Sacred Falls


"The past is a place of reference, not a place of residence."

Updated: April 4, 2017

Location: Sacred Falls is located deep in the valley in Hauula. This hike is also ILLEGAL.

Type: Waterfall hike

Hike Difficulty: Beginner

Total Time: 2 to 3 hours round trip

Distance: ~4.4 miles

Elevation: ~420 feet

Things to Consider

  • Kid friendly: no
  • Pet Friendly: yes
  • This trail is closed to the public and is ILLEGAL to access.
  • The trail has been closed since 1999 on Mother's Day, where 8 people were killed and over 50 people injured in a landslide.
  • The valley walls become extremely narrow as you get closer to the falls.
  • The guard from DLNR can issue you a fine of up to $1000 and three days jail if you are caught on this trail.
  • The stream can be very dangerous after a flash flood or heavy rain.
  • Watch out for falling rocks, especially if it is windy or raining.
  • The Hawaiian name for this hike is Kaliuwa'a or "leaking canoe".
  • There is a lot of "Mana" here and you can feel a presence on this hike. I felt as if somebody was watching me.

Your hiking backpack

  • Sun screen
  • 1 to 2 Liters of water
  • Snacks
  • GoPro/waterproof camera
  • Mosquito repellent



Our Journey

This hike is an ILLEGAL hike and should not be attempted for the risk of getting fined. Getting caught, could mean fines up to $1000 and three years in jail. I haven't done this hike in years and decided it was time to go back. We seen the yellow gate, but usually the police will be waiting a little further down. We took a path through the forest and crossed a dry stream bed. The water wasn't flowing too much today. However, I knew the falls would still be an amazing sight! We continued along the trail through the forest. We crossed the stream a couple of times. Nothing too strenuous on this hike. As we got closer to the falls, the valley walls started closing in on us. Last time I was here, I could also hear music or drums in the distance. It was very eerie considering nobody else was on the trail with us. It could have been night marchers, but we didn't see anything. It also felt as if somebody was watching me. We reached the dry waterfall chute within an hour or so and Sacred Falls was within ten minutes from that. We took some pictures and wondered how nice it would be if it was flowing! The chute was said to be a hollowed out canoe from the demi-god  Kamapua'a. And Sacred Falls or Kaliuwa'a means "leaking canoe". Kamapua'a was said to have been trying to make a second canoe but abandoned it as the villagers were approaching and left it unfinished. Thus the waterfall was the leaking part of the unfinished canoe. We paid our respects and after a rock fell within yards of us, we decided it was time to head back. Sacred Falls is a very beautiful place, but very spiritual. It is one of the few places on the island where I actually felt something. However, it was another great day and another hike for the books!





















This is the yellow gate that marks the start of the trail.

Beware of the cops who will give out tickets to those who trespass.


























Crossing the dry stream bed.


























Onto the trail heading into the forest.


























The trail is wide open in the beginning and well maintained.


























Area closed. This hike is ILLEGAL!


























The trail opened up for a clear view of the valley and mountains!





















Welcome to the Sacred Falls trail!


























The point of no return. One last sign telling you to turn back.


























Immediately we reached the stream bed.


























Back into the forest with the stream on the left of us.


























A hidden cave? Somebody's make shift house? Who knows.


























Crossing the stream again. It was pretty dry today.


























We headed up the left side and continued along the trail.


























We followed along side the stream for about an hour or so.


























We reached the dry waterfall chute!


























It was an amazing sight to see!


























Somebody also left some offerings for respect.


























Sacred Falls was within ten minutes from here.


























Some minor rock hopping to get to the falls.


























And there it was, in all it's beauty!




















































It wasn't flowing as much as it usually does. The falls was a little dry.


























Soaking in the beauty.


























We also swam across to "Maui's bed" for a closer look.


























Pretty cool view from this side of the pool. You can see how narrow the valley is!


























Another cool shot from "Maui's bed".


























Looking back at the narrow valley, we started to head back.


























The other waterfall chute! We headed back and got some Kahuku Shrimp for lunch!

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