On Day 3 in Maui we got up early to hit the Road to Hana! This is a tourist must do, so if you’re a tourist… you do it. It is a road in fairly poor condition. That is probably because all those tourist keep driving on it and wearing it out! But it is far from a tourist trap, it is well worth the drive. It takes you through and to some of the most beautiful parts of Maui… if you’re one of those people who like tropical paradise anyway.
We got up early to head to the other side of the island. The goal was to get to Paia and the start of the road to Hana before the traffic got too heavy. We planned to drive fairly straight through to the end so we would have time to hike the Pipiwai Trail. Then we would stop on the way back if there was anything else we were interested in. The traffic was not too bad as we headed from Lahaina to Kahului. There were some low clouds on the mountains, but it was a pretty clear morning otherwise. We decided we would want to stop at Paia on the way back, it looked like a nice small village with several interesting shops. We kept driving steadily until we got to the halfway point. We didn’t stop along the way but we definitely enjoyed the drive!
There is a sign at the halfway point along the road that is also “conveniently” right beside a roadside stand that sells snacks and different varieties of banana bread.
We got snacks, drinks, and Wendy got some very tasty banana pineapple bread. We wanted a little longer break from the car so we decided to sit on some picnic tables near the stand. I got there first and noticed a small beautifully colored bird on a small wall beside the picnic tables. I managed to get one good picture before he flew away.
Then it was back on the road!
I took a few quick pictures of falls on the way by, like this drive by shot of the three bears falls, but we did not stop again until we were past Hana.
The temperature and humidity were big factors in our day again. It was well over 80 degrees and very humid by the time we started our hike along the Pipiwai Trail. We took a wrong turn at the beginning… I’ll take credit for that… and ended up on the 7 pools trail. I realized we were headed toward the water instead of inland after less than a quarter-mile, so we turned around quickly, but it had been all down hill to this point, so it was all uphill on the way back. By the time we got to the start of the trail we were already very hot and sweaty!
The trail continued uphill through the Oheo Gulch. The first sign I noticed was quite a serious warning.
As I looked up the trail past this sign I saw that my friend Dave had obviously ignored the warning as he was standing right on the muddy edge of the cliff.
My first thought was, “What could possibly be worth standing there?”. As I walked up to see what he was looking at I realized it was indeed worth looking at, although I stayed a little further back and still got a great view of the falls of Makahiku. Although it is hard to put this picture in perspective, the falls are about 180 feet high!
Next we came to a quite impressive Banyan Tree. Unfortunately my camera had began to act up. Between the humidity and sweat it began to have issues focusing and was taking mostly terrible pictures. I did get one more decent picture that I snapped quickly as we walked by of a double falls below the trail.
After that picture I ended up taking better pictures the rest of the hike with my Samsung phone. One of my favorite places of all time came next, it was a huge bamboo forest. The trail cut through it up the hill, but you could see very little beyond a few feet off the trail. I really didn’t get as many good pictures as I wish I had, but I’ll share a few. This one was near the start of the trail.
I took a ton of pictures on this part of the trail. The lighting was amazing, but I never quite got the picture I was shooting for, this was one of the trail…
and this one looking up, where the best I could get.
This last one was actually on the way back later but I like it because we are all in it and it also shows the wooden pallets that were on parts of the trail. There were also a couple of bridges. You can tell we were on the way back because Jenny and I were soaked to the bone. We were sweating, but not that much… we had decided to take our chances and go under the water fall at the end of the trail.
After the bamboo forest, the trail continues though a very lush jungle. It was actually a few degrees cooler in the bamboo than on the rest of the trail. We missed the coolness as we finished up this last part of the hike up to Waimoku Falls. We stopped just before the falls to have lunch on some rocks in a small stream.
There was an easy trail to a place to view the falls, but while Dave cooled off in a pool below the rocks, and Jenny and Wendy got the lunch together I decided to explore downstream. The stream came to a merge point with another stream coming from the direction of the falls, so I decided to head that way. After a little boulder jumping I got to a place where I could see the falls through the trees.
I was ready for lunch, but my curiosity got the better of me so decided to continue on to get a better view from this angle. It was a very nice view and worth the effort. I headed back the same way I had come after admiring the 430+ foot falls for a bit. It was time to have a sandwich and relax a bit.
After lunch we all headed to the regular trail to the falls. The trail stopped well back from the falls with a lot of warning signs to stay out of the area below the fall. I imagine when there is heavy rains this area could fill with water very quickly. We decided to go “a little” closer. The path to the falls crosses the stream early then you walk along a very rocky path. From this angle the view of the fall is not bad either!
I tried using my phone’s panorama mode to get a picture of Dave and Wendy near the base of the falls. It turned out OK… they were a bit blurry, the falls are a bit distorted, and the whole picture is a bit over exposed, but I still love this picture. Waimoku Falls is very impressive from this angle.
Jenny and I decided to take a little more of a risk and go in the pool below the falls. Rocks and branches can come over the falls easily with the water, so I don’t recommend this to anyone. We definitely cooled off though. Initially we both went under the falls.
I could not tell if Dave got the picture so I came out to ask. There was definitely no way to hear under the falls.
Just to be sure I went back under one more time.
We enjoyed the hike back out nearly as much as the hike in, but everyone was glad to get back to the air-conditioned car by the time we finished. Although we had planned to do more stops on the way back, very few places were open, and we were ready to get back to civilization. I did get a couple of nice pictures on the way back though. We all decided if we moved to Hawaii we wanted this to be our front yard!
I also liked this view of this small village just off the Road to Hana.
We decided to stop in Paia for dinner. We had heard great things about Mama’s Fish House, but we were definitely not dressed for it. We decided to go much more casual and eat at the Flatbread Company. It was a bit warm in the restaurant, but heck it was warm everywhere, but the pizza and cold beer were great.
When we got back to Lahina, we were ready to just shower, hang at the condo, relax, and visit. We decided to get back to the beach the next day. Our third day in Maui had been terrific, but it was also quite a workout. We were ready to do a little more relaxing and there’s no better place to do that than in Hawaii! I’ll continue in another post soon. Hopefully I’ll finish this before we go back! (Dave and Wendy were actually back in Kauai just a couple of weeks ago on a trip Dave won at work… very jealous.)
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