Winding around the edges of Northwest Maui, the Kapalua Coastal Trail takes in a natural landscape carved by the twin forces of wind and sea.
For most of the trail, you want to stand far back from the cliff edges, to keep away from any potentially tumbling rocks. But for those with an adventurous spirit, the Kapalua Coastal Trail hides a secret cliff jumping spot.
Taking a slight diversion from the main trail to follow a sandy road back along the cliffs, Namalu Bay is a popular jumping spot with locals. Take a look at this guide to find out how to get there, and decide whether you want to take the plunge!
Can You Cliff Jump On The Kapalua Coastal Trail?
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The Kapalua coastline offers some fascinating natural landmarks, but if you’re after more of a heart-racing thrill, you might want to try cliff jumping.
An ancient Hawaiian pastime that can still excite, one of Maui’s most loved cliff jumping stops is on the Kapalua Coastal Trail.
The Kapalua Coastal Trail winds along beaches and cliff faces, which means you’re going to come across some places that look like potential cliff jumping spots.
However, much of the trail is not safe for jumping. If you want to try cliff jumping in Kapalua, the only spot to consider is Namalu Bay. On a calm day, you’re likely to find groups of locals jumping, and even a few tourists giving it a go.
(We also have a guide about the best cliff jumping spots on Maui.)
Where To Cliff Jump On The Kapalua Coastal Trail
The place to cliff jump on the Kapalua Coastal Trail is at Namalu Bay, just past the Cliff House. Although you’ve been following the Kapalua Coastal Trail up until this point, Namalu Bay is actually found on another trail.
To access Namalu Bay, follow Kapalua Coastal Trail from Kapalua Beach, past the Cliff House itself. Keep following the trail as it takes you across a paved road and a condo development.
Here, you’re faced with several options. The path diverges to travel along the Ironwood Cliffs, up to Hawea Point, or back around to Namalu Bay.
You want to follow the sandy Namalu Bay track (don’t worry, you can finish the Kapalua Coastal Trail later). The track curves around to follow the cliff back the way you came.
The track ends at Namalu Bay, a small and rocky bay with views along the coast. You should be able to spot the Cliff House just a short way down from the bay, and probably a handful of locals cliff jumping!
If you’re following the trail from Oneloa, keep to the track until it widens and starts to head inland. At this point, you’ll need to turn towards the sea, and follow the sandy path round the coast to Namalu Bay.
Cliff Jumping At Namalu Bay
Namalu Bay has been a popular cliff jumping spot with the locals for many years. The cliffs are about 12 to 15 feet above the sea, and the water below is deep and clear.
It’s so popular that there used to be a ladder to get you in and out, and there was a huge outcry when a landowner tried to prevent access. On clear and calm days, you can expect to find locals diving into the waters.
For many of us, the thought of jumping off a cliff into water is pretty terrifying. Even if you don’t want to try the waters yourself, this is a good place to come to watch the waves, take in the view, and marvel as other people tackle the jump.
It’s a short diversion along the Kapalua Coastal Trail, and a sight that’s worth enjoying as you explore Northwest Maui.
Parking And Facilities
There are a few parking options when visiting the Kapalua Coastal Trail. The best place to park is at the start of the trail itself.
This is located just to the south of Kapalua Bay Beach, just off Lower Honoapiilani Road. The parking lot is sizable, so you shouldn’t struggle to find space.
These parking lots all serve the Kapalua Coastal Trail, which you can follow along to reach the jumping spot.
In terms of facilities, there are none at Cliff House. However, there are restrooms at Kapalua Bay Beach, which is only a short walk away. There are also places to eat within walking distance.
Is It Safe To Cliff Jump On The Kapalua Coastal Trail?
Namalu Bay is an incredibly popular cliff jumping spot, but no cliff jumping is ever exactly safe. Tourists and locals have been injured cliff jumping on Kapalua Coastal Trail, and we urge caution for anyone considering jumping.
A good rule is that if no one else is jumping, you should stay out. And even if people are jumping, check the water, and make your own decision.
Remember that the weather can change quickly on Maui, and even if it was relatively safe earlier, changing winds can massively affect the conditions.
Cliff House might be a popular spot for cliff jumping, but there are no other places along the coastal trail where it’s safe.
The Kapalua coast was formed by the twin powers of wind and water, giving it the rugged appearance that makes the trail so popular.
It also makes the coast dangerous, and straying close to the edges can result in injuries. The relative shelter of Namalu Bay gives it slight protection against the rough conditions that are common along the trail.
A short detour along the Kapalua Coastal Trail, Cliff House, otherwise known as Namalu Bay, is a hugely popular cliff jumping spot.
With relative shelter and clear waters, the area has been attracting adventurous locals for years, and even thrill-seeking tourists try the jump.
Close to Kapalua, this is a convenient spot for anyone who wants to see cliff jumping in action. You can then explore the rest of the Kapalua Coastal Trail (making sure to stay back from the cliffs along the way)!