In a nutshell: Twin Falls is the first easily accessible string of waterfalls and pools on the Road to Hana. It also has one of the better snack stands on the journey. Twin falls is typically underrated by guidebooks, and is a worthy stop.
Minuses: You must budget your time properly here if you are cramming the Road to Hana into only one day.
Sound-bite: “How much further to the falls?”
Okay, why in the world does the most popular guidebook for Maui tell you this place is nothing special? The only answer I can think of is that the author performed the same quick in-and-out drive-by that, quite unfortunately, many less informed visitors will as well. I’m going to set the record straight and detail why Twin Falls is well worth at least an hour of your Road to Hana time, and why it is always a must see on my list.
The first thing you should know is that when you drive by, chances are the parking lot will be packed with cars. Don’t let that point alone mislead you, because Twin Falls is a pretty big place, and is often uncrowded even when the parking lot is packed. Most visitors will rush in with cameras blazing, thinking they have seen all there is to see after they capture a photo the first falls they happen to find. They will also be kind enough to leave the rest of the place much more serene for the visitors who took the time to plan their Road to Hana trip (like you!)
Hike Maui has brings guided tours through here, and they definitely know where to go. So when they have more than one or two vans there, that is when it can start to get crowded at the pools and falls. (Don’t think you’re in the clear because you see none of their green vans in the parking lot, because you won’t – they park inside a private gated lot that you can’t see.)
Note: Please be aware of unsafe high water or flash-flooding that may be present during periods of heavy extended rainfall. Signs are frequently posted at the entry gate during these times.
Twin Falls has an access road for residents that travels the better part of a mile alongside Ho’olawa Stream. A jungle largely restored by the residents over years of loving care accompanies you as you hike uphill on the well maintained graded and graveled path/road. After about a half mile or so, the wide path splits off into two foot-paths that fork in the general direction of Ho’olawa’s two main tributary streams. To the left lies Ho’olawa li’ili’i (Little Ho’olawa) Stream, and to the right Ho’olawa nui (Big Ho’olawa) Stream. Both streams are tapped at this point by EMI irrigation ditches.
Ho’olawa li’ili’i (the left fork)
Hang a left at the fork, and the foot-path will take you to one of the more popular falls, commonly called “Caveman” by local residents.
As you make your way you’ll first come to an irrigation ditch, then cross a funky old rock masonry weir (kids love to try and release the water with the now nonfunctional levers and gears.) Now you’ll either need to wade across the stream, or walk along the ditch wall.
Ahhh! Look at that! A picture-perfect waterfall oasis spills over a prehistoric looking cave dripping in vines and greenery – complete with a caveman swimming hole. (looks like the caveman was kind enough to provide a perfectly positioned swinging rope, too.) Update: The rope has been removed.
Not only are these falls a great swimming break – you can get a postcard perfect photo in front of the falls (either standing, or swinging Tarzan style) for you Facebook profile (or your desk, for old-school paper-print-photo types!)
After you’re tired of playing here, you can continue on by climbing up a path to the right (as you face the falls) – and through the jungle. This path continues in a loop, passing more waterfalls as it loops back down via Ho’olawa nui Stream. (More on that below.)
Ho’olawa nui (the right fork)
If you follow the right fork you will soon cross over the main ditch and follow another ditch for a pretty cool mini example of a hand-dug ditch tunnel through the rock. After you admire the handiwork (and hard labor) of old Hawaii, you continue on to another set of falls that are nice for photos and swimming. If you climb up the rock wall to the right and follow the path, you will end up at a rarely populated set of falls that have relatively safe opportunities for different heights of rock-jumping (do your homework in any pool you decide to jump in first, and definitely look before you leap!)
Off to the left (as you are facing the falls) a wonderful (sometimes hidden/confusing) trail meanders through the jungle, eventually taking you to Ho’olawa li’ili’i Stream, and to the falls listed above (under Ho’olawa li’ili’i.) Note: This is probably not a good trail to try and follow if you never hike or get lost easily. If you do feel lost, you actually can’t stray too far so long as you remember these simple points: 1) “Out” is downhill (makai – toward the ocean.) 2) Don’t cross any streams ’till you know where you are. (If you stray form the trail too far East (right) you’re going to run into Ho’olawa li’ili’i Stream (which is what you’re looking for- so follow it!) If you stray too far West (left) you will run into Ho’olawa nui. Just follow either downstream and you’ll find your way back.)
Keys to Having Fun at Twin Falls
- Wear clothes and shoes that you won’t care if they get wet or dirty.
- Bring a towel.
- Wear swim gear. (Don’t be shocked if you stumble upon a nude bather along the way!)
- There are several falls accessible along the trail. Listen for waterfalls as you walk and explore! (the stream flows to the left of the main path.)
- Once you have stumbled on “the” falls (and when most people turn back to head to the car) realize that there are many sets of falls here, that you have only just begun!
- It is easy to end up wondering where “it” is if you stay on the main trail without following the small foot paths down to the stream. “It”, is everywhere, and if you haven’t seen many different pools, multiple waterfalls of all different sizes, caves, water diversion ditches with amazing history (more on this coming soon), and stunning jungle wonders on your hike, then you haven’t been off the trail! There really is so much to do here that you can literally spend an entire day here if you want. (I know I have!)
Note: It is also important to remember that even though you probably won’t see them, a number of families do live on this land. If you are exploring and come upon an area that looks like someone may live there, they do!
The snack stand is right in the parking lot, and is really worth a stop. They have tasty and fresh home-grown fruits (many grown right on this land), smoothies, cane juice, and home-made baked goods, to name a few.
Mile Marker: #2.1 (Hana Hwy aka Hwy 360)
GPS Coordinates: 20.911658,-156.243954
Facilities: Port-a-potties, snack stand
View Twin Falls in a larger map
25 comments about “Twin Falls”
We’re interested in visiting the falls next weekend and wondering what the parking situation is these days? I see a comment from December but not sure if that’s still current. And is there much water going over the falls this time of year? Thanks so much!
Go early or late for the best luck parking. There is plenty of water most of the time 🙂
charles starkes says:
visited today lots of parking!!!
Meredith Hall says:
Update 12/28/21: they are now charging $10 for parking which makes it easy to get a spot and presumably reduces the crowd situation. We had a lovely visit and enjoyed our pineapple smoothies too!
Son Y’a says:
Just went and yes parking is still $10, but there’s only limited spots. So if it’s full (which it normally is), then there’s someone that blocks the entrance holding a sign that says “Full”. So you are forced to drive back and forth and hope to get lucky. The moment a car leaves, they open the entrance for 1 lucky car driving by. So if you see it open, drive right in asap. Pretty straight forward trail-wise. Go left for a quick waterfall spot then retrace your steps and head straight this time for upper trail. Turn left between the port-o-potties and follow the trail upward veering left sometimes towards the main waterfall. You do cross a stream and a narrow walkway to get there but quite lovely and worth seeing.
How long does it take to do the suggested hike looping around back excluding time spent swimming?
You can spend anywhere from a half an hour to half a day here 🙂
Absolutely love your guides! We use them when we visit and recommend them to all of our friends!
We had an issue when we stopped at Twin Falls today. All the parking was closed off and a young man would not let anyone else in. He also told everyone who tried to stop and park on the road they could not enter. He claimed to be working in an official capacity for “the farm”. Has anyone heard if this is now the norm? There appeared to be a tour company bus in the lot, and I wondered if perhaps the tour company took it upon themselves to block more people from entering.
Thanks for the help!
The land surrounding the streams, and much of what you walk on to explore them is privately owned and managed. The second (State-owned) parking lot has been closed to use for staging for a nearby bridge construction project, plus all the on-road parking was eliminated by the County before COVID so there is *very* reduced parking here now. Odds are you wont get a spot here these days till the bride repair is completed.
Hi there, we plan to visit this stop next week on our trip. I’m just wondering if you were able to park somewhere else to fix the issue you ran into? Were you still able to go? Just curious, thanks!
Blanca T Fletcher says:
My family and I were just there visiting twin falls on Thursday, February 20, 2020. We lost a very special stuffed animal “cheetah” a scentsy stuffed animal. If someone finds it or found it please contact me so we can arrange shipping of such. My daughter is absolutely devastated that we lost her only favorite stuffie that she’s had for over 8 years now. ?
Paolo Ciccardi says:
Thanks MauiGuidebook.com for your indications! I went there with my wife and my kids (6 and 8 year old) on a Sunday morning. We had an incredibly great time, spending the entire morning hiking, stream crossing, flowers watching, jumping into pools and showering under waterfalls. We brought sturdy shoes and water shoes plus water and sandwich. The trails were pretty easy up to the Caveman waterfall, then became too hard for kids. We took our reward at the snack bar: delicious fruit, smoothies and juice. Note: you do not have to be an experienced hiker to go past the gate, however that day the streams were not plenty of water. Also, the left trail at the fork is closed by locals, so we took the right trail. My personal tips are: use good shoes, never hike with flip flops or sandals, and respect locals and private properties!
Ana steele says:
How far is it from the parking lot to the falls? Is the path wheel chair accessible? I am getting married here in the fall and don’t know if my mom can make the walk
Do you think my 60 year old, arthritic in the knees dad could do this?
At least some of it…I’m two weeks before 60 and just did this this morning. I have good knees, but the easiest path is mostly level (a couple of minor and not-steep grades) and mostly quite stable footing. If one takes it slow, shouldn’t be a problem.
There are not words to express how beautiful this place is. Our tour guide was great. My boys, (ages 10 and 12 at the time) went swimming. It was just amazing. A must see if you have never been! Thank you to the people who live there for sharing this gift with us!!
Mary B says:
Can someone give more detailed directions on how to find the caves in this area? We are going on our first Maui trip in June 2018 and the road to Hana is on our to do list! Thanks
We just went today and I was a bit confused, never saw a fork, all the places that seeemed like a fork had private property or Farm signs so stay out. Never the less we stayed left and the place was amazing. A 5 or 10 minute walk up the road from the fruit stand there was a fall that folks were jumping off of and on the main road there was s gate warning that only experienced hikers should continue past the gate….false. It only took us 15 minutes from that gate to get to Caveman and it was awesome. You cross a stream or river (depending on rain) but it’s clearly paved u set the water as people drive through it to get to their farms. We got to the drainage weir and could see the falls. We walked in the stream about 50 yards and were there. You can walk up to the falling water from the back left side, I didn’t find a deep spot above my chest. Absolutely worthy of a stop. My dad stayed back at the stream crossing but should have come, it was an easy hike to the falls and they were straight out of a brochure. My 15 year old daughter even said ”I’m so glad you made me do this, it was awesome”….now that’s saying something.
I hope this helps….enjoy!
Angela Mccloskey says:
That’s. I was wondering what the difficulty was. Doesn’t sound bad.
Kevin Sidensol says:
Great place. I went last year.
But is it deep enough to jump from the top of the falls? I went last year and the water was a bit murky and I chickened out when diving to see how deep it was. I also poked around a bit, looking for a trail up to the top. I think one can get around if you take that road that forked off to the right back a few hundred yards. The one that’s gated off. I jumped off the waterfall at marker 11 back in 1996. That was fun. I have a picture somewhere. But we didn’t have time to go that far on this trip. Cheers!
Sherry Nissen says:
I brought my daughter to Maui for there first time for her 34th birthday. We were just talking about taking the road Hana when my gf said be sure to check out twin falls… After reading this on Google, we are now extra excited to take that road!!! Thank you ~Aloha!!!
One of my favorite places to go when I visit Maui! The walk is a little long, but definitely worth it. The plants are lush green and beautiful, not to mention the waterfall at the end is a huge bonus. If you’re adventurous, there is a beautiful swimming area under a smaller and rockier waterfall more towards the beginning of the trail, if you are willing to step off of the beaten path. Bring a swimsuit!!
MaryAnn Wijtman says:
This was a great little hike to the falls – definitely need some kind of hiking/water shoes. We could not find the path that is mentioned to continue on to other falls. It would be great if someone added a photo pointing out where it is. Still a great experience.
Tara Weston says:
These tips were spot on! We hiked Twin Falls on July 6th, 2014. We left Wailea around 8:15 or so and got to the farm stand about 9:15. We set out on the hike and were not disappointed with the sights or directions. DEFINITELY bring water shoes or flip flops unless you want to get your sneakers wet. I waded barefoot across the stream and on through to one of the waterfalls pictured above (sadly, no rope swing). The others in my party put on their shoes and decided wet was better than rocky. Be willing to go off the beaten path; you won’t be disappointed in what you find. I will definitely want to do this one again as I know we didn’t cover everything!
Tony Jangula says:
We had a great time hiking twin falls. Saw lots of interesting things. Waterfalls were beautiful and cool, even on a hot day. Guides were really nice. Would do it again in a heartbeat.