Pipiwai Trail Maui: In-Depth Guide for an Epic Hike

Rushing waterfalls, a towering bamboo forest, and a majestic banyan tree–experience it all at Pipiwai Trail in Maui!

The famous Hana highway has much to offer, including flourishing rainforests, flowing waterfalls, plunging pools, and dramatic seascapes. If you keep driving, eventually you will reach Haleakala National Park, which houses the breathtaking Haleakala crater and a few other natural attractions.

Haleakala National Park is also home to a number of the best hiking trails on Maui. Among them is the Pipiwai Trail, located just above the Oheo Gulch (another famous Maui attraction).

This seemingly unassuming trail has many surprises in store! In just 2 to 4 hours, you’ll be treated to some of the most awe-inspiring natural phenomena. In other words, the Pipiwai trail is both a journey and a place where Mother Nature is at her most beautiful.

Following along as we share what to see on Pipiwai Trail, where to stay, vacation packages, and insider tips!

What to See in Pipiwai Trail Maui

Makahiku Falls

There are not one, but two, majestic waterfalls found on the Pipiwai trail. Searching for more information about Pipiwai trail waterfall will give you details about Makahiku Falls and Waimoku Falls.

There isn’t a lot to say about Makahiku Falls, other than the fact that most people stay far longer to appreciate the astounding views. The 200-foot-tall waterfall is not the tallest on Maui, but it is still one of the top attractions due to its dramatic scenery.

In addition, seeing the Makahiku Falls is often the focus of itineraries for visitors who do not wish to hike the full length of the Pipiwai trail. Satisfied with what you saw? You can turn around here for a 1-mile roundtrip hike and leave feeling accomplished.

aerial view through trees over Falls of Makahiku in Maui, Hawaii, USABamboo Forest

Ready to hike Pipiwai trail? Prepare for the best Maui bamboo forest waterfall-filled adventure! Aside from the two famous waterfalls found at Pipiwai trail, the Pipiwai trail Bamboo forest is another top attraction that gives visitors from all over the world a reason to start embarking on this journey.

As one of the best parts of the Pipiwai trail, Bamboo hike Maui will make you feel like you’ve just been transported to a different dimension. Halfway to the end of the trail, the lush rainforest will transform into a well-maintained trail paving, surrounded by towering bamboo trees.

On your journey, you will be accompanied by the music of the bamboo blowing in the breeze. This is definitely one of those moments when you realize that the journey is the destination!

wooden pathway surrounded by bamboo stalks at Bamboo Forrest at Road to Hana in Maui, Hawaii, USA
photo credit: Best In-House Media via Facebook

The Banyan Tree

Mighty Banyan trees are known to live for centuries. With strong, deep roots and the thickest branches, Banyans are able to survive the toughest weather and the most extreme situations. Through the years, these trees produce vast crops of figs that sustain many species of birds and other creatures. Thus, when there is a chance to see a century-old majestic Banyan tree, it’s an opportunity worth taking.

The Pipiwai Banyan tree is estimated to be over 100 years old with branches that stretch over 60 feet long. Aside from admiring the tree’s far-reaching branches and spending a couple of minutes taking Instagram-worthy photos, this site is also a great place to rest and drink some water. Take shelter underneath the Banyan tree’s shade and prepare for the exciting stops ahead.

Waimoku Falls

Saving the best for last, Waimoku Falls is found at the end of Pipiwai Trail, just above the Seven Sacred Pools. Pipiwai Trail & Waimoku Falls are words that are often seen on the web together because many visitors are motivated to walk the trail just to see the spectacular Waimoku falls at the end of the journey. If you are determined to hike the Pipiwai trail all the way to the end, you will eventually reach this grand destination.

Being able to stand in front of a 400-foot waterfall does not happen every day. When you get there, the only thing left to do is to appreciate one of mother nature’s best works of art. Revel in the serenity of lush foliage framing a gigantic waterfall that makes you appreciate all things bigger than life.

Aerial view of the Waimoku Falls in MauiHotels Near Maui Pipiwai Trail

Tiring yet fulfilling–this is how we describe exploring Pipiwai Trail and the natural attractions nearby. But no worries! There are a number of hotels and resorts that can accommodate you after a day’s worth of adventure.

The best Maui hotels (like the ones listed below) are also great at helping with travel arrangements. If you’re looking to book a guided Pipiwai Trail tour at the last minute, head over to the front desk for immediate assistance.

a wide shot of the big island where there's a plenty of coconut trees, pool and a huge building
photo credit: Aston Kona by the Sea via Facebook

Know Before You Go

What to Bring

The Pipiwai trail hike can be extra muddy at certain times of the year. We don’t need to tell you to wear your best hiking shoes, but it’s also worth considering bringing an extra pair. Although the Bamboo forest features a well-maintained concrete trail, you will have to endure dirt and rock paths the rest of the way. Some hiking shoes have been known to give in, so it won’t hurt to be prepared!

The rest of the space in your hiking bag should contain the bare necessities–such as a bottle of water, energy bars and snacks, a small towel, and an insect repellent.

As for cameras, it is unclear whether drones are allowed to be flown on Pipiwai Trail. However, no one is stopping you from bringing a good old selfie stick!

Old large Banaon tree with many branches and pile of rocks on foreground at Pipiwai trail in Hawaii, USAPipiwai Trail Hours and Difficulty

The trail can be hiked year-round and is open from 9 AM to 5 PM. The best time to hike Pipiwai Trail is as early as possible. If you’re bringing your own vehicle, you won’t have to wait for a parking space. Arriving early also gives you enough time to finish the hike and appreciate the natural attractions before the park closes.

Wondering how long is Pipiwai Trail? Pipiwai is 4 miles roundtrip and is considered one of the easy hikes in Maui out of all the hiking trails on the island. However, the National Park Service put up tons of warning signs in the area, all of which you should take seriously.

Too many hikers have been swept away or trapped by flash flooding. In addition, natural dangers, including rock falls, suddenly occur without warning. As always when exploring the great outdoors, take precautions and follow safety directions!

Pipiwai Trail Parking

Driving to the Trail? Getting to the trailhead requires a drive down the famed Road to Hana. Once there, you will be required to pay a fee per vehicle. Parking is included in your entrance fee at the Kipahulu side of Haleakalā National Park.

The park ranger at the entrance will direct you to the parking lot near the visitor center, where you can also ask for a free Pipiwai Trail map.

Pipiwai trail reservations are not required, but reservations for a guided hike can be made up to a week in advance.

View of Waimoku Falls on the Pipiwai trail in Kipahulu State park, Maui, Hawaii
Waimoku Falls on the Pipiwai trail, Kipahulu state park, Maui, Hawaii

Book Your Trail Experiences and Maui Tours

The Pipiwai trail is a beloved Maui destination due to its multidimensional attractions. In just 4 miles you get to see:

  • two majestic waterfalls,
  • a magical bamboo forest
  • an enchanting century-old Banyan tree.

Plan your trip with Tripster! Book Trail and Maui tours in advance, including hotel accommodations, transportation, and local tour guides!

Have You Hiked This Trail?

What advice or tips would you add to our list? Leave us a comment below!

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Written by Nicole King

There are only two things that make Nicole really happy–books and travel! When her head’s not buried in a book, she’s most likely...

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