Sunday was an exciting morning for us as we were heading out on a hike we had heard much about. Our destination was ‘O’he’o Gulch, home of the Seven Sacred Pools. We didn’t waste much time with our microwave breakfast and we had the car loaded fairly quickly so we could check out and hit the road. We didn’t arrive as early as we had hoped though as someone had wrecked their car along the road and the police had it closed off so the tow truck could remove the vehicle. This was just another reminder that the road past Hana is very narrow and has many blind corners, so it is important to be very cautious here. Luckily, nobody was hurt and the accident only closed the road for about an hour so we still arrived at the park at a reasonable time.
The woman at the entrance to Haleakalā National Park was very friendly and cautioned us about the dangerously high flow at the pools. We decided to hike down and see them even though the current was too strong to allow for swimming, and we are glad we did. The pools were incredible! Heavy rains occasionally cause the river to flow this violently and can occur quickly, so the park asked that nobody get any closer than this. People have died here in the past, so it is important to take their instructions seriously and never approach the fast moving water in one of these flash flood areas.
As we continued our hike up the mountain toward the waterfalls we spotted a pretty cool looking spider which turned out to be a Hawaiian Garden Spider (Argiope Appensa). We also saw several of these cool looking lizards hanging out on the rocks along the trail.
The hike to the uppermost waterfall was two miles from the end of the Seven Pools trail and it climbed the mountain with very little leveling out. We were impressed by the beautifully constructed stone stairs that made up much of the trail. We had a few light showers on this portion of the trail, but the temperature remained in the 80’s so the rain felt nice and we were able to enjoy the hike anyway. There were not many people along the trail this early in the day and it was nice to hear nothing but the rain, river, and birds chirping as we climbed the mountain toward the waterfall.
The vegetation changed immediately to bamboo half was up the mountain after crossing a small bridge over the river. We couldn’t believe the incredible sight before us – a dense bamboo forest that stretched up toward the sky and caused immense darkness. The whole hike was worth it for this alone.
We continued to hike through the bamboo forest for at least half a mile before it gave way to other plants and the trail got tougher and crossed several small streams. As the day passed by the rain became heavier, and by the time we headed the falls, we were in a downpour. Here is the last photo we took before packing the cameras back in their nice dry packs:
The hike back to the car remained wet until about the halfway point, then started to dry out as the clouds gave way to some sun. By the time we reached the car, We had some very nice weather – just in time to see the grave of Charles Lindbergh.
We had heard he was buried here in Maui while on our flight in from Oakland, and decided we should stop by and see. We were pleased to wander into a small, peaceful, well kept cemetery behind an old church overlooking the ocean. As we continued down the road, it became narrower and poorly maintained. Shortly after passing Lindbergh’s grave, the road turned to dirt and we were careful to avoid some of the loose rocks with the nice Jetta TDI we rented. If you ever decide to travel this route, I recommend you rent something with more ground clearance, unless of course, you have tons of experience driving really low 2WD cars offroad. 😉
The road continued like this for a few miles before becoming paved again and was a great way to see wide open grassy landscapes overlooking the ocean. The drive back to Lahaina along this route was beautiful and without much traffic.
Upon reaching Lahaina, we stopped at Teddy’s Bigger Burgers for a big burger – it sure was tasty after all that hiking! We hadn’t even finished our burgers when we realized the sun was close to setting so we put our tray back, grabbed our remaining dinner and cruised over to Baby Beach for an epic sunset. We ran into some interesting people there like Twilight, who had quit his job in Arizona a few months back and moved to Maui with no real plan, and Paris who had a very similar story… Hmmmmmmmm… should we even go home? 😉 Don’t worry, We’ll be back home. 😉