by Tamara Rice of The Rice Paper
Inside Maui’s Haleakala National Park is a beautiful treasure known as the Seven Sacred Pools. Referring to the area as seven pools may not be quite accurate, as there are more than that, but the allure of the “sacred” has been hooking tourists since Maui began promoting it as such in the 1940s. Technically, the lush area is the Ohe’o Gulch along the Kipahulu coastal area of the park.
After traveling the gorgeous and winding Road to Hana to get there (an adventure which I’ll chronicle in a later blog post), paying a small parking fee to enter the park, and gratefully enjoying their restrooms–which were remarkably clean, considering–we were happy to feel a warm ocean breeze on our faces as we headed down the marked Pipiwai Trail.
Hikers on the Pipiwai Trail to the pools are privy to a variety of Hawaii’s most beautiful plants and trees, including an enormous Banyan tree, until finally the path opens up to the gulch, where various levels of rock create waterfalls and pools as water weaves its way to the ocean.
It’s loud (these are waterfalls, after all) and it can be quite cold (we’re talking about rocks), but we climbed down for the best view and waded in the pools all the same, enjoying the enchanting surroundings of nature.
In years past, tourists–even some friends of mine–have been allowed to jump from the various falls. However, the Haleakala National Park rangers have put a stop to it for safety reasons (i.e., sharp rocks and shallow water equal bad accidents). So, don’t get any ideas.
While it wasn’t exactly sacred–don’t let these cleverly shot pictures fool you, there were people everywhere–it’s truly one of the most beautiful sites in all of Maui.
We drove. We hiked. We saw. And it was worth the effort.
Photos by Nathan Rice