'Ohe'o Gulch Pools (Seven Sacred Pools) – Kula, Hawaii - Atlas Obscura
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Kula, Hawaii

'Ohe'o Gulch Pools (Seven Sacred Pools)

A series of waterfalls and pools flow through the O'heo Gulch and into the ocean. 

The land where `Ohe`o Gulch is situated was donated to the Haleakalā National Park system so that the pools would forever be open to the public. This is a natural playground for locals and tourists alike. There is hiking, historical sites, pool swimming, and good people-watching. The pools themselves are often closed to swimming due to flooding or rockfall, but the trails remain open year-round. The area is always crowded on weekends and, even though the parking lot is large, it is often full. Come early to get a spot; camp in the on-site campground or stay in Hana to assure an early arrival.

The Pipiwai Trail, above the Seven Sacred Pools, is one of the best hikes on Maui. It is 4 miles roundtrip, gaining around 800 feet in elevation. It takes 2 to 3 hours to hike, depending on how much nature loving you do. There are several great waterfalls along the route with the final destination being Waimoku Falls, falling 400 feet down a sheer lava rock wall.

Note: though the place name “Seven Sacred Pools” is an excellent name, there was never anything considered sacred about them, and when the hard rains hit, there are more like 20 pools if you include the ones farther up the side of the mountain. For places considered sacred, see the heiaus scattered around the island.

Know Before You Go

Take Highway 31 south from Hana. The parking lot for all falls and trails is located just past Mile Marker #42 on the ocean side of the road.