Twin Falls

If you're headed to Maui, then you've probably already done some research for your trip. There is a myriad of guidebooks for Maui's incredible Road to Hana, and many of these books underrate the beauty of Twin Falls. So, while other tourists skip the attractions due to bad guidebook advice, you can indulge in one of Maui's most refreshing waterfalls to kick off your Hana adventure.

Get Oriented

Finding the Road to Hana is easy. You'll see signs everywhere, and you can keep track of your adventure using the mile markers along the road. But you can find your bearings long before your drive to Hana by simply looking out your plane's window when landing at Kahului International Airport.

There is a long and lazy slope that seems devoid of trees just to the south of the airport. The slope is so large that it looks as if the earth is rising up on a giant wave to the heavens. This is the base of the 10,000-foot Haleakala Volcano. And atop the volcano, you'll find the otherworldly Haleakala Crater National Park.

This is the mountain that dominates the eastern side of Maui. The Road to Hana wraps around the long, slow slopes of the volcano on its eastern side. And the slopes of the mountain provide the Road to Hana with misty rainforests, hidden valleys, incredible waterfalls and plenty of hiking trails.

The Farm Stand

One of the main reasons to visit Twin Falls has nothing to do with the waterfall itself. The farm stand at the Twin Falls trailhead is one of the best in Maui. It's owned and operated by the family-run Wailele Farm which uses the valley's abundant water sources to grow sustainable crops. And they sell some delicious snacks to fuel you for the short hike to the falls.

In fact, Twin Falls sits on private land owned by the Wailele Farm, but the family that runs the farm has committed the falls and its trail to public use. They only ask for you to support the farm with a donation or by purchasing snacks at the farm stand. And if you aren't familiar with the sweet tropical treats of Hawaii, then here's a guide.

Finding the Trail & Parking

Many tourists make the mistake of flying by this attraction due to bad guidebook advice and a lack of parking. The farm stand at the trailhead is so popular that the small parking lot can be full, and you'll find the parking lot on your right just past mile marker #2 on the Road to Hana.

It's worth the wait for a spot, and don't let the packed parking lot dissuade you. The farm's land contains a few different waterfalls, and many tourists leave just after snapping a few selfies with the trail's first waterfall. This is a mistake on their part, but this common mistake is to your fortune if you commit to heading further down the trail.

The Path Less Travelled

The trails on the farm's grounds at Twin Falls are very well marked, and you'll be treated to a crowded but beautiful waterfall without much effort. But if you continue up the paved road up into the wilderness, then you'll leave the majority of tourists behind. You'll also be treated to one of Maui's most beautiful waterfalls.

After about a half-mile of trekking, the road will split into two different footpaths. Each of these paths follows a different stream up into the wilderness. You'll want to hang a left.

You'll pass some interesting irrigation valves. These valves don't work anymore, but that doesn't stop kids from trying to release the water with the various levers and cranks. Soon after, you'll be faced with a choice -- wade through the stream or balance along a ditch wall -- but each of these paths brings you to Caveman Falls.

This is the main attraction. A waterfall cascades over an ancient-looking cave covered in greenery. It's easy to see why the locals have dubbed this "Caveman Falls." The pool below the falls is deep enough for a refreshing swim, and there's even a swing rope that'll make you feel like Tarzan.

After taking a zillion photos and enjoying a swim, it's time to continue past the falls along the footpath. The path will double back and you'll pop right back out where you started -- at the footpath fork at the end of the paved road. Along the way, you'll be treated to more waterfalls, irrigation equipment and even hand-dug irrigation tunnels that are large enough for kids to pass through. 

What to Bring

Hiking in Hawaii is a messy ordeal. The red dirt underfoot stains shoes and clothes, and the muck can be incredibly slippery when wet. Make sure to pack sturdy shoes and clothes that you won't mind getting dirty.

You'll be under the shady protection of trees along the way, but that shouldn't stop you from loading up on sunscreen. The tropical sun is able to burn through the canopy. And you might want to bring some bug spray because mosquitoes live in the wet, tropical forest.

Make sure to bring plenty of water along this short hike and do not drink the stream's water under any circumstance. Wild water, even water that looks clear and clean, can contain tropical parasites. So, bring some water for the hike and then indulge in a fruit smoothie at the farm stand after your waterfall adventure.

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Price: Free
Haiku, Maui