The phrase Seven Sacred Pools was developed as a marketing term for the pools and waterfalls at Oheo Gulch. This area is the reason visitors continue beyond the town of Hana when driving the road to Hana.
On the south side of the Haleakala crater, Oheo Gulch is part of Haleakala National Park. You can make this a short stop or an all day visit along the Hana coast.
After you leave the small town of Hana on the way to the Seven Sacred Pools, you will see more waterfalls including Wailua Falls at Mile Marker 45.
Wailua Falls is the perfect Hana waterfall to stop the car, jump out, stand by the side of the road, and shoot a great one hundred foot waterfall picture.
You can also hike down a short path to the base of the falls.
Start looking for the Oheo Gulch signs and large primitive parking area for your car at Mile Marker 42.
The Lower Pools
The trail from the parking lot down toward the ocean is relatively short and easy.
But if you want to view the entire group of waterfalls and pools, be ready for a long hike uphill on the Pipiwai Trail.
The Upper Pools - Pipiwai Trail
The rough trail UP the mountain (where most of the pools are) is often damp and slippery - the high rainfall makes for the waterfalls and lush vegetation. This is the Pipiwai Trail. The hike is not a casual stroll - it is two miles each way with a gain in altitude of 800 feet.
Visitors and locals hike, swim and sunbathe in the pools beneath the waterfalls.
The Makahiku Falls Overlook on the Pipiwai Trail provides a unique photo opportunity.
When hikers go to the top of Makahika waterfall and climb into the pool, they can see over the waterfall with no visible barrier - so the pool is called the Infinity Pool.
Because of the difficult hike, you get to enjoy the relative solitude of the waterfalls compared to the crowded roadside waterfalls along the road to Hana.
Keep on hiking the slippery trail for more waterfalls, large pools, wandering cows, a large banyan tree, and bridges over the Pipiwai stream and Oheo stream that the trail has been following.
Eventually an unusual bamboo forest surrounds you on both sides of the trail. The end of the trail is well marked for you to turn around and descend the 800 feet in almost two miles back to the trailhead.
Oheo Gulch / Seven Sacred Pools Video
Click on the PLAY button in the image below to view a Seven Sacred Pools video of our hike on the Pipiwai Trail.
The video below shows how far you will be hiking if you decide to visit all the falls and pools. Click on the PLAY button in the image below to view a 'birds eye' perspective video provided by a Maui helicopter tour company.
Road to Hana - Haleakala Backside
October 2008 Update - The Piilani Highway has been REOPENED so you can now once again continue on around the island during your Road to Hana trip.
This road was closed after the October 2006 earthquake in the channel between east Maui and the Big Island due to potential rock slides.
Road to Hana Tours If you want someone else to drive on a road to Hana tour, you have several options:
1. Several tours go
all around the road to Hana past Oheo Gulch, along the single lane unpaved stretch of bumpy road hugging the cliffs, that most vacationers decline to travel in their rental cars, and then continue along the backside of Haleakala to the upcountry:
• Hidden Hawaii Tours
• Valley Isle Excursions is a luxury tour - customized high roof large window 12 person vans, large captain's chairs, and a lunch served with silverware and linens.
• Roberts Hawaii is a large value priced company and works with several cruise lines.
2. Some tour companies
turn around in the Hana area and redrive the road to Hana on the return trip, giving you a second view of the sights during a different time of the day:
• Temptation Tours includes a breakfast and beachside lunch, then turnaround at Hana and stop at windsurfing Hookipa Beach on you return trip.