Paihi Falls

Stop at Paihi Falls Along the Road to Hana for a Beautiful Picture Opportunity You Can’t Miss
Local Expert's Rating:
5.0 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Though slightly difficult to photograph, you should make the effort to stop and have a look at Paihi Falls as you travel along the Road to Hana. It is a unique set of falls that showcases the diversity of the natural beauty of Maui.

- The Local Expert Team

Paihi Falls is one of 15 falls along the Road to Hana. Though Paihi Fall is one of the more difficult ones to photograph, you should still take the chance to visit this beautiful sight along the southeastern coast of Maui. Despite the difficulty in photographing Paihi Falls, it is one of the more easily seen because it flows right beside one of the bridges on the highway.  You cannot miss this waterfall on your drive along the Road to Hana.

What makes Paihi Falls difficult to photograph is its location. There are no specific pullouts on the highway for the falls, and it flows under a one-lane bridge. To get a picture, some people slow down their car on the bridge and ask their passengers to take a picture. However, this practice can block traffic on an active roadway. There are better ways to see these falls.

While on the road, look for the slight pull-off on the side where the Helio Koaeloa Memorial sign is. This is the closest spot to stop your vehicle to the falls, but it only has room for a single small car. Some people drive further down the road to the small parking area for Wailua Falls, less than a mile away, and walk back up the hill. If possible, choose the latter option to get a chance to see both falls at your leisure and without blocking traffic.

The falls themselves drop about 50 feet into a pool below. You can see both from the roadway bridge. Rainfall in the area makes a tremendous difference in the appearance of the flow. Recent, heavy rains will ensure that you see the greatest cascades at Paihi Falls. However, dry periods turn the waterfall into a much smaller stream. When rains disrupt your plans for the beach, travel along the Road to Hana and see Paihi Falls and others with their best flow rates brought by the rainfall.

Both Wailua Falls and Paihi Falls are on the Road to Hana, also known as Highway 360. This road takes you along the twists and turns through mountainous terrain. On your journey, you will see some of Maui’s most scenic countryside across the eastern portion of the island. Among the most impressive sights are the 15 major falls on this route and many lesser ones.

As with Paihi Falls, all other waterfalls along the route have performance based on recent rainfalls. Some along the road are even seasonal, such as Waikamoi Falls, only appearing during times of heavy rain and disappearing completely during drier months.

Paihi Falls is before mile marker 45 along the southeast side of Maui. This location makes it one of the last of the falls that you will see on the Road to Hana if you start at mile marker zero near the north side of the island and drive clockwise on the highway.

When traveling along the Road to Hana, remember that each of the waterfalls gives you a different experience. While you may not be able to see all of them from the highway, Paihi Falls is one that you can. So, don’t miss it on your trip along this iconic scenic route. The brief stop and walk to the falls for a picture will be worth the extra effort to get the chance to capture this waterfall on film.

Insider Tips:
-Use extra caution on this section of the Hana Highway. The road narrows to one lane over the bridge next to Paihi Falls.
-Watch out for oncoming traffic if you choose to walk to the falls from one of the parking spots and take photos. The bridges along Hana Highway are one lane and have regular traffic.
-Make your trip along the Road to Hana after heavy rains to see the greatest flow from Paihi Falls and others.
-Parking spots at Wailua Falls fill up quickly, but most people don’t stay long.