Makahiku Falls

Haleakala National Park / Kipahulu District, Hawaii, USA

About Makahiku Falls

Hiking Distance: 2 miles round trip
Suggested Time: 1 hour

Date first visited: 2003-09-03
Date last visited: 2007-02-23

Waterfall Latitude: 20.66547
Waterfall Longitude: -156.05066

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

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.

Road_to_Hana_187_09032003 - Makahiku Falls
Makahiku Falls

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.

The Top of Makahiku Falls

Anyways, it also turned out that this waterfall 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.

Road_to_Hana_243_09032003 - People enjoying themselves at the pool atop Makahiku Falls
People enjoying themselves at the pool atop Makahiku Falls

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).


Makahiku Falls resides in Haleakala National Park on the island of Maui, Hawaii. It is administered by the National Park Service. For information or inquiries about the park as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Makahiku_Falls_006_02232007 - Makahiku Falls in angry flow during our February 2007 visit
Road_to_Hana_204_09032003 - The waterfall referred to by the Stream Overlook sign on the Pipiwai Trail
Road_to_Hana_183_09032003 - Closer look at the impressive Makahiku Falls in moderate flow back in 2003

Makahiku Falls shares the same car park as that of the Lower Pools of ‘Ohe’o so check out that page for detailed driving directions.

But to 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). Getting to Hana would take at least 2 hours drive (45 miles) east of Pa’ia. It would take another half-hour to continue driving 10 miles to ‘Oheo Gulch.

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Tagged with: oheo, hana, piilani, east maui, maui, hawaii, waterfall, kipahulu, 7 pools, 7 sacred pools, seven pools, seven sacred pools, pipiwai

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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
Read More About Johnny | A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls.