Punalau Falls is an often-overlooked stop on along Maui's Road to Hana, owing to the easy-to-miss unsigned trailhead that sits adjacent to a single, unsigned parking spot. Lying approximately a quarter mile east of milemarker 13, parking is immediately east of a bridge in a single pull off. From here, a trail begins just behind a pile of debris and makes its way through a quick stretch of tropical forest before crossing a creek and heading upstream. From this point, the rest of the way to the falls requires navigating around and over rocks and bouldersin the streambed, which are often quite slick.
As many of the travlers along the Road to Hana tend to stick to their cars or the signed and accessible walks, these falls, towering about 135 feet in height at the end of a scenic shady lush canyon, receive very few visitors, and you may find you have the grandeur of the waterfall to yourself.
The hike is about a quarter mile one way, and the slick route makes the short trip a little slow. However, the opportunity to escape the crowds and have the falls to yourself make this a worthwhile hike.