Why are the pools at ‘Ohe’o Gulch Closed?

Nov 22, 201515 comments

UPDATE: The flood gauge has been repaired at the national park in Kipahulu, Swimming in the pools is now offered, again (weather and safety permitting.)

On August 11th, stream monitoring equipment was stolen from ‘Ohe’o Stream, located in Haleakala National Park in the Kipahulu region of Maui. More than three months later, the area remains closed to swimming, causing frustration among both residents and visitors of the island.

kipahulu waterfalls

seven sacred pool closed mauiDespite its remote location, ‘Ohe’o Gulch (aka ‘Seven Sacred Pools’) is one of the most popular stops in East Maui, thanks to its multitude of waterfalls, swimming areas, onsite campsites, lush hiking trails through Maui’s most famous bamboo forest, historical artifacts, and more.

While Park policy dictates that “the stream must remain closed whenever equipment is not functional,” what was once quoted as a several-week fix is now nearly several months in the works.

pipiwai trail maui

road to hana sites closedOne of the most unfortunate results of this, however, is that visitors in search of alternate waterfalls and swimming holes are now finding themselves in dangerous situations as they follow unmarked paths, sometimes through private property, looking for a similar location and experience.

Twin Falls Maui, the first waterfall along the Road to Hana, already sees huge numbers of visitors, evidenced by the long line of cars parked along the road during its busiest times of day. In addition, beaches along the Road to Hana have no lifeguards, creating dangerous swimming conditions as inclement weather, strong rip currents and large waves push unsuspecting visitors near sharp cliff lines and lava rock.

oheo gulch closed maui

Though there are several waterfalls to swim in along the Road to Hana, almost none are as easily accessible as those at Seven Sacred Pools. While we understand that the stolen equipment triggers vital flash floods alarm signals, the continued closure of this area has created side effects, however inadvertently, that may have made things just as dangerous elsewhere across East Maui.

Mahalo for reading, and please share your comments in the section below!

15 Comments

  1. Elizabeth

    Why would it takes months to replace this equipment? It can’t be that difficult. I’m so bummed because I’m heading out there Friday and I didn’t get to swim in them last time either.

    Reply
    • Maui Hawaii

      There are rumors that there’s more than just equipment issues. Not sure if it’s a park funding political thing or what…

      Reply
  2. Leticia Almendra

    We will be in MAUI on Friday. No ka Oi and going to take the road to Hana on Sunday , I hope to see this great spot !!!

    Reply
  3. Nonàme

    And I bet they are still charging everyone 10 bucks…shame

    Reply
    • Maui Hawaii

      I have no problem paying if everything is operational and we can swim.

      Reply
  4. Liz

    Is there an ETA on the fix?

    Reply
    • Maui Hawaii

      That’s what we’re hoping this article will help spur. As far as we know, no ETA yet…

      Reply
  5. Denise

    Trails around Nov. 2015 are in poorer condition than in July 2007. Rock paths are washed out. Was very disappointed to have made the entire trip to find out upon arrival that the pools were closed.

    Reply
    • Maui Hawaii

      Yah, it’s a real shame. There are many other places to swim, but they can be far more dangerous and are not monitored for flash floods. Let’s hope the get the equipment back up and running.

      Reply
  6. James

    Ching’s Pond on the north side of Maui between Paia and Hana is a wonderful substitute for O’heo Gulch.

    Reply
    • Maui Hawaii

      Again, I believe that is on private property. It also doesn’t compare with the waterfalls of ‘Ohe’o

      Reply
      • arielrogers19

        I don’t think the bottom part of the pool is private, plenty of people go there and I’ve never seen a no trespass sign…

        Reply
        • Maui Hawaii

          really? Have you been there in the last few months?

          Reply
  7. Hamoa Beach Creative

    It needs to be clarified that the park is open, and that all the trails around Oheo Gulch are open and accessible. The hike along the Pipiwai Trail to Waimoku Falls is spectacular. The only restriction in place is the closed access to the lower pools.

    Reply
    • Maui Hawaii

      Thank you! We’ve edited the copy a bit to be clearer on that point. Mahalo!

      Reply

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