“This area is remote, but seeing the seven sacred pools and ocean vistas make the drive worthwhile.”
— Megan W
Swimming · Views · Waterfall
Several people have drowned here when flash flooding has swept down the mountain and into the pools. Before swimming, check with the rangers and obey all signs. Access to the ocean is not recommended due to very rough conditions, currents and sharks.
If you've braved the twisty roads to get here, be sure to run this trail! Stretch the legs and take in some great ocean views along with a series of unforgettable Hawaiian pools.
Trail surface is rooty and can be slick.
Start out just north from the Kipahulu Vistor Center and circle in the counterclockwise direction for the most dramatic views. You'll first pass through a demonstration area that showcases a thatched house, ancient walls and other native Hawaiian cultural items. Keep an eye out for Hala trees with their strange pineapple-like fruit. Continue gently downhill towards the crashing ocean and surmount a small hill with spectacular views of the Hana coast- if the air is very clear you can even see across to the Big Island 30 miles away.
Next, the trail turns north where mouth of the Ohe'o Gulch empties into the ocean. Ascend along the southern edge of the gulch eventually reaching the seven beautifully terraced freshwater pools that flow into each other via small braided waterfalls. Swimming is popular here, but be aware that flash floods are sudden and deadly. Complete the loop via rooty trail sections back to the visitor center.
This popular destination can be crowded, so consider timing your trip to arrive in early morning. Also, as of this writing, food is not available for purchase in the park so bring your own refreshments.
Flora & Fauna
From the viewpoint, look for sea turtles, monk seals, dolphins, seabirds and humpback whales (Dec-April). Hala trees.