Kīpahulu is a part of the Haleakalā National Park, a lush scenic wilderness with beautiful, bright green forests of tropical plant life that includes canoe plants and orange-flowered African tulip trees.
Make a plan to see the Waimoku Falls, the largest waterfall on Maui. The water cascades down a 400-foot (120-meter) fern-covered rock wall into a pool below.
To get there, take the Pipiwai Trail, a 4-mile (6.5-kilometer) round-trip hike that starts at the Kīpahulu Visitor Center. Along the route you will pass several waterfalls, including the Makahiku Falls, and then enter into a bamboo forest. Depending on how long you pause to admire your surroundings, expect to spend between two and five hours on the trail.
Dedicate some time to visit the Seven Sacred Pools (also known as the Pools of O’heo) below the Pipiwai Trail. This striking natural wonder is composed of a string of pools that flow into each other over a series of waterfalls. This is a popular spot for swimming, although during heavy rains the area is closed off due to the risk of flash floods.
You can trek through the jungle landscape on your own or join a guided hike. There is a daily program of walks and nature talks with park naturalists from the Kīpahulu Visitor Center. For an up-to-date schedule, check the Haleakalā National Park website.
While you are in the Kīpahulu region, visit the grave of Charles Lindbergh, the legendary American aviator renowned for his solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean. He spent his final years on Maui and is buried in the grounds of Palapala Ho’omau Church.
Located about 10 miles (16 kilometers) south of Hana, Kīpahulu is reached by taking the Hana Highway. The road is one of the most popular drives in Hawaii, as it crosses through forests and passes by beaches, waterfalls and eucalyptus groves. The section after Hana is particularly narrow and curvy, but if you can find a safe place to pull over, it’s worth stopping to enjoy the views over the Pacific Ocean.