We greatly enjoyed this trail and were amazed by its diversity. The hike was not too bad and the slope was mostly gentle (with a few spots of greater intensity). There were a few things that disappointed us and there were a few that pleasantly surprised us. Let's start with the bad.
The trail to the top of Makahiku Falls (infinity pool) is completely closed. Whereas there were previously signs warning of danger, now there is a tall fence that entirely blocks access. We were really looking forward to the unique experience promised by several guidebooks and we understood the dangers at hand. It was disappointing that we were not even allowed to make the decision for ourselves.
The large banyan tree along the trail was covered in spiders. We were hoping to be able to spend some time exploring the tree, but such exploration was limited due to the countless webs (I suppose this could be a good thing if you like spiders!) We had a similar experience elsewhere along the trail. Spiders were everywhere!
The mosquitoes along the trail were also quite bothersome. They made it tough to stop for pictures and detracted from the overall experience. They seemed to be at their worst in the area near the start of the bamboo forest.
Given the above, one might expect that this trail would garner a rating lower than excellent. This is truly not the case. In spite of the drawbacks, there is so much good stuff on this trail that it is truly not to be missed. In addition to all of the great things that have already been written about this trail, here are two other highlights that you might want to check out for yourself.
The waterfall located just after the banyan tree is incredible (you can hear it from the trail). Make sure you hike down the path to the right to get a better view of the falls and the cave. We were there in the early afternoon and there was a nice rainbow formed in the mist of the falls.
At the end of the bamboo boardwalk, you can look up for a view of Waimoku Falls. If you change your a viewing angle a little, you will also see a second large falls off to the left. It is possible to reach this other falls if you are willing to do a little canyoneering. There is a stream crossing about 100 yards before Waimoku Falls. If you hike up the stream for about 10 minutes, you will see the other falls in all of their awesome glory. This secondary hike requires some climbing skill and should not be attempted if you are not comfortable with getting a little wet. Additionally, it would not be a good place to be if there were a flash flood. Still, if the conditions are right, it is worth the effort!
All in all, this is the best hike that we found in Maui. The bamboo forest is otherworldly, the waterfalls are amazing, and the jungle setting couldn't be more delightful. Do not miss this experience!
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