The Seven Sacred Pools
The spectacular Seven Sacred Pools, known as The Pools of ‘Ohe’o (Oh-Hey-Oh) in Hawaiian, has long been one of the most wondrous treasures on Maui. Found within the ‘Ohe’o Gulch as part of both Haleakala National Park and the Road to Hana, the source stream separates into several cascading waterfalls and plunge pools before pouring its pristine waters to the Hawaiian ocean. The basin waters are welcoming and warm, forming a series of perfect natural swimming pools. The auxiliary waterfalls double as natural showers. The high cliffs above provide a great platform for cliff-jumping and diving into the pools below.
How to Get There
If you decide to make the trek to the Seven Sacred Pools at ‘Ohe’o on your own, remember that the land is part of the Haleakala National Park. As such, the entry does require payment. You have two options. You can pay for a three-day all-access park pass for $15, or you can purchase an annual pass for $25. Both options grant access to everything within Haleakala National Park.
The Pools of ‘Ohe’o are one of the easier places to reach on the road to Hana. On a nice day, it is often crowded and full of visitors. As mentioned earlier, this gem of Maui is along the road to Hana. The Road to Hana can be long, and many people may not feel comfortable navigating the narrow jungle cliffs that lead to the Seven Sacred Pools. If you find that you do not want to navigate there yourself, I recommend getting a guided tour from either Mahalo Tours – Heavenly Hana Day Tour or from Hana Tours of Maui – Road to Hana Tour. Both of these tours stop at the Seven Sacred Pools and are the best way to get there for many people.
Alright, so you’ve decided to take the adventure, navigate the winding jungle roads, and find the Sacred Pools yourself. But how do you actually find them? Well, one of the best paths to The Pools of ‘Ohe’o is the Pipiwai Trail. The Pipiwai Trail, located towards the end of the Road to Hana is about 2 miles long. It is an incredible trail full of dense bamboo forests, a giant Banyan tree, incredible waterfalls and even an apple grove within the mountain. The trail by itself is an unforgettable adventure. I highly recommend allowing yourself at least 4 hours to fully explore the trail and enjoy the Majestic beauty of the Pools of ‘Ohe’o.
Word of Caution
Although cliff-jumping has been relatively safe when visiting the Seven Sacred Pools, accidents have been known to happen and it’s best to be safe. The official rules of the park strictly prohibit jumping, and you will find signs throughout warning against it. People have lost their lives, jumping from the cliffs in an attempt to dive into the pools. If you do decide to ignore the signs and take the plunge, please keep the following safety tips in mind.
- Have a back-up plan for when you lose your footing: The rocks are extremely slippery and the chances of you slipping are pretty large. Know where you are going to grip, or what direction you want to fall while you still have a chance to control where you land at the beginning of your slip.
- Look Ahead: Be sure to scope out the area that you plan to jump towards ahead of time. Make sure that there are no unexpected rocks and that the waters are deep enough to support a safe landing.
- Know yourself – Do not take the dive if you are not experienced or are not in shape. The impact of the jump could cause bodily harm. If you are not fit and in athletic shape, don’t let friends, peer pressure, or the desire to look cool cause you to risk potentially fatal harm.
Enjoy and Let Enjoy
Before you leave this amazing and scenic natural landscape, remember that the beauty of this magnificent park is very fragile. Treat it with respect it deserves. Help preserve this rare Eco-system by remembering to remove anything that you brought with you. Be respectful of the land, and the fact that it is one of the rare places on earth where you can enjoy such natural splendor. It is important to be conscientious and maintain the magic you’ve experienced here. Help future visitors experience the same sense of awe and wonder that you have just enjoyed.