13 Crossings: Trail Report to Makamakaole Waterfall

Pondering the Beauty of Makamakaole 2nd Waterfall

This is a trail that I could not discover in any guidebook. I found some references to it online as I was searching for unique places to visit on the island of Maui. What makes this location unique is the beautiful waterfall that is split into two forks as it goes down the cliff face. Another unique feature is the location in West Maui. Most of the other waterfalls worth visiting are located on the road to Hana. This is different.

The first of the 13 Crossings
Without really knowing much about the trail other than the trailhead location and the GPS location of the waterfall, I convinced my traveling partner to come with me and explore. We were both pleased to find that the trail is in excellent condition. The entire hike is around 3 miles round trip.it is fairly easy until the very end. At that point it becomes scary for about 15 feet. If you can pass that 15 feet of steep drop-off, you can reach this lovely waterfall.  The trick is that you have to climb up a lower waterfall to reach the second and more beautiful waterfall. Going up was frightening for me. Coming down was easy. My wife would tell you the opposite.
Going around and up the first waterfall

Looking down the first waterfall from the second:  you have to climb up and down this to reach the second waterfall.  It would be a bad place to fall but there are many things to hold.
Typical Trail scene
One nice surprise was a stack of boulders carefully placed at the first waterfall, giving a beautiful Zen appearance to this mystical place. We certainly enjoyed our visit.

Zen stones at 1st pool and waterfall

As we were hiking, I kept track of the number of times we crossed the stream. Because this is called the "13 crossings hike" I was pleased to note that we crossed the stream 13 times.  It is well named. :)

Makamakaole stream and boulders along the 13 crossings hike