Waihee Valley Hike

July 27, 2010

My Return Path co-worker Chris moved here several months ago.  Technically we have a Maui office.  At this point I’m considering expansion by at least one.  :)

Chris told me about a great hike.  Not super secret, but enough off the beaten path that it takes some looking for and it’s not a tourist haven.

The hike is on the northern side of the west Maui part of the island.  It is greener up there, not as much as over by Hana, which we’ve yet to visit, but more than we’ve seen so far.

Here is one description on how to get there:

Head up the road about a mile til you see the “no trespassing signs”. Go right , (left deadends at a gate) for about 1/4 mile more and park here or if you like me you’ll arrive by bike. (These is a 4″ to 5″ exposed pipe in the road in this parking kind of area. (Don’t leave valuables in your car cause, sometimes, da boyz might help themselves to them….a precaution that should be followed anywhere.) From the parking area, take a sharp right, you cross another pipe, a ways further, go around a gate and your on the way through an area of irrigation canals built by Chinese labor about a century ago, that is a marvel of engineering, even to this date. From the “parking’ area it is only a mile to the swinging bridges and another mile to the end of the line. It is in some of Hawaii’s most scenic tropical settings.

That sounds more daunting than it really is.  The land is private, owned by operators of a 1,500 acre macadamia nut plantation.  There was a woman at a small shack giving permits to go hike.  You can check out more info here: http://hikinginparadise.com/hike.asp?hid=Waihee+Valley+Swinging+Bridge+Trail

The lower half is along side a clear stream, on a wide flat path (but climbing upward).  After about halfway the path narrows and gets rockier.  There are two swinging robe bridges to cross, though underwhelming in a way as each was only suspended 20 feet or so above the ground.  I was looking forward to jungle vines over at least 1,000 feet!

There are also two crossings through a creek just by playing real life “Frogger”.  (Kids, google that if you don’t know what it is)

The vegetation was impressive – some made you feel like you were in Jurassic Park.  Other than the plants and the views, much of this hike felt very much like a Colorado mountain outing.

At the top is a Dam with a large pool created that folks jump from various levels into.  I jumped form level 3 of 5 (or so).  I was impressed by a kid just older than AJ that jumped from level 4.  A big Samoan dude showed up, climbed right up to the highest point and launched right off.  Impressive.  Made me feel a little lame about my 3 of 5 jump, but I still had fun (and I did it twice).  The boys jumped off the Dam – some good shots of AJ going in below.

Enjoy!

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4 Comments for this entry

  • Ilene

    Wow. I would have stopped at the no trespassing sign! :) No pictures of the Chinese canals? Nice dive AJ!

  • Granpa Tom

    that looks very cool, and yes, you have to take the road to Hana and grab a meal at the small restaurant at the end in Hana….pretty good cheeseburgers!

  • Granpa Tom

    Oh yeh, and stop on the way to visit the trail that goes through the Bamboo tree forest, it’s a really neat little walk…

  • alan

    Fun catching up on your posts since a few days ago!
    I’m impressed with all your leaps off the dam into the pool!

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