Maui is lined with lava rock formations and steep cliffs that give way to deep and clear seas.
Head inland, and you’ll find waterfall after waterfall, with the sharp drop tumbling toward a big splash into still waters. No wonder Maui is such a popular place to cliff jump!
Take a look at this guide to the best cliff jumping on Maui, and find the greatest, and safest, places to jump.
Black Rock, Ka’anapali
Black Rock at Ka’anapali is Maui’s most famous cliff jumping spot. With sandy white beaches giving way to a jut of lava rock, the spot is both picturesque and easily accessible.
It also has a fascinating history. Legend says that as Black Rock, King Kahekili demonstrated the strength of his spirit by leaping off the rocks.
Ka’anapali on West Maui is a popular resort town known for its excellent beach: Black Rock is at the north point of Ka’anapali.
The jumping spot is hard to miss—it’s the big, black cliff. The lava rock can be painful on uncovered feet, but climbing the cliff is quite easy.
Nervous jumpers will be pleased with the natural platforms of the cliff face that provide a range of higher and lower jumping points.
From the top, the sea at Ka’anapali invites you in. The water is clear, and you might even spot some turtles swimming below.
Hang around until the evening, and you’ll see the famous Black Rock Cliff Diving Ceremony.
As the sun sets, there’s a torch lighting procession, followed by a professional cliff dive. The best view is from the Sheraton Maui hotel, but you can also see it from the beach.
Wai’anapanapa State Park
For fans of cliff diving, however, the park offers more than just an unusual photo and a place to catch your breath.
To the east of the black sand beach is a pinnacle of lava rock, jutting up to form a “Y” shape over the ocean.
Swim out here, and find two cliff jumping spots. A lower platform, part way up the rock, and the top of the pinnacle itself.
On a calm day, this is a good place for strong swimmers to jump. The still waters have an impressive visibility, so you can decide if it’s safe to leap and where to plan your landing.
When the surf is rough, it’s impossible to spot the rocks below, and even strong swimmers will struggle to dive safely.
The Road to Hana is rich with waterfalls all along the drive, but Twin Falls is the best destination for cliff jumpers.
One of the first waterfall trails on the Hana Highway, Twin Falls offers several jumping points for adventurers with differing levels of experience.
Twin Falls gets its name from the two most impressive falls on the trail: Ho’olawa li’ili’i, and Ho’olawa nui.
For cliff jumpers, it’s Ho’olawa nui that holds the most interest, and can be found on the right fork of the main path.
Visitors to Ho’olawa nui will find numerous jumping points of different heights, leading to still pools below.
Most days you can expect to find several jumpers, but Twin Falls rarely gets overcrowded thanks to a confusing layout.
Although you won’t have the place to yourself, you’re unlikely to be fighting for a moment to jump.
Twin Falls does close on occasion due to flash flooding. If you plan on visiting, check the recent weather forecast to see what the conditions are like.
Is Maui Good For Cliff Jumping?
Maui is an excellent place to go cliff jumping. In fact, it’s thought to be the place where cliff jumping originated. But it isn’t just history that makes Maui an excellent place to cliff jump.
There are numerous waterfalls and deep pools that make Maui popular with cliff jumpers of all skill and thrill levels.
We’ve listed our favorite cliff jumping spots, but there are more of them, particularly along the Road to Hana.
If you do decide to cliff jump at a spot that’s caught your eye, make sure you know what you’re doing.
Be careful climbing up, as well as jumping down. And keep an eye on the weather forecast. Many spots along the Road to Hana are subject to flash floods.
Was Cliff Jumping Invented On Maui?
Hawaii is the home of cliff jumping, with the heart stopping sport originating on the cliffs of Maui.
According to legend, Maui King Kahekili II used to order his men to jump into the water feet first, to show they were brave and loyal. In Hawaii, cliff jumping is known as “lele kawa”.
Cliff jumping has remained popular with locals, and many visitors to Maui decide to take the plunge when confronted with the sparkling blue oceans of Hawaii.
Is Cliff Jumping Safe On Maui?
There’s nowhere in the world that’s completely safe for cliff jumping, because jumping off a cliff is inherently dangerous.
The places we’ve listed above are places where cliff jumping is popular and relatively safe. But even at these spots you have to be careful.
However, there are plenty of cliffs and waterfalls on Maui that attract tourists who are looking for good photos without stopping to consider the risks.
These tough to access spots are not safe for cliff jumpers of any skill level. As a general rule, if there’s no one else jumping, then you shouldn’t be the first to try.
Stick to the popular destinations, always check the weather conditions, and keep an eye on the surf. Cliff jumping can definitely get the blood pounding, but this is a thrill that has to be enjoyed safely.
Maui is filled with incredible cliff jumping destinations, ranging from the “relatively safe” to the “do not jump under any circumstances”.
To ensure you can really appreciate the wow-factor of a Maui cliff dive, visit the places where you know the jumping is good: Black Rock, Wai’anapanapa State Park, and Twin Falls.