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Explore the Kipahulu District of Haleakala National Park

Maui is famous for its breathtaking sights, especially those at the Haleakala National Park.   When you visit Maui you’ll want to trek to the summit of Haleakala to see gorgeous sunrises and starry nights, as well as the vast landscape of the Haleakala Crater.  The Kipahulu District of the Haleakala National Park, located 12 miles past the town of Hana, is another region of the park that encompasses pristine natural sights worth a visit.  The famous Pools of Oheo Gulch are located at Kipahulu.  Here you’ll discover beautifully tiered pools fed by waterfalls invite you to swim and play – Hawaiian style. 

Kipahulu District
Pictures don’t do this waterfall justice. It’s something you have to see in person to truly appreciate.

To get to Kipahulu, you’ll drive the Road to Hana, a beautiful coastal highway dotted with natural attractions.  Waterfalls, panoramic vistas, black sand beaches and plenty of other historic and cultural stops.  Be sure to make time for experiences at Kipahulu, though, as this area of the Haleakala National Park features spectacular scenery and exotic experiences.

Hiking at Kipahulu is outstanding.  There are three main hikes at the park – the Pipiwai Trail, Kuloa Point Trail and Kahakai Trail.  I highly recommend hiking the Pipiwai Trail.  The 4-mile roundtrip hike is slightly strenuous due to the terrain and elevation changes. Likewise, it winds through freshwater streams, bamboo forests and even past a huge banyan tree along the way to the epic 200-foot Makahiku Falls.  If you’re searching for shorter hiking trails, Kuloa Point and Kahakai Trail are both ½ mile roundtrip. They access the mouth of Oheo Gulch and gorgeous ocean views, respectively.

Kipahulu District
Oheo Gulch is also known as the Seven Sacred Pools.
One of the most amazing things to do at Kipahulu is swim in the pools of Oheo Gulch.  When conditions allow, you can swim in the small set of pools that cascades from Oheo Gulch Stream at Haleakala National Park.  They are only about 30 ft. or so in total height. As a result, they create a tropical paradise in which you can splash and play. 

Elsewhere at the Kipahulu District you’ll find lush vegetation and scenic coastal views. Be sure to keep an eye open for sea turtles, monk seals, dolphins and whales (December-April.)  Guided activities and cultural events are also available.


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Hawaii to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.
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