Located approximately 0.9 miles after Mile Marker 16 on the famous Hana Highway is a hidden gem, known as Ching’s Pond or the Blue Sapphire Pools. You can’t see Ching’s Pond while on the roadway but must pull off the road just before the bridge to discover a treasure of deep sapphire blue pools. You can access these pools from two trails on the Makai side of the bridge. The beautiful, picturesque pools are fed by the Palauhulu stream.
Be cautious when entering the area as it is susceptible to flash flooding. Murky water can indicate a flash flood. Also, refrain from diving into the ponds head-first as the depth of the water changes frequently. Ching’s Pond is a local favorite and not so much a popular tourist destination. In fact, locals can become a bit territorial of the location and even block off access to visitors. Of course, if you are friendly and respectful, you will be welcome to enjoy this fun, local hangout.
This hidden treasure along Hana Highway presents an ideal picture opportunity for visitors and locals alike. You can jump off the side of the bank, or cliff jump, into the clear water below, with the beautiful bridge that sits alongside the pond in the background. This makes for an ideal photo backdrop. Visiting this area also gives you a real-life example of what the locals are like who call Hawaii home.
Some guidebooks and tourist information claim that Ching’s Pond isn’t worth a stop, especially if you are trying to get down Hana Highway in a day. However, others claim it is a great way to spend some time and to soak up some local culture simultaneously. The short waterfall that feeds into Ching’s Pond is certainly beautiful, though waterfalls are not exactly rare in this part of the world.
The Hana Highway drive is one of the most breathtaking drives in the whole state, including iconic highway features and waterfalls. Ching’s Pond or the Blue Sapphire Pools is just one stop to add to your day’s itinerary along this pathway. Some people claim that the locals are welcoming to outsiders and take them right in showing them the ropes of Ching’s Pond, such as where it is best to jump and what to avoid. Others say that the locals who frequent the area are not very welcoming, and they didn’t want to stay for long. What is important to note is that it’s a safe area. Visitors never have to worry about their safety.
In most cases, Ching’s Pond is a good addition to a tour of area waterfalls instead of its own destination. Other falls in Maui are also picturesque and worthy of visiting along with Ching’s Pond. However, it is an ideal destination if local culture is what you have in mind. If you really want to feel part of Hawaii and the people who make the island nation so great, visiting Ching’s Pond is a great idea.
Visiting Ching’s Pond is ideal for thrill-seekers who want to venture off the beaten path and enjoy the local culture in the form of cliff jumping. It isn’t for the faint of heart to be sure as jumping off a bank into a pool below is not for everyone and most certainly not for anyone who isn’t healthy and in at least reasonably good shape. Keep your own personal limits in mind when deciding if jumping in is for you or if you would prefer watching from the sideline. There are, of course, no lifeguards present and there is little access to help in the area at least quickly, so keep that in mind when you decide if this is a good activity to add to your adventurous itinerary.
-There are no bathroom facilities at Ching’s Pond, so prepare accordingly.
-The sapphire blue hue of the pools have led to it being called the Blue Sapphire Pools.