On my very short trip to Maui, I had to be very selective as to what to visit from the wide range of adventures and fun that this island could offer. A rough trail through a bamboo forest with four waterfalls sounded too good to miss out. It’s a short trail (just 1km) that goes along Na’ili’ili-haele stream, but it is rightfully located in the adventures section of “Maui Revealed: the Ultimate Guidebook“, where I first heard about it. I was lucky to find an adventurous couchsurfer in Maui, who knew the island well but not that trail and was up for checking it out. So, we headed there almost straight away after he picked me up from the airport.
There are a few narrow trails that start off Hana highway, and they immediately bring you into a dense bamboo forest.
The guidebook said that few people went beyond the second waterfall, but it wasn’t crowded in the beginning either and I couldn’t wait to get naked in that warm and humid weather. Bamboos greeted us with a pleasant noise when the wind made them move and hit each other.
Depending on the rainfall, I assume there may be more springs,
but once you cross the main stream, turn left and walk on its right side upstream.
At the first waterfall, you need to cross to the opposite (left) bank of the stream.
At the second waterfall, there were quite a few people, so I put on my clothes back. We found a ladder to the left of the waterfall that wasn’t described in the guidebook (I had 2005 edition) – it definitely made it easier to climb the rock, but use it on your own risk.
While climbing that shabby ladder, I continued to admire the diverse plant life of this place. I could see 4 fern species within my hand reach (but the hand had to reach out for the rope!)
When we got up and walked just a little farther, we saw a very different kind of fern, a tree fern that was truly majestic.
As you can see, I got naked again. It started drizzling but was still very warm.
That stretch of the trail goes through a more open area no longer dominated by bamboos. There were a lot of guava trees full of ripe fruit, so we didn’t need to worry about snack 😉
Another edible plant growing in abundance there is ginger.
As much as I love ginger, it’s not the kind of thing I would eat just like that.
About 15 minutes after the second waterfall, the stream’s valley narrows and the trail actually disappears… Now, you have to swim to see the next waterfalls! That’s when a waterproof bag gets handy – I used it for my camera, and hid my shorts just under a tree.
After swimming about half-Olympic-size pool,
you get to boulder along the third waterfall, but it’s an easy climb.
And, just a short walk later, you are at the fourth and the most impressive waterfall so far!
The pool is surrounded by almost vertical cliffs which create a very pretty scene.
We met a couple there who didn’t even blink at my nakedness. I hope they took a mental note that being naked was a good idea on a hot day on a trail where you have to swim 😉 The guy went for a dive from the cliffs, and then I followed.
That was a perfect reward for the strenuous hike!
The guidebook said there were more waterfalls, but they were “not possible” to reach. We did not have time to test that and headed back down.
At the third pool, we had another chance for a dive.
As the sun came out, I was shining with happiness 🙂
On the way back, as it often happens, the trail felt much shorter.
Almost at the trailhead, we discovered a viewing spot that we just missed in the beginning.
It provided a magnificent view over the whole bamboo forest, and it was a perfect way to end our hike.