On Sunday, we added another hike to our trip. This was one I wanted to do last year, that we didn't have time for. After sleeping in a bit on Sunday morning, we packed up the jeep and headed out for the back side of Haleakala National Park, and the hike up the Pipiwai Trail to Waimoku Falls. To quote from the guide book:
A favourite Maui hike, yet for some people the drive to the trailhead alone is excitement enough. The Hana Highway is sixty miles of scenic but curvy coastal road, reportedly featuring 620 curves and 59 bridges, most of which are single-lane bridges. If you relish your driving experiences then the Hana Highway alone is a "must-do".
The 4 mile round trip to the falls and back takes in several great waterfalls before reaching the spectacular Waimoku Falls, and a boardwalk journey through dense, dark bamboo forest that you're unlikely to forget.
The drive out along the back side of the volcano was spectacular, but the wind was howling, making it tough to stop along the way to take any pictures or do any exploring. We did make a stop at 'Grandma's', a lunch spot in a little town along the road.
After getting to the park just after lunch, we had half our sandwiches, then packed up our gear for the short hike. The way up was pretty nice, following along side the raging river, with a couple of decent waterfalls along the way. It must have been raining a lot, as the trail was a complete mud pit in a few places.
About a mile into the hike, you enter a bamboo forest that provides some serious atmosphere for most of the last mile of the hike. The bamboo was great - dark and atmospheric, and when the skies opened, the thick bamboo did a decent job of keeping us dry.
After working through the bamboo, the trail opened back up near the base of the falls. We had to traverse a decent little river to get there, but it was worth the trip. At 420', the falls are quite impressive, and as there's been a lot of rain, the river was quite high. We had lunch at the falls, took some pictures and headed back down the trail.
On the way back, I stopped a couple of times to take some pictures of the other waterfalls we had seen, as well as some of the other landmarks along the way.
After getting back to the parking lot, we got cleaned up, and headed for the hotel. As it was getting late in the day, and we didn't really want to deal with the suspect road we had come in on, we took the Hana Highway back through Hana, then into the main part of the island. It's a great drive; lots of curves and great views. The drive also took us through Paia, one of our favourite little tons on the island. We stopped there for dinner before heading back to the hotel.