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The Bamboo Forest and Waimoku Falls in Kipahulu, Maui

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Description: Hike through a Bamboo Forest with falls at the end.

Downside: Can get crowded

How to Get There:Take Route 36 to 360 to 31 until you reach ‘Ohe’o Gulch (Seven Sacred Pools) at Mile Marker 41 Hana Highway. Take the Pipiwai Trail, which will lead you through to the Bamboo Forest to Waimoku Falls.The trail is 2 miles each way, and can take 2 ½ to 5 hours to complete. Before leaving, pack a hat, sunscreen, bug repellent, rain gear, water bottles, food, and anything else you might want for your hike. Also, make sure you have enough gas, or that you fill up at the last gas station on the highway in Pa’ia, or else you’ll have to make a stop in Hana. Once you reach Haleakala National Park, the parking will be on the left. It is $15 to park, but that gives you a pass for three days that you can also use at the Haleakala Summit, so don’t lose your receipt.

Adventure Details:

After disembarking on the slope down from where the parking lot is, we were finally on our way down the PipiwaiTrail. It was not long before we started approaching all the little wonders of this place, the first being the Banyan Tree that reminded me of the talking Ents from Lord of the Rings. They are the oldest looking trees you will ever see.

Banyan tree on the Pipwai Trail, Maui

Banyan tree on the Pipwai Trail, Maui

When we continued from the tree, we reached two metal bridges that allowed us to cross over a stream. Still in my fantasy mindset, I wondered if a troll would be living under here. I leaned over to take a picture (and check for a Troll), and I almost lost my glasses. Thankfully, they remained on my head, and we crossed over the bridge.

Taking our time, we made it to the entrance to the Bamboo Forest. The vibrant, green towers of bamboo were quickly closing in on me, and I felt like a tiny ant among them all. Once we entered the enclave, the bamboo made way for a dark tunnel to walk through. Eventually, all the sunshine that was hitting us a few minutes before was completely covered by the massive amounts of bamboo. I noticed that the temperature suddenly got much cooler and that the only sounds I could hear were the bamboo stalks blowing against one another, sounding something like a wooden wind chime.

Tall Bamboo Forest, Pipwai Trail, Maui

Tall Bamboo Forest, Pipwai Trail, Maui

Despite the cooler temperatures, I could still feel my skin a bit sticky, as the bamboo did not block out the humidity. I had hoped to venture off and get lost in what was probably an endless maze of bamboo, but there were wooden boardwalks that marked the trail, keeping me from getting lost.

Boardwalk path through the Bamboo Forest

Boardwalk path through the Bamboo Forest

On the trail, we reached yet another crossing, but this one had no bridge. I had to maneuver myself carefully across the rocks on the stream and not lose my balance. In all my concentration navigating the boulders, I had gotten tangled up in a humongous spider web. Still, I was impressed with my ability to make it to the other side without tumbling into the water.

On at the last stretch of the hike before Waimoku Falls, the trail was filled with lush green tropical plants, and it was breathtaking. Before we knew it, I looked up, and there it was. The falls were 400 feet tall, and I felt again like I did in the Bamboo Forest-like, a tiny ant.

Waimoku Falls, Maui

Waimoku Falls, Maui

We hopped in for a swim in the pool at the foot of the falls. It was like a scene out of a movie, swimming here with all this beautiful scenery surrounding us. As I stepped out of the pool, behind me was a rainbow forming at the foot of the falls. It was amazing.

Rainbow at Waimoku Falls, Maui

Rainbow at Waimoku Falls, Maui

Maui has many gorgeous places, but the Bamboo Forest and Waimoku Falls at Haleakala National Park were the one place where I felt that I connected with the island while being truly at peace. Maybe there was a bit of magic here, and if you look hard enough on your visit to Kipahulu, you might just have her spell casted upon you, too.

Have you been here? If so, what was your experience? Comment below and let us know so we can Go! See! Learn!

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Michelle Rae

Michelle Rae

Michelle Rae is the creator of The Traveling Vixen, which captures her adventures around the world. Her passion is to inspire others to grow by experiencing and learning new things in the world.

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