Makahiku Falls

Haleakala National Park Kipahulu District (Maui Island), Hawaii, USA

Rating: 2.5     Difficulty: 2
Makahiku Falls in moderate flow
The nearly 184ft Makahiku Falls is one of the more impressive waterfalls along the Pipiwai Trail in Ohe'o Gulch (aka the Seven Sacred Pools).

We saw this waterfall at an overlook roughly 0.5 miles along the Pipiwai Trail from the car park. So even though it's a bonus waterfall as part of the Waimoku Falls experience, I've created a separate page for here because there's a bit more to say about it than merely another waterfall attraction.

We happened to see this waterfall in two different states (seen on separate occasions). The first time we were here in September 2003, it followed two dry days after a day of heavy rains. The result was that the falls had decent but not overwhelming flow.

Almost four years later in February 2007, we saw this waterfall in a flooded state. The falls actually looked shorter and less impressive than before, but I reckon that this was more of an illusion since the falls was wider and the stream below had risen.

Anyways, it also turned out that this waterfall also held another pleasant surprise.

There was a spur trail shortly after the lookout that left the Pipiwai Trail and headed towards the top of Makahiku Falls. When the trail ended, we found ourselves at a protected pool right at the top of the falls!

When the conditions are calm (like it was on our first visit in 2003), this so-called "infiniti pool" (a moniker used by the Blue Bible because it had the illusion that the pool went on forever into the sky) makes for a real relaxing and cool way to spend an afternoon. In fact, we saw dozens of people do just that during our late Summer visit in 2003.

Obviously, the pool doesn't go on forever because unfortunate souls have fallen down the 200ft waterfall to their deaths during sudden flash floods. So as long as you're cognizant of the risks and you pay close attention to the weather, you should be ok. However, if the falls happens to be flooded like it was during our 2007 visit, you can forget about coming anywhere close to the Makahiku Stream!

During our calmer 2003 afternoon visit, I recalled seeing some other people go upstream towards what looked to be a cave or tunnel. I think if you swim or tube your way upstream past the cave, you would end up at the waterfall that the "Stream Overlook" sign referred to (see the Waimoku Falls or Other Oheo Gulch Waterfalls pages for more details on that waterfall).

Directions: Makahiku Falls shares the same car park as that of the Lower Pools of 'Ohe'o so check out that page for directions.

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The so-called Infiniti Pool at the top of Makahiku Falls
Closer look at the impressive Makahiku Falls in moderate flow back in 2003
Makahiku Falls in angry flow during our February 2007 visitMakahiku Falls in angry flow during our February 2007 visit

The waterfall referred to by the Stream Overlook sign on the Pipiwai TrailThe waterfall referred to by the "Stream Overlook" sign on the Pipiwai Trail (in case you're curious). Except I think you'd be at the bottom of the falls instead of this vantage point, which has no access to the base or the pool below.

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

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