Waimoku Falls is easily the best waterfall we saw on Maui. It is a towering 400 ft. high waterfall, and the trail leads right up to the base of the falls. It is a very refreshing experience, especially if there is no one else at the falls (not likely though, unless you are an early bird).
It is about a 1.6 mile hike on the Pipiwai Trail from the parking area at Haleakala National Park up to Waimoku Falls. The trail is commonly indicated as being a full 2 miles to the waterfall, but my GPS told me it was only 1.6 miles. The trail begins across the Hana Hwy from the parking area, and passes the lookout point for Makahiku Falls. At about 0.9 miles, the trail crosses on a couple bridges over Palikea Stream and Pipiwai Stream. Then it continues through the very interesting bamboo forest, which is a bit creepy if it is dark. Finally, at the 1.6 mile point you will reach the towering waterfall. You will need to cross a couple streams, which you should be able to rock hop across. A warning sign indicates you should not proceed too close to Waimoku Falls, for fear of falling rocks, a common occurrence here. You will need a very wide angle lens to get the entire waterfall in your photo. At 400 ft. high, it is a very tall waterfall, and you are up very close to it. This makes Waimoku Falls an unforgettable experience, definitely one of the highlights for myself on Maui.
On an interesting note, when I started my hike up to Waimoku Falls in the early morning, it was a rather sunny day with no clouds in the sky. I got up to the falls and started taking my photos. Then the clouds rolled in, all of a sudden, and it started to downpour. I was totally unprepared, without a jacket or anything. I shoved my camera equipment back in the bag and retreated into the forest and under trees to wait out the rain. Then I realized I had left my GPS back at the falls in my haste. So I waited about 20 minutes or so, then went back to Waimoku Falls. By that time the rain had stopped, so I took a few more pictures before going back down the trail.
The Haleakala National Park and 'Ohe'o Gulch is obviously an extremely popular tourist area. There will be a lot of other people on the trail. However, if you are able to get here first thing in the morning, there will not be anyone else around, and the trail up to Waimoku Falls is very pleasant and rewarding.
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