trail Distance: 3.2 km  roundtrip

Elevation Gain: 151 m

Terrain Rating: Moderate

Hike Time: 1.5-2 hours

Dog Friendly: No

Recommended Seasons: Summer, Fall

Trailhead Location: Off Hana Highway past Keanae. Get directions

Features: Hiking | Forest | Views | Waterfall | Wildflowers | Wildlife | Muddy | Rocky | Scramble | No dogs

Adventurous hikers can take on the challenge of rock-hopping across Makamakaole Stream 13 times on this waterfall quest into magical valleys tucked between towering cliffs blanketed in lush jungle foliage. Each crossing of the stream brings refreshing relief for sore feet while treating you to scenic views of mini cascades tumbling down mossy boulders all around.

The uphill trek follows bamboo groves and passes through an old Hawaiian village site along aquamarine pools dotting the tranquil stream. Your reward after all the stream crossings is arriving upon a rocky beach with a picture-perfect view of wide Makahiku Falls sending a soothing cascade of crystal water down from a high green cliff into the sparkling pool below. Feel tension dissolve as you immerse yourself in the meditative wonder of this secluded waterfall haven.

Road to Hana Scenic Drive

Road to Hana Scenic Drive Maui

Trail Distance: 74.7 km

Elevation Gain: 2,796 m

Terrain Rating:  Challenging 

Hike Time: Full day

Dog Friendly: Yes

Recommended Seasons: Year-round

Trailhead Location: Multiple access points in east Maui; Get directions

Features: Dogs on leash | Kid friendly | Scenic driving | Beach | Forest | Paved | Views | Waterfall | Wildflowers | Wildlife | Historic site

No trip to paradise is complete without experiencing the legendary Road to Hana, a gorgeous Hawaiian scenic highway offering drivers nearly non-stop views of majestic waterfalls. The ribbon of pavement winds past rainforested cliffs, weaving through 59 bridges and 600 hairpin turns. From major tourist attractions to hidden gems, waterfalls appear at nearly every corner to make jaws drop in awe.

Be sure to stop early on at Twin Falls to view twin streams trickling down into a large jungle pool. Further along, take some time to swim beneath the Lower Puohokamoa Falls cascading right next to the roadside or venture uphill 20 minutes to discover the hidden Upper Puohokamoa Falls tucked within the foliage. Don’t miss the famous black sand beach at Waianapanapa State Park with a cave trail passing a striking 120-foot bridal veil falls.

With so many waterfall wonders, the Road to Hana deserves an entire leisurely day to immerse yourself in the magic of Maui. Come thirsty for adventure!

Seven Sacred Pools Trail ('Ohe'o Gulch)

Seven Sacred Pools Trail Maui

Trail Distance: 1.0 km Loop

Elevation Gain: 23 m

Terrain Rating: Easy to moderate

Hike Time: 15 minutes

Dog Friendly: No

Recommended Seasons: Year-round

Trailhead Location: ‘Ohe’o Gulch, Haleakala National Park; Get directions

Features: Kid-friendly | Hiking | Walking | Bird watching | Forest | River | Views | Waterfall | Wildflowers | Wildlife | Fee | No dogs

Haleakala National Park shelters the magnificent ‘Ohe’o Gulch, often referred to as the Seven Sacred Pools, with some of Maui’s most famous and popular waterfalls tumbling into terraced pools connected by gentle streams. The gorgeous Pipiwai Trailfollows the ‘Ohe’o Gulch uphill through bamboo forests with scenic overlooks of the waterfalls at every turn.

During the short uphill trek, hikers will first encounter 80-foot Makahiku Falls pouring into a large pool perfect for swimming. Next is the elegant 200-foot Kuloaloa Falls dropping straight off a high cliff through the canopy to a rocky pool below. The awe-inspiring grand finale is four-tiered, 400-foot Waimoku Falls, the tallest waterfall in Maui, sending a thundering cascade of water into a stream-fed pool surrounded by fragrant mango and guava trees. Visitors won’t want to miss a refreshing dip beneath the misty veil after the rewarding hike.

Twin Falls Trail

Twin Falls Trail Maui

Trail Distance: 2.9 km

Elevation Gain: 109 m

Terrain Rating: Easy to moderate

Hike Time: 53 min

Recommended Seasons: Year-round

Trailhead Location: Off Hana Highway past Paia; Get directions

Features: Kid friendly | Hiking | Dog friendly | Forest | Views | Waterfall | Muddy | Rocky

The postcard-perfect Twin Falls are among the most famous waterfalls on Maui thanks to their picturesque jungle setting with dual streams descending into scenic pools perfect for swimming beneath the refreshing cascades. The family-friendly hiking trail to Twin Falls treats visitors to views of water tumbling over lava rock outcroppings all along the trek through vibrant rainforest filled with fragrant guava, mango trees, and colorful tropical flowers.

After crossing a bubbling stream, hikers will arrive at a lower pool with a pretty 20-foot waterfall – keep going uphill to discover the more grand upper falls. Here two separate falls pour from a cliff surrounded by lush ferns into a large round natural pool begging for a swim. Visitors of all ages delight in the magnificent Twin Falls hike rewarding those willing to venture into the jungle with heavenly waterfall pools for an unforgettable experience.

Waimoku Falls via Pipiwai Trail

Waimoku Falls via Pipiwai Trail Maui

Trail Distance: 5.5 km Out & back

Elevation Gain: 310 m

Terrain Rating: Moderate to challenging

Hike Time: 2 h 2 min

Dog Friendly: No

Recommended Seasons: Year-round

Trailhead Location: Kipahulu, Haleakala National Park. Get directions

Features: Hiking | Forest | River | Views | Waterfall | Wildflowers | Wildlife | Rocky | Fee | No dogs

Hardcore hikers longing to discover the tallest waterfall in all of Maui will want to take on the challenging yet extremely rewarding Pipiwai Trail in Haleakala National Park. Following the ‘Oheo Gulch uphill through verdant rainforest filled with every kind of tropical flower and plant imaginable, each mile traversed earns you increasingly grand views of the cascading waterfalls ending with the 400-foot, four-tiered granddaddy falls of them all: Waimoku Falls.

The uphill trek showcases striking falls all along the way, like the thin, ribbon-style Makahiku Falls and the tall Kuloaloa Falls. But pressing onward over uneven, muddy terrain will treat you to the jaw-dropping sight of magnificent Waimoku Falls pouring from valley cliffs blanketed in lush jungle foliage into a cool stream-fed pool. Feel a sense of glory for undertaking this difficult trail culminating with the crowning waterfall centerpiece of East Maui’s spectacular tropical paradise.

Waihe'e Ridge Trail

Waihe'e Ridge Trail Maui

Trail Distance: 6.4 km Out & back

Elevation Gain: 440 m

Terrain Rating: Moderate to challenging

Hike Time: 2 h 40 min

Dog Friendly: Yes

Recommended Seasons: Fall, winter, spring

Trailhead Location: Near Waihe’e town; Get directions

Features: Dogs on leash | Hiking | Running | Forest | Partially paved | Views | Waterfall | Wildflowers | Wildlife

Winding high up through the West Maui Mountains, the panoramic Waihe’e Ridge Trail rewards determined hikers with jaw-dropping coastal vistas combined with a true bird’s eye view perspective looking down upon the lush waterfall-adorned valleys of the central isthmus. The moderate to strenuous uphill climb emerges from the forest to cross over ridges dotted with native hala and lehua trees, showcasing nonstop postcard views.
 
Gaze out at the scenic North Shore coastline in one direction, and then turn around to take in the entire emerald valley spreading below, filled with winding streams feeding countless waterfalls cascading down from the sheer cliffs on all sides.
Look closely to spot the ribbon Makahiku Falls, narrow Kapunakea Falls, wide Kapa‘ahu Falls, and remote Hipuapua Falls, decorating the Canvas Valley like liquid diamonds with their crystalline beauty. Feel a sense of glory at the top, surveying these voluptuous valleys and appreciating their sensuous appeal from this unique, breathtaking perspective.

Wailua Iki Falls

Wailua Iki Falls Maui

Trail Distance: 1.3 km Out & back

Elevation Gain: 54 m

Terrain Rating: Easy

Hike Time: 24 min

Dog Friendly: Yes

Recommended Seasons: Year-round

Trailhead Location: Iao Valley State Park; Get directions

Features: Kid friendly | Hiking | Forest | Views | Waterfall | Wildflowers | Wildlife

Nestled at the back of gorgeous Iao Valley, the easy family-friendly hike to wide Wailua Iki Fallstreats visitors to a culminating view of crystal water pouring from 100 feet up the valley’s sheer green cliffs framed by tall tropical foliage. Cross the iconic Iao Stream and enter the lush jungle canyon adorned with guava trees, wild orange and lemon fruit, fragrant ginger flowers, and vibrant crimson hibiscus blooms.

Delight as the sound of rushing water grows louder and louder until finally the 200-foot wide falls majestically come into full view, sending millions of gallons of waterfall magic tumbling per second into a large round pool. Make sure to capture photos ofjaw-dropping Wailua Iki Falls contrasted against the sheer emerald valley cliffs before taking a meditative moment to soak up the relaxing negative ions from this wonder of nature. Visitors leave feeling profoundly moved by the overpowering beauty of this easily accessible yet unspeakably stunning Maui waterfall treasure.

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TrailLengthDifficultyFeatures
Garden of Eden1 kmEasy to moderateKid-friendly, swimming hole
Iao Tableland4 kmChallengingUnofficial trail, view of 240-ft Wailuku falls
Makamakaʻole Falls0.6 kmEasyShort walk to 120-ft falls
Makamakaʻole Stream: 13 Crossings3.2 kmModerateSeries of stream crossings & mini cascades
Road To Hāna74.7 kmChallengingIconic scenic drive with countless falls
Seven Sacred Pools1 kmEasy to moderateIconic waterfall pools and overlooks
Twin Falls2.9 kmEasy to moderateLower & upper falls with swimming
Waimoku Falls5.5 kmModerate to challenging400-ft falls at end of steep uphill trek
Waihe’e Ridge Trail6.4 kmModerate to challengingPanoramic ridge views of hidden falls
Wailua Iki Falls1.3 kmEasyShort walk to huge 100-ft falls

What To Bring While Hiking Best Hikes In Maui With Waterfalls

Here are some recommended items to bring when hiking the best trails to waterfalls in Maui:

Sturdy shoes

Many of the trails can be slippery, muddy, or rocky, so good traction from waterproof hiking boots or sports sandals is essential. Make sure to break shoes in before the hike.

Swimsuit and towel

Pack your swimsuit and towel for refreshing dips in the waterfall pools and streams. Some falls even warrant water shoes if scrambling on rocks into pools.

Water and snacks

Bring plenty of water and energizing trail snacks to refuel during your hike. The tropical climate causes high fluid loss. Hydrate before, during, and after!

Rain jacket

Weather can change unexpectedly. A lightweight rain jacket provides protection during passing showers so you can continue enjoying the views.

Camera

Capture those jaw-dropping waterfall moments! Bring extra batteries and memory cards. Consider a waterproof case if planning water activities.

Sun protection

Don’t forget your hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. The tropical sun is intense, even while under canopy cover. Reapply sunscreen if swimming.

First aid kit  

Pack essentials like bandages, antiseptic cream, bug spray, tweezers, etc. A hiking pole can provide stability on uneven, slippery terrain.

Trail map

Pick up free park maps and know your route. Cell service is unreliable in remote areas. Bring a full tank of gas and cash for fees.

Follow leave no trace principles to preserve Maui’s exquisite landscapes. Fill your soul amid the refreshing waterfall beauty! Stay safe and enjoy this guide to the island’s most marvelous hike-able falls.

FAQs About The best hikes in maui with waterfalls

What is the most beautiful waterfall in Maui?

The most beautiful waterfall in Maui is widely considered to be Waimoku Falls, located at the end of the Pipiwai Trail in Haleakala National Park. This 400-foot waterfall flows down a lush, fern-filled canyon and ends at a sparkling pool perfect for swimming.

What is the 400-foot secret waterfall in Maui?

The 400-foot “secret” waterfall in Maui is Makamakaʻole Falls. Located along Makamakaʻole Stream just outside of Hana in East Maui, most tourists drive right by without realizing this stunning hidden waterfall is just a short hike away.

What is the most accessible waterfall in Maui?

The most accessible waterfall in Maui is Twin Falls near Hāna. The trail to get there is relatively short at around 15 minutes and is an easy, paved path that is manageable for people of most abilities and fitness levels.

Which part of Maui is the most beautiful?

The Road to Hāna in East Maui is considered the most beautiful part of the island. It features lush rainforests, towering waterfalls around nearly every corner, quiet black sand beaches, and crystal clear pools for swimming, making it a must on any Hawaii bucket list.

Where is the prettiest water in Maui?

The Seven Sacred Pools (ʻOheʻo Gulch) is home to some of the prettiest waterfall pools in Maui. This famous stop off the Road to Hāna features a series of tiered pools spilling into the ocean, surrounded by towering waterfalls and Hawaiian folklore.

What is the best hike in Maui with waterfalls not on the Road to Hana?

One exceptional off-the-beaten-path waterfall hike is to Makamakaʻole Falls and Makamakaʻole Stream just outside of Hāna. Most tourists pass right by it, making it far less crowded than the major attractions on the Road to Hāna.

What is the secret waterfall in Hawaii?

Kuliʻouʻou Ridge Trail on Oahu takes hikers through forest strewn with guava trees to two hidden waterfalls, Maikuao Falls and Kapalaoa Falls. Requiring navigating through slippery streambeds, this trail feels like genuine, off-grid, secret waterfall hunting.

What is the easiest waterfall to see in Hawaii?

Upside Down Falls on the Big Island is one of the easiest waterfalls to access in Hawaii. Located right off Chain of Craters Road in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, a short 10-minute walk along a paved path brings you to this unique waterfall cascading into steam vents.

What is the blue waterfall in Hawaii?

Hāʻena Beach Park at the end of Kuhio Highway features a picturesque blue waterfall spilling directly into its lovely sheltered cove. Tunnels Leading to Nowhere Trail takes hikers behind the striking blue waterfall for amazing views through the lush valley.

Where can I jump off waterfalls in Maui?

While tempting, it is highly discouraged to jump from any waterfalls in Maui for safety reasons. Even jumping from small waterfalls can lead to serious injuries. Instead, enjoy a refreshing dip in the plunge pools below or watch local thrill-seekers risk their jumps during your visit if you see any brave souls.

Conclusion

From family-friendly adventures to challenging quests into untamed rainforests, the 10 magnificent hikes on this list offer every type of visitor a chance to glimpse some of Maui’s most incredible waterfalls accessible via dazzling trails. Whether seeking refreshing swimming holes, scenic perspectives of falls tucked deep in valleys, or close-up views of sheer cascades pouring down jungle cliffs, these must-see natural wonders awakening all the senses will leave even the most seasoned explorers thirsting for more.

Let the soothing sounds and negative ions detoxifying your body from Maui’s abundant waterfalls rejuvenate your spirit. Let the prismatic rainbows in the perpetual mist remind you of nature’s diety beauty.

Linger as long as possible amid each of these unique tropical paradises sheltering liquid diamonds within their lush valleys. And emerge with a renewed appreciation for our awe-inspiring planet that compels you to become an ambassador helping preserve these sacred Hawaiian treasures so others may also experience the rebirth awaiting those who embark deep into the Valley Isle’s hidden waterfall havens.

SARAH LEE

SARAH LEE

Sarah has been hiking for over five years and is passionate about promoting the mental and emotional benefits of spending time in nature. She has written several articles on the topic and strongly advocates hiking as a form of therapy. Sarah is also a certified yoga instructor, often incorporating yoga and mindfulness practices into her hiking trips. She is dedicated to providing accurate and up-to-date information on trail conditions, difficulty levels, and must-see sights.

SARAH LEE

SARAH LEE

Sarah has been hiking for over five years and is passionate about promoting the mental and emotional benefits of spending time in nature. She has written several articles on the topic and strongly advocates hiking as a form of therapy. Sarah is also a certified yoga instructor, often incorporating yoga and mindfulness practices into her hiking trips. She is dedicated to providing accurate and up-to-date information on trail conditions, difficulty levels, and must-see sights.

11 thoughts on “10 Best Hikes in Maui with Waterfalls”

  1. This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your magnificent post. Also, I’ve shared your site in my social networks!

  2. Silverter Stallon

    From otherworldly moonscapes to verdant jungle waterfalls, this Maui hiking guide beautifully captures the diversity of the island’s landscapes. The Pipiwai Trail and challenging Trek to Hana look especially remarkable. I’ll be referring back to this often when planning my trip to paradise!

  3. From towering waterfalls to alien-like landscapes, this list captures Maui’s incredibly diverse natural beauty perfectly. As someone who has hiked the Road to Hana and through majestic Iao Valley, I can vouch for the thrill of jungle treks across this stunning island. For my next trip, I’m eager to check out the otherworldly red and black sands of Kaihalulu Beach and the peaceful bamboo forest along East Maui’s Waihou Spring Trail.
    Mahalo for spotlighting these dazzling landscapes and ocean vistas waiting to be explored boot-first! This will be an invaluable guide for planning future adventures in paradise.

  4. I just could not leave your web site before suggesting that I really enjoyed the standard information a person supply to your visitors Is gonna be again steadily in order to check up on new posts

  5. Lush valleys and bamboo forests leading to Hidden Falls and cascading pools – Maui tempts even non-hikers to lace up their boots! Say aloha to waterlogged adventures on the Valley Isle.

  6. Elizabeth Wilson

    you are truly a just right webmaster The site loading speed is incredible It kind of feels that youre doing any distinctive trick In addition The contents are masterwork you have done a great activity in this matter

  7. Maui’s valleys overflow with rainbows after the rain,
    Verdant cliffs dotted with silvery waterfalls shimmering far below.
    Ancient lava flows lead to black sand beaches and emerald bays,
    Revealing this island’s awe-inspiring beauty on every trail.

  8. The lush, tropical landscapes of Maui offer some of the most spectacular waterfall hikes in Hawaii. From short and easy walks to all-day treks, there’s a waterfall hike for every type of adventurer. Some must-see waterfalls include the 400-foot Waimoku Falls in ‘Ohe’o Gulch, the towering pools of Pipiwai Trail, and the remote wonders of Nu’u Bay. Just be prepared for slippery trails and bring mosquito repellent! There’s nothing quite like the sight and sound of crystal-clear water tumbling down cliffs covered in vibrant green rainforest. Enjoy this insider guide to Maui’s best waterfall hikes!

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