In a nutshell: A drive-up stop, one waterfall and pool are right next to the road. The second, larger waterfall and pool just upstream are impressively beautiful, and tragically underrated by other guidebooks.
Minuses: Unpredictable flow; also unpredictable visitor count (can be packed or empty, with no rhyme or reason.)
Sound-bite: “This is all I wanted to do in Hawaii.”
A popular, user-friendly (but frequently under-rated) stop on the Road to Hana. The reason this is so underrated by the other guidebooks is that they came to see it on the wrong day. The water source is heavily tapped and diverted above and these falls can be essentially “turned off” by EMI a relic that used to feed thirsty sugar plantations. You can tell if this is worth a stop by looking at the waterfall closest to the road. If it is flowing, then you’re in for a treat.
The first waterfall is literally steps from the road, and has a beautiful pool tailor-made for swimming. The bigger second waterfall has multiple places to sit at the bottom and let the water fall on you. The last time I was there, a family was sitting under the waterfall, and I overheard the father blissfully claim “this is all I ever wanted to do in Hawaii.” I don’t know if I personally would be satisfied with just Waikamoi – but it is a really sweet place, that is so easily accessible without any serious hiking, that for someone doing an unplanned drive-thru, it could be the nicest waterfall they swim in.
Getting to the second fall requires a scramble up a (usually) mostly-dry stream bed – but unless the water is raging, it is pretty easy (and if the water is raging, don’t even try it!)
Please be aware of unsafe high water or flash-flooding that can occur in North and East Maui streams. This note is found on many articles, if you have not read the flash flood page, taking a minute to do so could save your life.
Read it now
Mile Marker: #9.9 (Hana Hwy aka Hwy 360)
GPS Coordinates: 20.872356,-156.187316
Facilities: No facilities
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12 comments about “Waikamoi Stream & Waterfalls”
Tammy Boyce says:
Is there parking near the falls?
How long is the hike from the nearest parking spot to the larger falls?
You might mention the dangers of flash flooding. As a resident of Hana I would suggest to people visiting Waikamoi to be aware of their surroundings. Look up at the mountain for dark clouds, they mean rain. Keep you ears tuned to the sound of rushing water. Look at the pools and have an exit strategy. All this before going in. Last but certainly not least: pay attention to locals and their advice!!!
Maricela Carrillo says:
I agree. I lost two dear friends on Feb 27 2021 in that waterfall due to flash flood
I’m so very sorry for your loss Tracy, and sadly know it all too personally as well. Please accept my sincere condolences. I would like to remind everyone reading this to read our many, many warnings and descriptions of the dangers on our streams, waterfalls and ocean posted throughout our website; you do not have to look far to find them, and it is extremely important. For you personally, you may want to know that your fiends were not reported to have been lost at the location described in this article, but at a different location (Waikamoi stream is very long, rugged and many parts inaccessible by most but the very adventurous.) I can also all too easily imagine myself and other lovers of adventure and nature in such a circumstance, and I think it is safe to assume that your friends were likely having one of the most amazing and alive experience of their lives before the water suddenly and virtually immediately swept through. When it did, it may help you to know things almost certainly happened extremely fast (to be measured in seconds, not the hours and days of horror endured by friends and loved ones while emergency responders searched.) I have been present for many flash floods. It is so astonishingly fast in real life that someone not expecting such a thing most likely wouldn’t even have the time to fear or process and make sense of what was happening before they lost consciousness. That can comfort many to know, and I hope it helps you to know your friends likely did not suffer. Again I am so very sorry for your loss, and I hope you understand my response in the way I intend. A piece of my heart truly breaks every time I hear a report such as this.
Rebecca Richardson says:
This sounds accessible. Would it work for my mother (79) who has trouble walking? Could she get to the falls with our help?
Maybe. It’s hard to say. But there is so much you can see on the Road to Hana from the car that she will likely enjoy the trip with our without the walk 🙂
The trail is very short but is very rocky, parts are steep, and it’s slippery. Hikers sometimes reach for branches and rocks with our hands. I wouldn’t recommend it to someone who is unsteady.
Larry L. Miller says:
Does the Waikamoi River have its outflow (mouth) at the Pacific Ocean? I am compiling a reference book on rivers of the world and just want to have my facts straight. Thank you.
Aloha Larry. All rivers in Maui naturally outflow to the Pacific Ocean. Some are diverted to the point that they run dry before that, but during times of heavy rain, or when diversions have been restored, they flow to the ocean.
gena padron says:
Where is waikamoi waterfall? How far from the start of road to Hana bc we do not have time to even do half. Is it in the garden of eden or closer and do you have to pay? How far drive from cruise port we only have the day,
Thank you in advance going in April
Tracy Craft says:
Gena Padron – my family and I are going to Hawaii the 1st week of February and we are renting a car and driving the road to hana. If you will email after Feb 12 – I can give you super details of the road to hana trip. I have been planning this for a long time and we are extremely excited. my email is email@example.com (my name is Tracy).