Pipiwai Trail & Waimoku Falls Travel Guide
The Pipiwai Trail is a truly magical destination. This surreal hike in Maui’s southeastern region treks through some of the equally dreamy Oheo Gulch which contains the famous Pools of Oheo, and several smaller waterfalls before culminating in a massive 400-foot waterfall known as Waimoku.
If you’re looking for a good time to take this 1.8-mile hike, you might consider Shaka Guide’s Classic, Loop or Reverse Road to Hana tours. The trail is the 35th stop along the classic and loop tours - and the 17th stop if you’re taking the reverse tour.
Get ready to hike the Pipiwai and Waimoku Falls Trail | Photo by Angela Sevin, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Pipiwai Trail Weather
Pipiwai is one of the rainiest regions of Maui - this area doesn’t comply with the typical Hawaiian weather pattern. There is more rain in this area during Hawaii’s ‘dry’ season than it’s ‘wet’ season.
From April to October, when most of Hawaii receives less rain, Pipiwai receives between 19 and 22 days of rain per month. Average daily highs at this time sit between 79 and 83 degrees, with lows in the high-60s to low-70s.
November through March, temperatures and rain both decrease. You can expect between 12 and 19 days of rain per month–still extremely wet. During this season, daily average highs stay right around 79 to 80 degrees, with lows dropping into the high 60s.
Parking, Hours, Cost, Difficulty
Parking: There is a large parking lot at the Kipahulu Visitor’s Center.
Hours: No posted hours, but best experienced and safest during the daylight.
Cost: Although they are accessed from different points, this area is part of the Haleakala National Park, so you’ll need to pay the $30 dollar entrance fee (per car), which allows you to get into both districts for three days. It's $25 for motorcycles, and $15 for bikes or on foot.
Difficulty: This hike gets extremely muddy due to the rain and Palikea Stream and requires four-miles of hiking round-trip. There’s also an 800-foot elevation change, so we rate this hike as moderate.
Majestic view of the Waimoku Waterfalls | Photo by Paul Keeler, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
How to get to Pipiwai Trail via Hana Highway?
From Hana, leave town on the Hana Highway headed south. Drive for about 30 minutes and you’ll enter the park. The Kipahulu Visitors Center will be on your left just after the entrance.
How long does Pipiwai take to finish?
You want to allow yourself at least three hours to complete the four-mile round-trip journey.
Can you do Haleakala in the same day?
If you’d like to check out both of the park’s districts–which cannot be accessed from the same point, in a single day, you’ll need to leave early. The drive between them takes about two and a half hours. Combined with the Pipiwai Trail, that’s about five hours of your day. So, you’ll have about six more hours of sunlight to explore Haleakala if you start your day at sunrise.
What should you bring?
You’ll want to bring clothes and shoes you don’t mind getting wet and maybe a rain jacket if you don’t want to feel the rain on your skin. You’ll also probably want sunscreen and a hat. If you plan on swimming, don’t forget your suit!
Visiting Maui? Shaka Guide has 6 tours on the island. Check them out here!
Please Note: There is only one road into and out of Hana. Locals have to drive this road everyday and the thousands of daily drivers on this one-lane highway greatly impacts their lives. Please be respectful — do not park illegally, pay attention to signs, drive responsibly, and pull over to let locals pass. Do not enter private property or visit sites that are unsafe. And, please remember to pick up your trash.