Visiting The Nakalele Blowhole In Maui

10/13/2017 | by Conrad O'Connell | Maui Things To Do
“Nakalele Blowhole” by Grant Montgomeryis licensed underCC BY 2.0
“Nakalele Blowhole” by Grant Montgomery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Nakalele Blowhole Maui is a famous landmark in Hawaii. It is a natural geyser, and the combination of high surf and high tide allows it to offer an explosive and dramatic water show for visitors. The landmark is located in West Maui, between Wailuku and Kapalua, and can be seen from the trail head or the road when waves are high. One can also hike down an incline for an up close and personal view of this mesmerizing phenomenon.

Nakalele’s performance comes from an explosion of seawater that regularly erupts—sometimes as often as every few minutes–when the wind and surf are both high. Pressure builds because seawater becomes trapped in an underground lava tube and naturally begins searching for an escape route. The ocean eventually forces the seawater up through a large opening in the lava shelf, which is the famous Blowhole. High tide and high surf are the perfect conditions to view Nakalele’s spectacular water show.

Getting to the Blowhole

This natural wonder is not difficult to find. You must simply drive about eight miles north of Kapalua, and watch for mile marker thirty-eight. Approximately half a mile past this marker you will see multiple paths zigzagging across the landscape. Although you can take essentially any trail to reach Nakalele, the path that starts just after mile marker 38 is the safest.

Maui’s Heart-Shaped Rock

You also have the opportunity to view Maui’s beautiful Heart-Shaped Rock when visiting Nakalele. When you reach the bottom of the trail, the Blowhole will be situated to your left. If you turn to the right, you will see this famous formation in the middle of the rocks. It frames a tropical, coastal scene of waves, sand and Molokaʻi’s beautiful cliffs.

The Heart-Shaped Rock offers outstanding photo opportunities, particularly if you are lucky enough to visit on a day when its famous vertical rainbow appears. Additionally, when visiting the Geyser or the Heart-Shaped Rock, you may also enjoy the added bonus of viewing whales leaping in the distance, especially from December to May.

Enchanting and Dangerous Beauty

When trekking to the Geyser, you must use extreme caution. Although it is extraordinarily beautiful, it is important to remember that it is also dangerous. Therefore, you should do everything possible to avoid accidents. The latter typically occur when visitors stand too close to the Blowhole and slip on wet rocks. Drownings have even occurred at this location, so you should take safety advice seriously. Follow the tips outlined below to ensure a fun and accident-free excursion:

Dry Rocks Keep You Safe

As a general rule, the safest way to enjoy the Nakalele Blowhole’s outstanding show is simply to stay on dry rocks. You can appreciate and admire the Geyser from a distance and avoid danger by not venturing too close to the opening, even on calm days.

If you choose to go a bit closer, always wear slip proof footwear, as a certain amount of rock skipping is necessary to achieve an up-close view.

Always be aware of your surroundings, and avoid looking down continuously as you walk. Obviously, you have to watch your footing as you proceed, but you must also be alert for any sudden activity at the Blowhole.

Because this activity depends on both swell and tide, it can quickly go from inactive to active and vice versa. If you exercise caution and follow simple safety tips, you can enjoy an unforgettable visit to the famous Nakalele Blowhole Maui.

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