Back to index Makamaka'ole Falls Hike
Trip Date:  03/11/2012

: 2.7 Miles

Vertical Gain: 450'

Group Size: 2

Hike Rating:    Easy  Moderate    Hard    Strenuous
Makamakaole Trail Route
Download GPX GPX for this trip
Makamakaole Elevation Profile
Start Coordinates:   N 20 57.505  W 156 32.058     End Coordinates:   Same as starting coordinates
Car Shuttle Req'd:   No Parking Directions:   Take Highway 340 7 1/2 miles north (Kahekili Highway) from Wailuku toward Waihee.  Park on the left side of the road as you are heading north in a turnout area at the coordinates which will be ample enough room for 3-4 vehicles.
The trailhead is just on the west side of the road (away from the ocean) into a bamboo forest.  You will have to walk through a small gate to start the hike.
Hazards of Note:   Be aware of the weather up the mountain, as this area is prone to flash flooding during intense rains. Crowd Factor:   Minimal.  This is not a well known hike, and the three locals we met the second time we were on it were very surprised we knew anything about it.
General Notes:
To reach the Maka'maka'ole falls from this trailhead you will cross the river 13 times.  Hence the nickname of "13 Crossings" for this hike.    There is a large banyan tree at the first crossing, where you start your count.  Do not bother with any of the trails which lead away from the river.  You will follow it the entire way.  There is a very interesting bamboo forest you will hike through about halfway to the falls.  Each of the crossings are very straightforward and everything else is pretty simple until the last crossing.
 At the 13th crossing you need to head to the right, and will possibly have to wade through some knee deep water if you are not able to navigate away along the rocks on the right hand side of the river at this point.  
Immediately after this you will come to the lower waterfall, which is tucked around the corner on the right side of the pool.  If you are adventurous, you can climb the right side of the waterfall, step across it using a rope hanging on the other side and be at the pools for the twin falls which are above this one.  There may be other falls further up, but this was the extent of our exploration.

Annie near the start of the hike. Annie near the start of the hike
Flash flood damage from a huge storm three days before our trip. Indredible damage from flash flood
Continuing past one of the 13 crossings on the way to the falls. Continuing up the trail
Tristan, Sierra and Skye stopped along the way. One more crossing before the falls
About to enter the bamboo forest section. Entering the bamboo forest
Annie at the falls area. Annie at the falls area
Looking at the falls from a perch above a close-by cave. Makamaka'ole Falls
Another view of the falls. Makamakaole falls
Only item from a cache I could find, about 1/2 mile down stream from where it was located before the flash flood. Only thing left from a geocache destroyed by rain
GPS track of the hike.  GPS track of hike