Conquering the Commando Hike in Maui

Skill Level



Hike, Swim


  • Half-day

What to Pack

  • Water shoes
  • Headlamps
  • Dry Sack
  • Back Pack
  • Hike in your Bathing Suite
  • Day Snack
  • Towel
  • GPS
  • Good Attitude
  • Camera that can get wet

Ride or die baby.

It wasn’t cool in high school to have no car and it certainly isn’t on this island either.  Regardless of where you are staying or what you’re planning– having a car gives you options. And if you are looking for a little adventure, the commando hike is option number 1.

About .25 miles past Mile 6.5 on the road to Hana you will the gate. Pull over and park your car on the side of road. If your facing towards Hana, the ocean will be on your left but turn right into the private land and hop under this gate:


Follow the path into the countryside until you reach a fork. Now be careful here because there isn’t really a path either way so don’t keep walking uphill and into the forest. You want to veer right and stay close to the reservoir/ pond that should be on your right.


This is the reservoir you will see on your right.


As you keep walking downhill you will run into a creek that feeds into reservoir. This is your ticket. We’re in business.


What follows is about an hour of good old-fashioned creek exploration. No trail, no problem.

commando-5Hope you brought your swim trunks!

The Creek



You may even encounter some monkeys. DO NOT FEED— not native to the islands


Scamper over a few waterfalls



The Cave

After an hour or so of really awesome climbing you run into what appears to be the end of the creek. A somewhat ominous black hole in the middle of the jungle.


Who turned out the lights?


Do not be deterred.

With your headlamp you will enjoy a nice swim across some water in the cave and climb up another ledge. Once on top of the ledge it’s another 2 minutes or so of darkness and a little more swimming/ canyoneering left. At this point we recommend engaging in some ancient Hawaiian song and dance— you’re almost there!

For those who forget to check their headlamp batteries, the caves are still possible with one light. Not recommended.

You will see the light at the end of the cave and shortly after you will find the storm grate. Whaboom! You made it.




Once you hop out of the storm grate you are free to enjoy a nice afternoon of solitude in front of 2 scenic waterfalls. Downstream you will notice you are on top of a larger waterfall that cascades into a big pool.


Enjoy the view, but DO NOT jump or try to scamper down there. It’s slippery, dangerous and shallow and if you didn’t know better you might just get stuck there and leave your girlfriend stranded halfway down.

Do not leave your girlfriend stranded in the jungle.

On the other hand, if you go upstream a minute or so you will find a smaller waterfall and pool that is great for sunbathing and swimming.




The Exit Strategy

As discussed going up or down the river is not your option (trust us here). If you are facing the storm drain there is a somewhat hidden path above the drain and to the left you will want to scamper up and look for. Once you find it you’ll know. Take that path through the jungle (it’s longer then you think 2-3 miles) back to the road!

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