Lower Puohokamoa Falls is one of those waterfalls that you just have to know it’s there or else you’re going to miss it.
The reason why is because it’s located below the Hana Highway where there’s no way you’d even notice it from the road unless you knew the correct pullout which was not by the bridge over its stream. We were made aware of this said-to-be 200ft waterfall after having seen it in our guidebook. But in order to get a decent look at it, we had to work a little bit.
The first time I saw this waterfall, I overlooked the informal trail that went past the wired fences to get a better look. So I ended up with a rather sorry view even though the falls was in full flow at the time. All subsequent times that I saw the falls, it had much lower flow, but at least the view was more satisfying (see photo above). I never had a situation where the falls was gushing and I got to see it from the optimal viewing spots. Maybe I’m due one of these days…
Speaking of which, this waterfall seemed to me to be usually either thin or trickling. Even though East Maui had been usually rainy during my visits, it only took two days to go from the gushing flow you see in one of the photos below to the thin waterfall you see in the photo at the top of this page.
The optimal view was a short scramble from the road, but it was a bit steep. The lower I went, the more of the falls I was able to see, but the steeper the scrambling became. I had to be careful not to go so far down or get to a point that was so steep that I had a hard time going back up! I’ll let you use your own better judgement to see how low you would go while respecting the hazards.
The Lower Puohokamoa Falls pullout (parking for 3-4 cars) is 0.8 miles past the little 10-mile marker or post along Hana Hwy (Hwy 36). Heading towards Hana, the pullout was adjacent to a power pole on the left-hand side of the road (i.e. the makai or ocean side).
As mentioned earlier, a trail follows the ridge downwards for better views, but it becomes steeper and muddier as it descends. Fortunately, I don’t think you need not hike too far for decent views (i.e. being able to see all of the falls without overgrowth getting in the way).
For a bit of context, we generally stay on the west side of Maui in either Lahaina or Ka’anapali. The drive from say Lahaina would require us to take Route 30 to Route 380 (taking roughly an hour without traffic). Once we’re near the town of Pa’ia, we’d then be on Hwy 36 (becoming the Road to Hana or Hwy 360). The 11-mile post is roughly 21 miles (less than an hour) east of Pa’ia.
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