May 31, 2012

Hike Maui's East Maui Waterfalls & Rain Forest Hike Review

While in Maui for a vacation, I decided to take a guided hike with Hike Maui.  I went with their East Maui Waterfalls & Rain Forest Hike as it wasn't too short or too long of a hike while giving me the chance to see and photograph waterfalls.

My guide for this hike was Eddie.  He was fun, knowledgeable, and patient.  He pointed out various plants and trees along the way, including some that we could eat, which we tried.

There was a pretty heavy rain the previous night, and because of it, the waterfalls and rivers were stronger than they are on a normal day.  That's great when it comes to the view, though it makes the path to get there a bit more difficult.  Only the first small part of the hike is on a man-made dirt path, while the rest is on a natural path, filled with dirt, rocks, and tree roots.  It can be challenging to navigate that on dry ground, while the wet ground makes it easier to slip and fall.

While swimming at the pools with waterfalls is optional, one thing that doesn't really get mentioned is that you will get wet on the path, as it requires crossing the river in a couple of places.  With the rains from the previous night, the water levels were higher, with the water reaching between my mid-calf and just a bit below my knees (and I am 5'10").  As such, if you go on this hike, you should prepare with footwear that you don't mind getting wet.  As the river was pretty strong at this point, some care needed to be taken to cross the river.  Eddie was very helpful with this.

As I mentioned earlier, the path is made up of dirt, rocks, and tree roots.  At a couple of point, there is an almost vertical climb you have to make and the occasional log that you have to climb over.  I'm generally good at keeping my balance and there were a few points where I almost lost my footing.  Grabbing a tree helped stopped one fall.  I only had one fall onto a rock, just on to my butt, but I was okay.

While the Hike Maui site gives this hike a level of easy to moderate, I would say that it was moderate at the low end and just touching advanced at the high end.  If you don't feel enough in shape for a 2.5 mile hike, don't feel you have a good balance most of the time, or don't have a wide range of movement, I would not recommend going on this hike.  If that isn't a problem for you, this hike is definitely good for the scenery and knowledge you will gain.
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