Maui’s Bellstone Pools and Nakalele Blowhole: Only beauties when they are sleeping
Nothing quite spoils a family vacation like having a wave sweep someone away and into the depths of the deep blue sea. So, first rule when visiting the very cool Nakalele Blowhole and Bellstone Pools is to stay well back from the reef edges and watch wave action for at least 15 minutes. High surf can be present during calm days. If the reef around the pools is wet, take that as a clue that sporadic surf is jumping the reef and stay out.
On calm days the pools (known as ‘Olivine Pools’ to some), are a world-class freebie. This photo shows one of a half-dozen soaking tubs, spread out over a couple of reefy acres. Colorful fishies and sea flora lie beneath clear water.
It’s a tough, steep hike down to the pool (the price of admission) from an obscure turnout on Maui’s north shore, near the ancient Bellstone—a hog-sized rock than has rested here for centuries. When struck at the right place with the correct object, the rock emanates a hollow, metallic sound.
Several miles up scenic Highway 30, the Nakalele Blowhole is a well-known roadside attraction, and rental car clusters normally mark each of the two trailheads. The rough trail down drops about 200 feet over .75-mile. Most people stand farther back than these visitors, but they thankfully have the sense not to have the ocean at their backs—the double whammy.