Located about ten miles south of Hana on Highway 31 is ʻOheʻo Gulch and the "Seven Sacred Pools".
In reality there are more like 24 pools and the National Park Service and Hawaiians would prefer that this area be referred to as Kipahulu or ʻOheʻo Gulch. It is a relatively new addition to Haleakalā National Park.
When the water is flowing in East Maui, the sight of water cascading from one pool to the other as it makes it way to the ocean is beautiful.
A hike along the Waimoku Falls Trail will take you past Makahiku Falls, about a half mile from the Visitors Center, and Waimoku Falls, about two miles upstream. For those who venture upstream the rewards are amazing.
The high-elevation region of Kipahulu Valley protects the largest intact Hawaiian rainforest ecosystem teeming with native life. Steeped in the rich traditions of a living culture, Kipahulu is a place to learn about the life and land of the Hawaiian people through the generations.
Haleakalā National Park extends from the 10,023-foot summit of Haleakala down the southeast flank of the mountain to the Kipahulu coast near Hana.
The Kipahulu area of the park can be reached via Hana Highway, a curvy, often wet road, three to four hours from Kahului.
It is approximately ten miles south of Hana town. Maps and directions are available in every free Drive Guide available throughout Maui.
Season and Hours of Operation:
- The park is open year-round, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, except for severe weather closure.
- The Kipahulu Visitor Center (sea level) is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
An admission fee of $10.00 per vehicle is charged at the park entrances. Bicyclists, motorcyclists, and hikers on foot are charged $5.00 each. Credit cards are not accepted. Annual Haleakalā area passes available. The National Parks Pass is honored.
One time entrance fees are valid (with receipt) for re-entry into both the Kipahulu and Summit areas of the park for seven days. Camping is free at Kipahulu although a permit must be obtained at the Visitors Center and there is a three day limit.
Visitor Centers and Exhibits:
The Kipahulu Visitor Center is open daily and year round subject to staff availability. The Center has cultural and natural history exhibits.
The Hawaii Natural History Association offers books, maps, and posters for sale. Naturalists are on duty during business hours to answer questions and help you make the most of your visit. Educational programs are offered regularly.
Weather and Climate:
The weather at the Kipahulu area of Haleakalā National Park is unpredictable and can change quickly. Be prepared for a variety of conditions.
High temperatures are common but can drop quickly with the frequent rain showers. Intense sunlight, thick clouds, heavy rain, and high winds are possible at any time.
In the Kipahulu area, there are accessible parking spaces and restrooms near the visitor center. The only paved portion of trail leads to the visitor center.
At this time the trails leading to the pools and the forest are muddy, steep, and rocky. Access beyond the paved trail is difficult for wheelchairs or for persons requiring assistance.
Health and Safety Concerns at Kipahulu:
There is no drinking water available.
Visitors should bring mosquito repellent.
Dangerous flash floods do occur - check at the visitor center before entering the water. Almost every year a visitor is caught in a flash flood while crossing the stream or swimming in the pools and washed out to sea.
Food, Supplies and Accommodations:
There are no facilities to purchase food, gasoline, or supplies in the park. Be sure to bring whatever food and other supplies you need before you enter the park. The closest store is the Hasegawa General Store in Hana, ten miles north.