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“Don't wear flip flops!”
Review of Pipiwai Trail

Pipiwai Trail
Book In Advance
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$118.42*
and up
Haleakala, Iao Valley and Central Maui Day Tour
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$147.00*
and up
Maui Downhill Bike Ride
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$124.95*
and up
Haleakala Zipline Adventure
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: A scenic hiking and horseback riding trail that features major waterfalls, beautiful pools and an eerie bamboo forest.
Reviewed January 5, 2012

We set off from Kehei around 7 am. Somewhere around Paia we realized the bag with all of our shoes were back at the condo. Traffic was busy in Paia so we decided to just keep going. The Waimoku falls was to be our final destination on the RTH.

When we arrived at the park we paid our $10 to get in. Our Haleakala National Park pass could have been used but we were not within the 3 day window. The park pass really just gives you access to the facilities and parking.

From the parking lot you can go towards the Oheo Gulch or on the clearly marked path to the falls.

Tip #1 - Don't think wearing flip flops or sandals will be OK. The trail can get slippery when wet. you are walking up an incline. Some areas are steeper than others.
Tip #2 - Bring band aids for blisters. You have a long return trip walk. A first aid kit would be smart.
Tip #3 - Bring at least one bottle of water for each hiker. We were dehydrated by the end of our hike.
Tip #4 - Bring mosquito spray.
Tip #5 - Never pass up a bathroom opportunity. You could be hiking for 2.5 - 3.5+ hours.

Highlights of the hike:
- Huge Banyan tree
- Magical pathway and feeling you are in a different world
- Bamboo forest (the sound of the bamboo shoots hitting each other from the wind is awesome)
- Makahiku falls
- and of course the Waimoku falls.

Our hiking party consisted of my wife, myself and our two teenage daughters. My wife and I are in our 40's and are in decent shape. My daughters are both fit. At the parking lot the conditions were great. Our decision to hike with flip flops didn't seem like a bad idea (read on).

The trail climbs up the hill towards the falls. There are lots of natural stairs. The ground is often uneven with many tripping hazards (i.e. exposed roots, rocks, etc). Once you get to the bamboo forest (really cool) you do come across a man made path. The path is made from composite boards and is probably about 36" wide. It can be muddy on each side of the walkway as well as a bit of a step down. You must share this path with others coming from the falls.

You will have to maneuver / scurry across two creeks. I had to help my family cross both ways. The rocks in the stream are slippery and the exposed rocks are uneven. Each stream takes approximately 5-7 steps to cross.

Once you get to the falls there are large rocks you must maneuver. This is where the flip flop decision really ended poorly for us. The rocks around the pool at the base of the waterfall are covered in algae and are slippery. My daughter slipped and jammed her toes between two rocks. I feared the worst after just hiking 1.5+ hours in (we took lots of pictures on the way) with no easy way out. Our first aid kit was (you guessed it) in the bag with the shoes... My daughter lost a toenail and scraped the side of her foot. It could have been so much worse. She was able to hike back down on her own. I don't know what I would have done if she couldn't or needed medical attention.

Luckily we found a guide (Luke) from Hike Maui. He was so kind and offered us access to his first aid kit. The flip flops continued to be an issue on the way down as blistered started to develop. We ran into Luke again as he was bringing his group back down the path. He offered more band aids without a blink of an eye. Luke you will always be in our memories for your kindness and caring attitude.

The reason for the details of the hike is two fold:
- Don't take the 2.5 - 3.5+ hour hike lightly
- Be prepared if you are going to hike in. I think if it had rained my story would have likely had more 'twists' (literally).

10  Thank ratnrol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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871 - 875 of 956 reviews

Reviewed December 31, 2011

The trail is muddy, but the park station down below has a hose to rinse off afterwards. The hike is moderate. The bamboo forest is almost the best part, and the boardwalk is a nice touch. Totally worth the time spent.

3  Thank karen1monger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 19, 2011

Hike is easy. But if there are any clouds around (what are the chances of that :-), be prepared for rain. The trail will get muddy and very slippery. There may be no rain on the lower half of the trail but it will be raining once you get to the 2nd bridge. We almost gave up at this point because of the rain. But what the heck no different then swimming ;-). Glad we did, to see the beautiful bamboo forest and the falls. Raining so hard, the little creek at the falls was almost unpassible. Took our shoes off to get across. Still worth it. We got soaked but had a great time.

1  Thank garyr59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 2, 2011

After a long day of driving the road to Hana and seeing various waterfalls and pools and beaches, you may decide not to bother with a 4 mile round trip hike to yet another waterfall and opt instead to just check out the olivine pools before beginning your return trip on the road from Hana. But if you do that, you will miss out on one of the largest and most spectacular waterfalls you will ever see. At the end of Pipiwai trail, a 2 mile one way hike that takes you past several waterfalls, pools, banyan trees, and through a bamboo forest, you come to Waimoku falls. A 400+ foot tall waterfall awaits you, the kind you saw in the videos that made you want to come to Hawaii in the first place. And since most do not choose to make the hike, there arent many people there, you may even get to enjoy it with only whomever you hiked there with. For a 4 mile hike, it is not difficult. Bring drinking water and wear some comfortable shoes to hike in (not flip flops, you will regret it). Parts of the trail tend to be muddy, and you will have to cross a rocky creek a few times so your feet will get wet. And of course, once at Waimoku falls, you will want to get in the shallow pool (maybe 2 feet deep) and get under the falls themselves. And of course, bring your camera!

5  Thank najnad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2011

Though my girlfriend isn't much of a hiker, she really had no difficulties on this 1.8 mile hike to the 400' Waimoku Falls. The trail is well maintained and passes through an awesome bamboo forest. There are a few bridges that pass over the flowing water which is very cool. At the end however, you have to hop across rocks in a stream to get to the foot of the falls. Well worth it even if you get the feet wet. The stream isn't very deep, so no huge concerns there.

2  Thank 11Limited
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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