14 Most Beautiful Waterfalls on Maui

Written by Meagan Drillinger
May 23, 2023

Author Meagan Drillinger explored the waterfalls of Maui as part of her adventures across Hawaii in January and February 2023.

Maui is one of the richest islands in Hawaii when it comes to waterfalls. The island is practically bursting with beautiful falls that explode out of the lush, green jungle. In fact, if you're driving the Road to Hana — the iconic 65-mile scenic drive around Maui's eastern coast — you'll see more waterfalls in one day than you've probably seen in a lifetime.

Wailua Falls
Wailua Falls | Photo Copyright: Meagan Drillinger

Most of the waterfalls on this list can be found along the Road to Hana. The great part about seeing these waterfalls is that many of them are just a quick walk from the road. A few can even be seen directly from the road itself. It could not be easier!

It's impossible to visit Maui and not see at least a few fabulous waterfalls, so if you're looking for the best waterfalls in Maui, our list is a great place to start.

1. Waimoku Falls

Waimoku Falls
Waimoku Falls | Photo Copyright: Meagan Drillinger

Tucked at the very southeastern corner of Maui, past the town of Hana, is a tropical entrance to Haleakala National Park. Unlike the main entrance, which is known for its endless lava fields and massive volcanic crater, this part of the national park is known for its lush jungle environment, hiking trails, and its waterfalls.

One of the best waterfalls in Maui can be found here at the end of the Pipiwai Trail. The four-mile round-trip hike ends at the impressive 400-foot falls that plummet down a sheer rock face into the valley below.

The hike itself is rather spectacular, too, as it winds its way through thick bamboo forests and bridges that cross streams, and ultimately opens up at the base of the massive waterfall.

Read More: Most Beautiful Waterfalls in the World

2. The Kings Gardens Maui

Thirty minutes from Kahului, and you've disappeared into one of the richest jungle environments on Maui. Kings Gardens Maui is a lush, verdant environment home to two waterfalls and tons of native Hawaiian history.

The private heritage site is not far from the beginning of the Road to Hana and it offers a two-hour guided hike through lush rainforest to waterfall lookouts. The first waterfall will be the first waterfall (of many) that you'll see along the Road to Hana. As a bonus, the garden has a second waterfall that is just two minutes from the first.

The first waterfall is truly lovely — an impressive curtain of water spills over a moss-covered cliff into a turquoise pool at the base. It is an oasis of calm and a gorgeous way to begin the adventure along the Road to Hana.

Address: 61 Ulalena Loop, Haiku, Hawaii

3. Wailua Falls

Wailua Falls
Wailua Falls | Photo Copyright: Meagan Drillinger

The best way to see the maximum number of waterfalls in Maui is to drive the Road to Hana. The 65-mile scenic drive is practically overflowing with gorgeous waterfalls. Some require a bit of work to get to, but others can be seen right from the road. Wailua Falls is one of the easiest falls to see along the Road to Hana, and one of the most impressive.

Just past mile marker #45, Wailua Falls tumbles from Honolewa Stream. Because of its accessibility and beauty, it is one of the most photographed waterfalls on Maui. The falls tumble 80 feet down the side of a cliff into a spectacular plunge pool. You can even take a swim in the pool below, and we highly suggest you do. It's way too dreamy to pass up.

4. Upper Waikani Falls

Upper Waikani Falls
Upper Waikani Falls | Photo Copyright: Meagan Drillinger

Upper Waikani Falls is yet another gorgeous waterfall along the Road to Hana. What's wonderful is these waterfalls can be viewed right from the road, as well. Located just beyond Mile Marker #19, Upper Waikani Falls has three separate spouts of water that tumble down the cliff. In fact, these falls are often called the "Three Bears" falls because the water streams are different sizes.

The falls tumble down 70 feet before crashing into the Wailua Nui Stream below. You can observe the waterfall directly from the road, or you can take the moderate trail that leads down to the pool beneath the falls. The hike is relatively straightforward, with a bit of rock scrambling here and there.

But if you're in a rush to keep moving along the Road to Hana, it's just as impressive to observe the falls directly from your car or the bridge.

5. Hanawi Falls

Hanawi Falls
Hanawi Falls | Photo Copyright: Meagan Drillinger

You won't have to drive much farther past Waikani Falls to reach the next impressive waterfall along the Road to Hana. At Mile Marker #24, you will reach Hanawi Falls.

This magnificent waterfall plunges down from a height of 200 feet, careening through thick jungle foliage and plummeting in a turquoise pool below. It is one of the most photographed waterfalls on the island and in Hawaii as a whole.

The best spot to view the falls is from the Hanawi Stream's bridge. Another way to view the falls is to trek to the pool below, though beware the water is very, very cold. The trail can be very slippery, as well, so if you're short on time, it may be best to view this waterfall from the road.

6. Punalau Falls

Unfortunately, not every single waterfall on the Road to Hana is visible from the road. Some you have to put in a little extra effort to find — but that's part of the fun. Punalau Falls is a relatively hidden waterfall along the Road to Hana, but one that is definitely worth the effort.

The 100-foot falls sits at the end of a difficult stream that you need to scramble over in order to find. The trailhead is easy to miss. It's about a quarter mile past mile marker 13. You'll find a bridge where a trail starts to cut through the forest before heading to the creek. Walk upstream, scrambling over the boulders and rocks, before reaching the falls.

The hike is about a quarter of a mile but can take as much as 30 minutes to complete because of the slick rocks. But the gorgeous waterfall, which is often overlooked by most travelers, is worth the extra effort.

7. Alelele Falls

Yet another Hana Highway attraction, Alelele Falls requires a little bit of heart to get to. That's because you'll find the falls at the "back" end of the Hana Highway (coming from the backside of Haleakala National Park), which is considered to be the most treacherous stretch of the road.

Any car is able to drive this narrow, winding switchback course, but it will be slow going thanks to blind turns and often one-car lanes. That said, this is one of the most ruggedly beautiful parts of Maui and should not be missed. And it's here that you'll discover Alelele Falls.

The trail to Alelele Falls is pretty easy, at less than half a mile with an elevation gain of 233 feet. It takes about 20 minutes to complete. Because of its remote location, there's always the chance you'll have the trail and the falls to yourself.

The falls themselves are beautiful, dropping 50 feet down a rock face, cushioned in green foliage, and plunging into a quiet pool below.

8. Haipua'ena Falls

Haipua'ena Falls
Haipua'ena Falls | Photo Copyright: Meagan Drillinger

Very early on in your Hana Highway experience, about half a mile past highway marker 11, you'll discover a moderately sized waterfall. This is Haipua'ena Falls, which sits at the end of a short trail.

However, this waterfall is not the only Haipua'ena Falls. A larger waterfall is upstream, which feeds the falls you can see from the road. The path to reach the upper falls, though, is notoriously treacherous, slippery, and narrow. It's recommended that travelers do not make the attempt to reach the upper falls.

Instead just enjoy this gentle, babbling waterfall, which is an easy stop to make along the epic Hana drive.

9. Makapipi Falls

Makapipi Falls
Makapipi Falls | Photo Copyright: Meagan Drillinger

Makapipi Falls is one of the most easily accessible waterfalls along the Hana Highway. In fact, it's so accessible that you don't necessarily need to stop your car to see it. Parking is a bit of a challenge near these falls, so it may be easiest to spot it from the road.

When you approach mile marker 25 on the Highway, you'll cross over a bridge. Makapipi Falls gushes underneath the bridge, where the Makapipi Stream tumbles over the lava bed into the blue pool below.

If you do want to get out and see the falls on foot, you can park just past the bridge in the turnout and walk to view the falls. But you can also see them from your car as you come around the bend past the bridge. Another cool angle is to view the falls from the bridge itself for a bird's-eye view down to the blue pool.

10. Wailua Iki Falls

Wailua Iki Falls
Wailua Iki Falls | Photo Copyright: Meagan Drillinger

Yet another waterfall that you'll be able to spot just cruising down the Hana Highway is Wailua Iki Falls. This roadside waterfall is easily spotted while driving over the bridge that crosses over it.

It may be easy to spot, but one of the best resources for driving the Hana Highway is the audio Shaka Guide's full-day Classic Road to Hana tour. The guide knows all the best spots for hikes and waterfalls, and he will be sure to tell you when to keep your eyes peeled to spot the thundering Wailua Iki.

11. Pua'a Ka'a Falls

Pua'a Ka'a Falls
Pua'a Ka'a Falls | Photo Copyright: Meagan Drillinger

The Pua'a Ka'a Falls is one of the easiest waterfalls to see along the Road to Hana — and it makes a great spot to stop for lunch, too. The roadside falls sit just about a third of a mile from the road down a paved path that leads to the waterfall.

Parking is readily available, and you'll find a few picnic shelters nearby, where you can stop for lunch. The park is near Mile Marker 22 and is a gem of a green oasis that has some really beautiful waterfalls that tumble down the rocks into a jade-green pool below.

The cool thing about these falls is that you can take a swim in the pool, too. All in all, it's a really refreshing place to take a rest and drink in some beautiful views while driving the Road to Hana.

12. Makahiku Falls

Makahiku Falls
Makahiku Falls | Photo Copyright: Meagan Drillinger

If you're attempting to do the gorgeous four-mile round-trip bamboo grove hike in the Kipahulu section of Haleakala National Park, then you will definitely pass Makahiku Falls.

Located along the Pipiwai Trail, Makahiku Falls is the first waterfall you'll come to on your way to Waimoku Falls. Makahiku Falls is about half a mile in from the parking area, so if you're not up for the full hike, this is a really wonderful alternative.

Along the trail, you'll pass under a massive banyan tree that practically blacks out the sky. That's how you'll know you're almost there. From the trail, you'll be able to see the 185-foot falls in the distance. It is definitely one of the most beautiful waterfalls on Maui.

13. Lower Puohokamoa Falls

Lower Puohokamoa Falls
Lower Puohokamoa Falls | Photo Copyright: Meagan Drillinger

Your Road to Hana waterfall experience will start with a bang when you stop at Lower Puohokamoa Falls. This gorgeous, idyllic tropical setting is located just near Mile Marker 10.

The falls are easily spottable from the road, but for the best views, you'll want to take the short (but rocky) trail from behind the bridge. The trail is definitely a bit of a scramble, but it's very quick, and once you reach the end, you're rewarded with a cold, empty pool at the base of the gorgeous, wide waterfall.

If you're ready for a swim early on in the drive, this is a great place to take a dip.

14. Makamakaole Falls

Makamakaole Falls
Makamakaole Falls

If you can believe it, Maui has waterfalls that are not located along the Road to Hana, as well. Makamakaole Falls is one of them. This hidden gem of a waterfall is found along a relatively easy trail that runs along the Makamakaole (13 Crossings) Stream.

Along the way, brace yourself for beautiful views of bamboo forests and banyan trees. When you reach the falls, the pool at the base of them is perfect for swimming.

The entire trail is two miles out and back, which makes it accessible to a wide range of hikers.

The falls plunge 270 feet down several cascading tiers, with an upper and lower falls. You can hike to both, or you can opt to see the Lower Makamakaole Falls from the highway, just past Mile Marker 8.