Na’Ili’Ili Haele Bamboo Hike
5 Coconuts!! A must do!
This hike is probably one of the best overall hikes that you can do on Maui. With this hike, you go through a bamboo forest, hike in river beds, do a bit of climbing and at the end of it all, if you decide to go for it and swim up the stream, you’ll end up at a twenty-some foot waterfall that you can climb up and jump from into the pool below. Makes for one of the most memorable Maui days.
Also, if you’re on your way on the Road to Hana, check out this page for some useful tips!
6/10, not super difficult. The most treacherous part is the community-maintained ladder after waterfall, however if you take your time, it’s not much more difficult that climbing a normal ladder.
3 – 4 hours if you’re taking your time.
This hike doesn’t have any formal parking; you will park on the side of the road right outside a dense set of bushy trees.
Park past the white line
From the side of the road, you’ll enter a hole in the bushes and follow along the makeshift trail, through the mud and bamboo, until you reach a plank. This plank is bridging the gap over a small stream and while it’s not much of a fall, any time you have to walk a plank, it feels like you’re going to fall. After walking your plank, continue along the path and you’ll eventually reach a river.
You’ll cross the river, hopping from rock to rock and if you’re lucky you can make it to the other side with touching foot in the water (or not. What’s an adventure without getting a little wet? If you’re going the whole way, you’ll be getting wet anyway.) Once you reach the other side of the river, you’ll continue you on through the bamboo forest. About a third of the way to the first pond and a waterfall, you can look to the left side of the river through the bamboo and see your first waterfall. Some days, it’ll be raging. Others, it won’t be. The pool at the base of that waterfall gets deeper as you get closer to the waterfall, but it’s depth isn’t something you’d want to (or should want to at least) explore.
Go back to the other side of the river and continue through the bamboo forest until you get to an opening that will lead you to the river bed and you’ll get to the first pool and another waterfall.
You can stop here and still have had a great day, but continue on on the opposite side of the riverbed and you’ll reach an incline with a few ropes set up to help you along.
Climbing and Slippery Slopes
Continue following the trail and you’ll reach another pool. If you look up to the left, hanging off the tree, there used to be a jimmy-rigged rope swing. Depending on the day, you’ll go here and see locals swing off of that into the water. This is NOT a recommended thing to do.
Trust but verify
Follow the left path up to a rickety, old ladder. This is probably the most treacherous part of this hike. Over the years, people have come here and changed the means of getting up this rock face. Different ladders have come and go and new ropes have come to replace and reinforce old ones to help you make it over the upper lip of this ledge. This is a perfectly fine place to stop if you don’t want to risk this little adventure. That being said, families have come here and made it past this point and continued on to see the rest of the hike. Do what is comfortable for you. Take your time and be care if you choose to continue on.
Once you’ve climbed up the ladder, keep following the river bed up, hopping along the rocks to make your way on. You can choose to get your feet wet, which experience has shown to be the safer route, albeit possibly more uncomfortable. However you make your way up, you’ll eventually hit a bend in the river that hooks right. Getting here, you’ll realize if you want to keep going, you’re going to have to get wet. You will have to swim to get to the next micro waterfall. Don’t bring anything you’re not willing to get wet. The depth is anywhere between five (5) feet to approximately thirty (30) feet. Once you reach the other end, climb up the right side of this micro waterfall.
You’re almost there!
Follow the river bed up and you’ll reach the end of this particular hike. And you’ll be glad you did. This is a great way to spend the day, making it here and even hanging out here. If you so choose and are daring enough, more experienced hikers will climb up about twenty feet on this waterfall and jump off into the water.
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Flash Flood Warning:
8310 Hana Hwy
Haiku, HI 96708
Mile Marker: 6.7
Waterproof Phone Case (while there are others, this one is the best.)
Bug Repellent (this natural one is our favorite!)
Paracord (there’s always a use for this.)
Knife (or something to cut the paracord.)
Camera or Drone (you can’t beat this one.)
Spare Socks (laugh now, but you’ll take this one seriously post-hike.)
Shoes (these are great hiking shoes.)
Clothes you can get wet
Sunglasses (this brand specifically is the best for ocean and water activities.)
Sunscreen (use this one to help preserve the coral and marine life.)
Other Maui Favorites to Check Out
Looking for the best way to spend your time on Maui? Check out the best way to spend your Maui Vacation.