The Olivine Pools, located along northwestern Maui's rugged coastline, offer large tidepools of clear water perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing on a calm day. Named after a gem found embedded in the area's lava and sandstone, the pools are created by a naturally-formed lava shelf and the clear water looks green because of the color of the rock below it. Brightly-colored tropical fish can often be seen in the pools.
AT A GLANCE:
The Olivine Pools are located off of Kahekili Highway, several miles beyond Nakalele Point and Blowhole. The drive along the northwestern coast is stunningly beautiful, however the road is very curvy and narrow (one-lane in many parts), so drive cautiously. Plan ahead to ensure that you will have plenty of gas and plenty of time to explore, as there are many other pull-offs along the road that you will likely want to stop at for viewing and photos.
Visitors can park in the pull-off area along the road at Mile Marker #16, and then hike down to the pools. It is not a strenuous hike, but it is along cliffs and lava so use caution on your way down, particularly if it is wet. If it looks like the surf is high, it is best for safety reasons to view the pools from above and come back for swimming on another day.
Use your best judgment before approaching the pools. Although typically a calm area, if the surf is high the waves can sweep over the surface and pull people over the edge. Wear reef shoes to avoid cutting your feet on the lava.
Kahekili Highway Mile Marker #16, West Maui, 96761
From the west side (Lahaina/Kaanapali/Kapalua), take Highway 30 north (it will become Highway 340/Kahekili Highway.) There is a pull-off parking area for the pools at Mile Marker #16.