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12 Best Waterfalls in Maui (Highest & Most Beautiful)

Explore the 12 best waterfalls in Maui, from the highest to the most picturesque. Ideal for travelers seeking the top spots for photos, swims, and hikes on this lush island.

Tobi Miles
July 8, 2022
12 Best Waterfalls in Maui (Highest & Most Beautiful)

Maui is located in the Pacific Ocean. It is one of Hawaii's eight major islands. It is the second largest island and a very popular tourist destination.

It is well-known for its lush forests and magnificent tropical scenery. Maui is very rainy and home to many incredible creeks and rivers that eventually flow to the ocean, too.

Maui is home to the road to Hana, also known as the Hana Highway. This road takes visitors deep into the forest of the island, where the land is wild and wet. This is where many of the best waterfalls on the island can be found.

There are several gorgeous waterfalls for visitors to this spectacular island to observe, photograph, swim at, and picnic at in Maui.

Many waterfalls are accessible to almost anyone. On the Hana Highway, Twin Falls, Punalau Falls, and Makipipi Falls impress visitors. Some waterfalls are less accessible.

Honokahau Falls, the largest waterfall on the island is only accessible by helicopter. Waimoku Falls is a hike-in waterfall. Many of Maui's waterfalls are accessible to those with limited mobility and kids.

Others require you hike into them; these are best for fit individuals to visit. No matter what your abilities may be Maui offers a waterfall for everyone.

1. Honokahau Falls

Credit: When On Earth

Honokahau Falls is the tallest waterfall on Maui. It is located deep in the West Maui mountains, along the Honokahau stream. The waterfall is over 1100 feet tall. It drops in two tiers, making it a magnificent sight to see for all who are able to access it.

The waterfall is so beautiful and astounding that it was featured in movie Jurassic Park. Next time you watch this movie, keep your eyes open for it!

The best way to reach Honokahau Falls is by helicopter. It’s almost impossible to reach any other way in a timely and safe manner, for most people. Even by helicopter, the falls can be difficult to reach depending on the weather.

The West Maui Mountain region is known to be one of the rainiest in the world and this rain can prevent you from reaching Hoknokahau. If you are hoping to take a helicopter tour in the area and see the waterfall, you may want to check the weather first.

Honokahau Falls is a must-see waterfall, if the weather is right and a helicopter tour is in your budget, during your visit to Maui.

2. Upper Waikani Falls

Upper Waikana Falls is also known as Three Bears Falls. It is a collection of three large falls, not just a single tier waterfall. The falls reach up to 70 feet.

The waterfalls are extremely easy to access. You can drive up to see them. There is parking just past the falls, for those that want to observe Upper Waikani Falls for a longer period of time, take pictures, or take a dip in the crystal-clear pool at the base of the falls.

There is an unmarked trail from the parking area to reach the falls. This trail can be sketchy at times, and if you have limited mobility, it may be a risky path to take. Only hike down to Upper Waikana Falls if you are fit and have proper footwear.

The area is prone to rain that can make the pathway to the falls slick, too. During the rainy season, the stream flow increases. This makes the stream unsafe to swim in.

This lush environment with three is a great stop for those that want to see a waterfall from their car. It’s also ideal for those that want to swim, picnic, or take photographs.

The hike to the falls is short and this makes it ideal for those that do not want to have to take a lengthy hike to reach a waterfall.

Related Read: Best Time to Visit Maui

3. Twin Falls

Twin Falls is an easy to access, set of three waterfalls, on the Road to Hana. It’s located in a dense jungle near Haiku. This is a lush and beautiful area.

There is ample parking at Twin Falls. If you stop at this set of waterfalls, you should get a bite to eat at the fruit stand on location. Their offerings are extremely tasty.

To view Twin Falls, you must hike 1.8 miles out and back along a trail This popular trail is fairly easy to tackle. Once you reach the falls you will be rewarded with a gorgeous view. If you want to swim, this is also a great set of waterfalls to visit. There are several spots to get in and swim on the way to the falls, and you can swim right at the falls, too.

4. Wailua Waterfall

Wailua Waterfall is an 80-foot waterfall. It’s considered the most photographed waterfall on Maui. It’s made up of three waterfalls in one spot. The waterfall runs year-round, making it a great stop, no matter when you are visiting.

Wailua Waterfall is located in a dense, jungle ecosystem. This popular destination caters to visitors looking to purchase food or trinkets. Numerous vendors are located in the parking area.

Once you park, little hiking is required to view the falls. If you want to go to the plunge pools below the pools, you can hike down on a trail to it. There is a great swimming hole in the pools. This trail can be slick, at any time. Proceed down it with caution.

Wailua Waterfall is a majestic sight. If you don’t mind a crowd and want to visit a waterfall that is easy to reach, you will want to make the stop here.

5. Waimoku Falls

Waimoku Falls is located at the end of the Pipiwai Trail. It can be reached from the Hana Highway. This is one of the tallest waterfalls in Hawaii that you can reach without having to take a helicopter to it. It is above the Seven Sacred Pools.

The waterfall drops 400 feet down lava rock. This waterfall can be reached by hiking to it. The hike is four miles with 650 feet of elevation gain.

Depending on your fitness level, pace, and intentions along the way this hike takes most people two and a half to five hours. When you hike to Waimoku Falls you will want to wear comfortable treaded shoes.

There are several muddy spots and water crossings on the hike to it. The hike takes you through an enchanting bamboo forest. There is an amazing boulder pool at the end of the trail.

If you are looking for an adventurous and scenic hike to an enormous waterfall, accessible by foot, you will want to visit Waimoku Falls. The scenery will captivate you as you trod through the forest to reach it.

6. Puna'lau Falls

Credit: Jeremy Bagge / Pinterest

Puna'lau Falls is not the most popular waterfalls on Hana Highway, making it a great stop for individuals that want to avoid crowds. It is also not the easiest to find, unless you know where you are headed!

The waterfall is not visible from the road. You have to hike a half mile, hopping rocks along the scenic creek to reach it.

Once you reach Puna'lau Falls, there is a gorgeous drop of water cascading 100 feet down. There is a fantastic swimming hole at the falls too. This is an excellent place to take a dip!

If you are looking to take the road less travelled, and fit enough to tackle the rocky hike, Puna'lau Falls is the stop for you. Just don’t go in the rain. Flash floods are a risk in the area, during rain.

Related Read: 15 Best Hiking Trails in Maui, HI

7. Waikamoi Falls

Waikamoi Falls is nicknames Mile 10 Falls. It is a hidden gem, when it is flowing. This is because it is found at mile 10 on the Road to Hana.

This is a waterfall does not flow at all times, so you may want to inquire if there has been recent rains before visiting it. Waikamoi Falls is not easy to spot from the road. Branches block visitor’s view from this point.

There is a parking spot before the mile 10 marker on the Hana Highway. From here you have to hike down an easy, but rocky trail. There is an excellent swimming spot, at the falls, for those who want to take a refreshing dip after their walk there.

Like many other waterfalls in this rainy region, flash flooding is risk, when it is raining. If you plan on taking the trek to Waikamoi Falls, check the weather first!

Related Read: 20 BEST Restaurants in Lahaina Maui

8. Kopiliula Falls

Credit: Reddit

Kopiliula Falls is accessed from the Road to Hana. It is a tenth of a mile from mile marker 21 on the Hana Highway. It is not the most popular of waterfalls, along the road. It’s great for those that want to avoid the typical tourist crowds on this route.

Once you park on the dirt shoulder, you can climb down the rocks to get to the falls. This can be a sketchy and slick climb, so you will want to wear hiking shoes and proceed with caution traversing to the waterfall.

The waters of Kopiliula Falls are a brilliant turquoise color. There is no way you won’t be captivated by its beauty, if you stop to visit it.

9. Hanawi Falls

Hanawi Falls is located at mile marker 24 on the Road to Hana. It is a 200-foot drop on the spring fed, Hanawi stream. This waterfall is a very popular place to take pictures on the island.

Unfortunately, there is limited parking at Hanawi Falls. You will want to visit it early in the day to beat the crowds. Nearby to Hanawi Falls is the Nahiku marketplace and a former rubber plantation.

These sights are popular among visitors in the area. You too should visit them if you stop at Hanawi Falls. The swimming hole at Hanawi Falls is colder than others in the area.

If you like bugs, you should keep your eyes open for the Megalagrion Pacificum, an endangered damselfly that frequents the region.

This is a great stop if you are traveling the Road to Hana. Beware in the rain that the area is likely to be flashfloods, these can catch you off guard, if you are not used to the weather and conditions of Maui.

Related Read: Do You Need A Passport To Go To Maui?

10. Makapipi Falls

Credit: TripAdvisor

Makipipi Falls is just a mile from Hanawi Falls on the Hana Highway. It is in a fascinating lava streambed. The waterfall cascades below the bridge crossing the stream, making it easy for you to miss.

Makipipi Falls has a flow dependent on the amount of rain in the region. If you plan on visiting Makipipi Falls, you may want to see if it has rained recently. There is an easy to access swimming area at the falls too.

If you want to see Makipipi Falls, pull off onto the wide dirt pull off on the shoulder and take a short hike. This is your best way to view these beautiful waterfalls.

11. Nemo Falls

Credit: House Hunt / Flickr

Nemo Falls is a multi-tiered waterfall in the Ko’olau Forest Reserve. You have to go through property belonging to East Maui Irrigation.

It is recommended you request permission to access it from EMI, to avoid any trouble from them. It is unlawful to access the area, without permission.

Nemo Falls can be reached by taking a hike a third of a mile down a four-wheel drive road. This road is rocky, steep, and can be slick in the rain. It’s also in an area that frequently floods.

If you decide to tackle the path to Nemo Falls, you will be amazed by its beauty. If you are looking to swim, this waterfall has an excellent swimming hole, as well.

12. Four Falls of Na’ili’ili Haele

Credit: kellyoutdoors / Flickr

The Four Falls of Na’ili’ili Hael are located on East Maui Irrigation Property. You must gain permission to this area. It is typically closed to the public.

If you are fortunate enough to be allowed to visit these falls you will want to make sure you are fit for a treacherous hike.

The trails can be slippery and loose. Many have broken legs on the trail. Park of the hike to the falls require you to use a makeshift wooden ladder. Flash flooding is an issue when it rains.

The farther you back you go along the streamside hike to reach all four falls, the more difficult the trail becomes. This adventure is worth taking if you want to trek through beautiful bamboo forests or take dips in the many swimming holes on the hike to the falls.

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
March 28, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
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