We got up around 7:00 am and started the walk up to the Pipiwai Trail early to avoid sharing the trail with a crowd of tourist. Not too far from the visitor center, we passed by an old Hawaiian hale and walked up the stone steps that eventually led us to a road. After crossing the road, we began our hike up the Pipiwai Trail.
The path offered a diverse scenery – taking us through rocky terrain to a lush green field of tall vegetation.
Eventually, we arrived at Makahiku Falls which plunges almost 200 feet over a verdant cliff – it was beautiful. This got us even more excited to see Waimoku Falls, which is twice the height of this waterfall! Just pass the lookout was a gate and sign informing us that we had 1.5 miles to get to Waimoku Falls.
As we trekked through the mud and climbed up more stone steps, we finally arrived at the gigantic banyan tree! The tree had a footprint of a decent sized house – it was huge! Past the banyan tree, the trail began to change scenery and we started to see more bamboo.
We crossed two bridges over Palikea Stream. We saw a couple more smaller waterfalls and pools before entering the bamboo portion of the trail.
The bamboo became thicker as we walked deeper into the zen-like forest. The trees are so tall that it made us think we were hiking at dusk. Portions of the bamboo forest are lined with a wooden boardwalk which saved us from having our shoes sucked off from the thick mud.
Seeing Waimoku Falls for the first time was amazing! Our photos don’t do this waterfall justice – you have to be there to get the full experience. To get to the falls, we crossed a stream. There was a sign that warned hikers not to pass, but we walked closer to the falls at our own risk. As we got closer, we could see why there was a warning sign after observing the boulders and tree trunk that most likely fell from above. Anyhow, Waimoku Falls was breathtaking up close! This is by far the best waterfall we have seen in person. Hiking the two miles to see Waimoku Falls was definitely worth the trip and made our experience a very rewarding one.