The Best Waterfalls on the Island of Maui
Waterfalls mark the landscape throughout Maui, and no visit to the island would be complete without experiencing these majestic natural wonders.
From gentle cascades to thundering downpours, these are five of our favorite waterfalls on Maui. Many can be found along the east coast while driving the road to Hana, though there are some falls so remote they can only be seen from the air.
1. Makahiku Falls
The first two waterfalls on our list can all be found along the Pipiwai Trail (a 4-mile roundtrip hike), near Hana. Set aside at least 2.5 to 5 hours for this unforgettable hike, and be sure to give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the lush forest setting.
After hiking for a half-mile, the 185-foot tall Makahiku is the first waterfall you’ll see. There’s an overlook that provides a great vantage point, and you can choose to turn back here or continue on.
2. Waimoku Falls
Continue through the dense bamboo forest along the Pipiwai Trail to reach the main show, the base of Waimoku Falls. Water from this 400-foot behemoth crashes into the earth and you can take it all in from various points around the falls. Even when the water flow isn’t raging, the sheer drop and vibrant setting is a dramatic sight to take in.
While there’s no shortage of people ignoring signs and Park Service advice, always maintain a safe distance from the falls.
3. Upper Waikani Falls
These falls are located halfway between Kahului and Hana, making them the perfect spot to stop for photographs and a refreshing swim. Upper Waikani is also known as Three Bears because this special spot has three falls in a row.
Don’t let the easy roadside location fool you, either, because the waterfalls are spectacular from afar. If you want to see them up close and go for a swim, you’ll need some rock scrambling skills. Once you find the path and confirm that you can tackle the terrain, carefully make your way down to the water.
4. Wailua Falls
Also located off the road to Hana (at mile marker 44 to be exact), a stop at Wailua Falls is the perfect pit stop if you’re looking for falls that are easy to access. There’s generally more than enough parking, and the falls can be seen right from the side of the road.
Access isn’t the only reason this is one of Maui’s best waterfalls, though. It’s also a remarkably beautiful waterfall, with gushing water flows that stick around all year long and the same dense greenery Maui is so well-known for. You can also swim right under the falls.
5. Honokohau Falls
This titan is the tallest waterfall on Maui, with two tiers that drop a total of 1,119 feet. You won’t find Honokohau along any road, though — since it’s tucked away deep in the West Maui Mountains, this waterfall can only be seen by helicopter.
If you want to soar around this impressive wonder, be sure to book a tour in advance of your Maui vacation. Tours are popular and tend to fill quickly, so a bit of extra planning will increase your chances of seeing Honokohau.