OHE July 9, 1997

Gaby Canalizo contributed the following:
Aloha hikers,

I didn't do much hiking on Maui. My mainland visitors wanted to spend as much time as possible by the beach... But we did get to do the popular yet beautiful Waimoku Falls trail.

On Saturday 7/5, we went to Hana by road, stopping at all the usual places and letting my visitors take lots of pictures. It had been raining a lot the previous days, so the waterfalls were huge and mighty.

We did some hiking by a waterfall on the way to Hana. I don't know the name of it, but it must have be somewhere around mile 10 or so. I'd been there before, but it was hard to recognize the place. The trail I'd used before was completely covered with water; the rocks where I'd once sat and walked around were covered by a huge stream cascading down and under the bridge. Three of us started climbing up to reach the upper pool and waterfall. It soon became clear that we weren't going to be able to stay dry. So I left my camera and watch over a rock and kept going, knowing some tourist might decide to take them with them. Oh well, let's hope they don't. More importantly, I had the rental car key in my pocket, and I had to make sure I didn't lose it!

As often happens, as soon as we climbed the first waterfall, we left all the tourists behind. The way to the upper pool wasn't too hard, though in some places the current was so strong that one of my friends lost both of his slippers =) . We swam in the upper pool and sat under the big waterfall; that was exhilarating!

After swimming for a while we went back down to meet our other friends and resume the trip. Yes, I did manage to keep the car key inside my pocket, and my camera and watch were still where I left them.

By the time we got to Haleakala National Park (about 12 miles past Hana), it was 3:30pm. The lower pools of the "seven sacred pools", as they call it in tourist guides, was packed with people. I'm not exagerating if I say that there were over 100 people in the pool by the ocean. Fortunately, many of them were leaving, and we were able to park at the visitors center. We put on our boots, and started hiking up. Once again, as we passed above the second pool, we left 90% of the tourists behind. The trail is in remarkably good condition, and the waterfalls are simply gorgeous. It is very rewarding for the little effort you have to do. The trail is two miles long, and there's an elevation change of about 900ft. Perfect for family hikes. I'm surprised there weren't more people up there; maybe it was because it was later in the day?

After stopping by every single waterfall, pool, and lookout, we reached Waimoku Falls around 5:00pm. It was incredible. The main waterfall reminded me of Hanakapia`i in the Na Pali coast, but there were many little waterfalls all around the gorge. Once again, three of us rushed down to one of the pools below the bamboo forest, and swam there for a very long time. There were pukas on the rocks below the different waterfalls, and it was fun to swim in and out, behind the waterfall itself. The water was freezing cold! (for us thin- blooded people, of course), but it made a great "cold-tub" after a day of driving and hiking.

The rest of the group met us later at the pool, and we all headed down, stopping only to climb and play on a banyan tree. I don't know what time we got back to the car, but we arrived in Hamoa beach (near Hana) just in time for the sunset.

It was a truly beautiful hike. After hearing about how crowded this place usually is, I almost skipped going there altogether. I'm very glad I didn't. Remember, crowds never make it past the first 1/2 mile.


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