'Ohe'o Gulch, commonly known as "Seven Sacred Pools," features an alluring series of waterfalls pouring into freshwater pools that meanders down to the ocean. On a sunny and calm day, the pools glimmer like glass and the falls flow gently, welcoming visitors to take a plunge off the surrounding rocks and cliffs trimmed with lush green vegetation. You'll often witness brave locals attempting the following journey: jump off the 60-foot bridge, swim across a pool, leap from atop a waterfall, swim across its pool, then jump from another waterfall, swim across, and so on. On rainy days, heed the park's warning and closure signs, as flash floods can transform this tranquil gulch into a deadly raging river in a matter of seconds.
Although the pools provide the main attraction for the Kipahulu coastal area of Haleakala National Park (not to be confused with the park's summit that lies several hours away), visitors also enjoy the camping and hiking available here. You may spend up to three nights in the grassy camping area, complete with portable toilets, picnic tables, barbecues, and shade in select tree-covered areas. Nearby ocean side trails lead to many stunning vantage points and private nooks. Camping provides the additional advantage of experiencing the pools free of crowds first thing in the morning.
Fit and active visitors find pleasure in the Pipiwai Trail, a four-mile jaunt (round trip) to 400-foot Waimoku Falls that takes three to five hours from start to finish. The trail leads you through the rainforest, crosses over bridges and streams, cuts through a dense patch of bamboo forest, passes an enormous banyan tree, offers gorgeous waterfall views, and provides a real-life exhibit of tropical flora and fauna along the way.
Stop by the Visitor Center for more information about the park's attractions, conditions, and unique natural environment. You'll find 'Oh'eo Gulch about 10 miles past Hana town on the "Road to Hana."
- 'Ohe'o Gulch: 24 hours daily
- Visitor Center: 9pm to 5pm daily
- $10 per car; pass valid for three days and applies to Kipahulu coastal area and Haleakala Summit area
- Location: Mile marker 42 on Highway 31 south of Hana, HI
- Phone: 808-248-7375
- Website: www.nps.gov/hale