The sometimes treacherous trail of Na'ili'ili Haele--the Bamboo Forest--ranks among the great "insider" pit stops along the Hana Highway. Take one of the alluring (and unmarked) footpaths tunneling through the roadside bamboo, and eventually you'll reach a cascades-fed pool that'll probably have a few swimmers bobbing around.
Many turn around here, but the intrepid--clad in swimwear--can continue on an increasingly sketchy (but certainly thrilling) route involving swimming and climbing up ropes, ladders, and slippery rock, encountering more plunge pools and waterfalls as you go. (Be careful of your footing and stay cognizant of the potential for flash flooding.) Even if that's not up your alley, the early part of the trail in the deep, dark bamboo grove and the first swimming hole is a rewarding excursion in and of itself.
An offshore reef obligingly serves as a breakwater against the raw surf to make a tranquil lagoon... Read more