Alelele Falls

Piilani Highway (Maui Island), Hawaii, USA

Rating: 1.5     Difficulty: 2.5
Alelele Falls
Alelele Falls was the last waterfall I saw while driving the Hana Highway (actually Pi'ilani Highway at this point) all the way around East Maui.

Just when we thought waterfall fatigue had set in after a full day of seeing waterfalls, this one surprised and amazed me. Even if I was sick of waterfalls at this point (hard not to do), I was glad I made the stop.

Here, I witnessed a 50ft waterfall two days after a rain storm (hence the decent flow). I understand it doesn't last for very long (give it a few more days before it trickles or goes dry, I reckon). If that's the case, timing is everything with this falls (as well as most of the other falls on this side of Maui). Then again, Alelele Falls doesn't seem to be touched by irrigation ditches further to the northeast as the Kipahulu District of Haleakala National Park, which protected Waimoku Falls and the Pools of 'Ohe'o, seemed to buffer it from them.

Ever since the Big Island Earthquake in October 2006, this part of the road was inaccessible for all the subsequent times we've returned to Maui (including our 2007 visit). So we were never able to see this waterfall ever since 2003. However, they apparently re-opened the Pi'ilani Highway for going completely around the eastern slopes of Haleakala, and I'm definitely keen to come back and revisit this little gem.

After parking the car at the Alelele Bridge pullout (see directions), I followed the trail north from the east side of Alelele Stream for roughly 10-15 minutes to the falls. There was at least one stream crossing, possibly more, depending on which criss-crossed footpath I followed (I don't remember). I recalled that the stream crossings required some nifty rock hopping, and I'm sure I would've gotten wet if the water flow was higher.




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PHOTO JOURNAL
One of the cool things about our visit to Alelele Falls was that it compelled us to drive all the way around East Maui, and thus we chanced upon this attractive sea arch called the Pokowai Sea ArchOne of the cool things about our visit to Alelele Falls was that it compelled us to drive all the way around East Maui, and thus we chanced upon this attractive sea arch called the Pokowai Sea Arch
This was one of the quiet beaches that we saw near Hana Town, but don't end your drive there.  There's much more to see beyond Hana along the Pi'ilani HighwayThis was one of the quiet beaches that we saw near Hana Town, but don't end your drive there. There's much more to see beyond Hana along the Pi'ilani Highway
Checking out the coastline along the Pi'ilani Highway as we were getting closer to the Alelele Stream BridgeChecking out the coastline along the Pi'ilani Highway as we were getting closer to the Alelele Stream

Another view of Alelele FallsAnother view of Alelele Falls

If you made it all the way out to Alelele Falls, then you mind as well drive all the way around East Maui where the desert-like and desolate windswept terrain contrasts mightily with the lush rainforest you had just passed through to get hereIf you made it all the way out to the falls, then you mind as well drive all the way around East Maui where the desert-like and desolate windswept terrain contrasts mightily with the lush rainforest you had just passed through to get here


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS



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DIRECTIONS
In order to access this waterfall, I had to look for the pullout and Alelele Bridge about 0.3 miles past the 39-mile post. There was a white-colored bridge that had "ALELELE" painted in large black capital letters on its side (at least when I saw it back in 2003), which helped me identify it.




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MAP OF THE FALLS

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TRIP REPORTS
For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES




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NEARBY WATERFALLS


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