My husband and I hiked the Pipiwai Trail during our recent stay on Maui. This hike is what I would consider "moderate". This hike is beautiful, challenging and has one of the best payoffs you can imagine. The hike will take you anywhere from 2 1/2-4 hours depending on how much you stop and your fitness level. The hike is approximately 4 miles round trip. I think the uphill elevation change was just over 600 ft. So be prepared to walk/climb uphill for a majority of the hike in. Depending on where you are staying on the island, also be prepared for how long it is going to take you to get to the trailhead - which is located about 10 miles past Hana. I would suggest leaving early from your hotel in order to beat all the tourists and tour buses along the Road to Hana. You can stop and see all the glory of the Hana trip after you finish the hike.
The trail has several waterfalls and infinity pools. Each is unique and we enjoyed exploring them all. Our favorite part of the hike was, by far, the bamboo forest. I can't even adequately describe it. It has it's own climate (humid, very damp) and sound. I can honestly say that listening to the bamboo as the wind blows through is one of the most awesome sounds I've been priviledged to ear. It literally sounds like a Tahitian or Zulu tribe calling in the flock with drums. And that is a "cheesy" description !!
Waimoku Falls is at the end of the trail. Best payoff you can imagine. Spectacular. 400 feet. We packed in a picnic lunch and enjoyed resting by the falls. The hiking trail wasn't crowded and we saw about 15 people come and go as we ate lunch. Just enough people to make you feel comfortable that there would be help if you had an emergency.
Highlights of the trail:
- Bamboo Forest
- the smells of flowers and, maybe wild ginger?
- Makahiku Falls
- the infinity pools
- Waimoku Falls
We wore our hiking boots and packed in lunch, water and first aid supplies. I would suggest doing the same. Enjoy yourself. This trail is spectacular and one of the most amazing things we did while in Maui. It was second only to the whale watching.
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