The Aliele Falls (or ‘Ali’ele Falls) is a 12ft waterfall that had been altered by people who have built a wall over which the falls flow.
I’d imagine without that wall, it probably would’ve just been a cascade that may or may not be noticeable. In any case, we saw some locals use the resultant plunge pool here as a swimming hole.
We were able to get here (back in September 2003) by hiking to the end of the Waihe’e Valley Trail (roughly 4 mostly flat miles round trip), which was an interesting trail involving swinging bridges (sometimes the trail itself is called “Swinging Bridges”), diversion ditches through tunnels, and a few waterfalls that we could only hear but couldn’t see.
Personally, I’m not a big fan of natural attractions that have been altered or created by people. However, the folks swimming at the base of the falls were having fun diving and seeking relief from the heat. So it could be your cup of tea.
Since 2003, I learned that the Waihe’e Valley Trail was recently closed off to public access by Wailuku Agibusiness (now Wailuku Water Company). In order to do this excursion these days, you need to book with Maui Eco Adventures (who have the necessary permissions to conduct tours here).
The following directions for Aliele Falls were what we took back in 2003. I don’t know if it still applies today.
Go north on Hwy 340 from Wailuku. Turn left (west) from Hwy 340 onto Waihe’e Valley Road (the turn from Hwy 340 is north of the 4-mile post; and immediately south of the Waihe’e River Bridge and the 5-mile post).
Waihe’e Valley Road is narrow, and you will follow it to the T-intersection (just past a No Trespassing sign) and turn right onto a narrow unpaved road (though I heard that recently the road was paved thanks to improvements made by a local farmer here). Follow the narrow road for about 1/4 mile to its end at a small car park with room for about a half-dozen cars.
To provide you with a little context, we generally stay in West Maui in either Lahaina or Ka’anapali. The most straightforward drive from say Lahaina to Wailuku would be to drive south on Hwy 30 and wrap all the way around the south end of West Maui taking a little over a half-hour to go 22.5 miles.
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