Nakalele Blowhole in Maui

How do you get to the Nakalele Blowhole?

The Nakalele Blowhole is one of those amazing features in west Maui that you don’t want to miss. Timing your trip during high tide will provide for some dramatic displays.

But this is one of the more risky adventures to do on Maui, with ominous signs before you get started. I’m breaking down all your questions, including: How do you get to the Nakalele Blowhole?

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How do you get to Nakalele blowhole?

The Nakalele Blowhole is on the northernmost portion of the Honoapiilani Highway in Wailuku Maui. Most people get to it by traveling around the westernmost side of the island, avoiding the Kahekili Highway. A Roadside Parking Lot at mile marker 38.5, at Nakalele Point. This scenic drive is considered better than the Road to Hana.

How long is Nakalele blowhole hike?

There are a couple of options for seeing the blowhole. If you have limited mobility, have small children, or just don’t want to scale a cliff face, there are some great observation points near the parking. Follow the dirt trails to the various observation areas.

There are many ways to get down to the formation. The most common path is between the two observation hills in the ravine. It’s covered in what can be described as the ‘Acid War Zone’ type of volcanic rock.

These lava rock changes in consistency and are out of this world. The constant foot traffic has smoothed some of the rocky landscape.

Before you get close, you’ll see a handwritten sign from locals, warning of the dangers of the journey. All Trails have some recommended hikes in the area if you want to explore more on your own.

From the parking to the blowhole it is 0.6 miles round trip. You can add on an extra 0.6 miles by hiking all the way over the official ‘Acid War Zone’ trail.

Boy walking down to the Nakelele Blowhole

How to see the Nakalele Blowhole Safely?

Before you go to Nakalele Point, wear good hiking shoes. Do not attempt in flip-flops.

You’ll also notice hand-painted signs. “Danger, this is not a water park!” This is because people have died here. They have been sucked in or swept away by the powerful waves on this side of the island. There are many other injuries because people aren’t respecting the ocean.

Tips for seeing the Nakalele Blowhole safely

  • Do not get near the blowhole
  • The ocean is not safe in this area
  • Do not put your head in it.
  • Do not let your kids stand near it to take a picture.
  • If the rocks are wet under your feet, you are standing in a place where you can be swept away by a wave. Take extreme caution.

How often does Nakalele blowhole erupt in Hawaii?

The Nakalele Blowhole is a geological formation. This is a natural phenomenon is created when wind and waves push water up through a hole in the lava rock.

The spout can be as high as 100 feet and the water can shoot out at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour.

The most dramatic times occur during high tide and active surf. You can tell when water is going to erupt by watching the waves of the ocean. When big swells start, you’ll get another eruption.

Nakalele Blowhole in Maui
Nakalele Blowhole in West Maui
Blowhole in Hawaii

How was the Nakalele blowhole formed?

The blowhole has been studied by many scientists and they have come up with various theories as to how it was formed. Some scientists believe that lava tubes that were created by volcanic eruptions formed the blowhole.

Other scientists believe it was created when lava flowed out from cracks in the earth’s surface and then cooled off quickly, which caused the surface to form a hard crust.

Blowhole in Maui

What about the Heart Shaped Rock?

For some time there was a hole in the rock, formed just like a heart. You’ll come across this in others’ reviews and even on the Shaka Audio Tour of the island.

Unfortunately, this formation was destroyed by the sea. It’s another reason to make sure to respect the power of the ocean.

Looking for more great roadside stops in Maui. Get the Shaka Guide Mobile app. Using GPS they track your progress and give you recommendations on the best place to park, where to stop, and great information and history on some of these epic stops. Click here to download it.

Would I go back to the Nakalele Blowhole?

Yes, I loved getting to see the raw power. We timed it right for dramatic views of the blowhole. I found that part of the island to be desolate with little in the way of shade.

I would consider bringing a large shade hat or a water bottle down with me the next time I attempted it. Even though it’s only a short way, the elevation changes are dramatic. If you get the chance, I recommend visiting!

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