The Unreal Olivine Pools of Maui
The Olivine Pools in Maui are way cool! These tide pools look truly stunning; trust me, pictures hardly do the site justice.
These mini swimming pools along the rocky Maui coast offer a perfect escape from the scorching Maui sun. You can take a dip in cool water while watching the waves continually crash into the surrounding lava rock cliffs.
Don’t get too comfortable as the location is actually quite dangerous.
You will see warning signs all around about the inherent dangers at the Olivine Pools.
- The Unreal Olivine Pools of Maui
- What actually is a tide pool in Maui?
- Olivine Pools Conclusion
- What to Pack for Maui
- Planning a trip to Maui? Here are our best MAUI BLOG POSTS:
What actually is a tide pool in Maui?
Okay, if you are like me then you probably are not 100% sure what exactly a tide pool is. A tide pool is a pool of water left (typically in a rock basin) caused by the tides rising and falling.
At this Maui hotspot, the rising and falling waves crash into the lava rock cliffs periodically filling various pools along the coast line. The remaining rock basin fills up with the ocean water resulting in a perfect swimming spot that is constantly getting drained/filled, which helps the water stay especially clear.
Why are they so dangerous?
It’s not just hype, this area really can be dangerous! The danger comes because you can easily be lulled into a false sense of security. Let me explain…
At any moment the incoming waves can increase in height and crash over the rock cliff. If they crash over the cliff and you are in one of the tide pools, you can get tossed into the razor sharp lava rock and then out into the ocean.
Obviously you can see why this experience could potentially be deadly. In fact, there are grave markings for poor visitors that have suffered this fate.
So can you actually swim in them?
While at the Maui Olivine Pools I didn’t swim; I was too nervous due to the warning signs and gravestones. That being said, there were many others that swam in the pools while I was there.
The waves crashed against the nearby cliffs but never came over the edge. If you do decide to swim, remember that a rogue wave could come over the cliff at any time.
Even though I didn’t swim, I did take the opportunity to run down and dip my feet into one of the pools. I didn’t go all the way to the cliff’s edge, but given how gorgeous they looked I can 100% see the temptation.
Remember, if the rocks are wet there is a reason. It means that a wave has recently crashed over.
Olivine Pools Location
I think the location of the Olivine Pools contribute to them being underrated as far as Maui attractions go. They are located on the top northwest tip of the island.
The location is a little bit difficult to access. It is a 1 hour drive from the Maui Airport, but in a direction that doesn’t take you that much closer to any of the resort areas. If you stay in the Kaanapali resort area you are still about a 45 minute drive away.
The drive takes so long because at times it takes you along a windy highway. At times the highway even goes down to one lane, where you have to stop and waiting for oncoming traffic to pass. The winding highway along the Maui cliffs is not for the faint of heart – expect to be driving at less than 10 mph at times.
Olivine Pools Trailhead
First off, the site isn’t really marked well along the highway so you will have to follow your GPS closely. Once you get there you will see smaller signs designating the area though.
The “hike” down to the pools isn’t really a hike. The Olivine Pools trailhead may seem confusing at first since there are a number of paths that appear to be going in different directions. Don’t worry since they all converge and take you down the cliffs to the Olivine Pools.
The entire “hike” is less than ¼ of a mile. As long as you are heading down the hill you are moving the right direction. The lava rocks can be sharp. I did the hike in flip flops but ideally would have preferred to have shoes or hiking sandals on.
There is a dirt lot immediately off the side of the road. Even if this lot is full you can park along the side of the highway. I think the “remote” location of these pools keeps the area from getting too crowded.
Olivine Pools Conclusion
I love the Olivine Pools and recommend a visit even if you aren’t comfortable swimming. I was too afraid of a random wave slamming me into the rocks, but even without a swim I loved the quick hike and dipping my feet into the water.
What do you think? Would you be one of the daredevils that braves a swim?
What to Pack for Maui
- Quick Dry Travel Towel – This quick dry towel is amazing to travel with. It really will come in handy when you need extra room in your suitcase.
- Snorkeling gear – for obvious reasons.
- Hiking boots – I have two pairs of hiking boots that I love. My Columbia waterproof boots and my Salomon hiking boots. Highly recommend checking them both out!
- Sandals – LOVE these Teva’s! They are my new go to travel sandal. Shop my favorite Teva’s here. They are great to wear in the water snorkeling and also amazing for hiking in Hawaii.
- Dresses for Hawaii – Packing a few good dresses is essential for Hawaii. Dresses have become my go to on trips to help quickly put an outfit together. Revolve is one of my go to shops for beach dresses. ASOS also has great summer dresses.
- Shorts – Anyone who is traveling to Hawaii needs a good pair of shorts. Khakis are great for guys. For women, cute athletic shorts or denim shorts are perfect for a breezy summertime look. These Levi denim shorts are my current favorites! These high waisted athletic shorts have gone viral on instagram and for good reason, they are AMAZING.
- Sports bra – This SKIMS bra is the most comfortable sports bra you will ever wear! Trust me. I travel with 5 of them. Also, highly recommend checking out the SKIMS fits everybody bra is to die for as well.
- Agolde 90’s jeans – I actually can’t remember the last trip I have been on where I haven’t brought these Agolde jeans. I have them in multiple colors and sizes. Check out my full review here.
- Tank tops – Free people is my go to place to buy cute and affordable tank tops. I have this tighten up tank in almost every color.
- Hat – essential. Shop the newest hats at Nordstrom.
- Beach cover-up – Having at least one good cover-up is essential on any beach trip. I recommend ASOS, Nordstrom and Revolve as well.
- Tennis Shoes – I guess you could wear sandals hiking the trails in Maui but I would recommend tennis shoes or hiking boots. It can get narrow and slippery in parts. These New Balance shoes are amazing. Only problem is they sell out so fast! Blah. They look so cute with shorts too!
- Packing cubes – I always go to Urban Outfitters for my packing cubes. They have the cutest ones!
Planning a trip to Maui? Here are our best MAUI BLOG POSTS:
My husband and I have been to Maui a couple times and have written up more blog posts to help you plan your trip. These are my most popular blog posts and Hawaii travel guides to help you plan your trip. I hope it helps!
Maui general trip planning
- Guide to Visiting the Red Sand Beach– One of the best beaches in Maui!
- Hookipa Beach – (Best beach to see turtles in Maui)
- Makena Beach/Big Beach (One of my favorite beaches in Maui)
- Little Beach (also known as Oneloa Beach) – WARNING – nude beach.
- Oneuli Beach – Black sand beach
- Maluaka Beach – all around great beach
- Slaughterhouse Beach – (AKA Mokuleia Bay)
- La Perouse Beach (Bay) – great snorkeling tours here. Best if reached by boat.
Maui Hikes & Lookouts
- Sliding Sands Trail – (also known as Keonehe’ehe’e Trail) is one of the most unique hikes on Earth!
- Waihee Ridge Trail – Most Underrated Maui Hike
- Hoapili Trail – (Hike through lava fields in Maui)
- Dragon’s Teeth Hike
- Ohai Trail Loop – (Easy but Awesome)
- Leleiwi Overlook in Haleakala National Park – (Maui must see!)
- 6 Easily Accessible Maui Waterfalls – The Best and Most Easily Accessible Maui Waterfalls
- 7 Waterfalls in Maui That You Can Swim In – Must see!
- 13 WATERFALLS IN MAUI YOU CAN’T MISS
- Nakalele Blowhole – (100 foot Maui blowhole)
- Olivine Pools in Maui – What you need to know before going