Welcome to our blog post on Kauai waterfalls! Kauai, also known as the Garden Island, is a breathtakingly beautiful place filled with natural wonders. One of the most iconic features of the island are its waterfalls. From towering cascades to hidden gems, there are a plethora of Kauai waterfalls to explore and enjoy. In this post, we will highlight some of the most breathtaking and must-see waterfalls on the island, as well as provide some tips on how to best experience these natural wonders. So come along with us as we journey through the lush, tropical paradise of Kauai and discover its breathtaking waterfalls.
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If you ask about which Kauai waterfalls you should add to your to-go list first, we would recommend Wailua Falls, which is one of the most popular attractions on the island.
One interesting fact about Wailua Falls is that the falls were featured in the opening credits of the television series “Fantasy Island” throughout the 1970s and 1980s. You can watch the show and see these beautiful falls through your screen first to get a closer look at them.
Falling 173 feet into crystal blue water, the falls break into two distinct cascades. Wailua Falls has the advantage of not requiring a long climb from a parking lot, which makes this falls a popular destination for visitors. It’s accessible to everyone, and that makes it a good stop!
Location: North of Lihue, at the south end of the Wailua River
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Another Kauai waterfalls destination you should visit is Opaeka’a Falls. Opaeka’a Stream can be found on the eastern side of the island of Kauai at Wailua River State Park, which is where you’ll discover these magnificent waterfalls. Opaeka’a Falls, one of Kauai’s most beautiful waterfalls, may be seen only a short distance down the stream.
To describe more about Opaeka’a feature, the falls are 151 feet high and 40 feet wide, and they fall into a hidden pool below the surface. And the basalt that is under this waterfall was made by volcanoes that erupted thousands of years ago.
Opaeka’a is a Hawaiian word that literally translates as “rolling shrimp.” This term has been around for a long time, dating back to when freshwater shrimp were found in the river and cascading over the falls.
This waterfall is also one of the most accessible waterfalls on the island, which makes it a popular place for tourists to visit.
Location: In Wailua, two miles up Route 580
Waipoo Falls is a truly breathtaking waterfall located in the Waimea Canyon State Park on the island of Kauai. Standing at an impressive 800 feet tall, it is the tallest waterfall on the island and a must-see for any visitor.
To experience Waipoo Falls, you will need to embark on a moderate to strenuous hike through the Waimea Canyon. The hike to the falls is approximately 4 miles round trip and takes about 3-4 hours to complete. The trail takes you through the stunning Waimea Canyon, a vast, beautiful canyon that is often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” Along the way, you will be treated to breathtaking views of the canyon and its many waterfalls, including Waipoo Falls itself.
Once you reach the base of Waipoo Falls, you will be able to take in the stunning views of the falls and the surrounding canyon. The falls are best viewed from a distance, as there is no pool at the base to swim in. However, the views from the top are well worth the effort and make for a truly memorable experience.
When visiting Waipoo Falls, it is important to come prepared. Make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks, as the hike can be strenuous. It is also a good idea to wear comfortable shoes and bring a hat and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun. Finally, make sure to follow any posted signs or guidelines and stay on the marked trails to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Overall, Waipoo Falls is a must-see attraction on Kauai and a truly breathtaking natural wonder.
Location: Waimea – West Side
For another adventure: The List Of 14 Maui Waterfalls You Should Visit
Mount Waialeale Falls
Mount Waialeale rises to a height of 5,148 feet. This is one of Kauai’s highest points and also one of the wettest locations on Earth!
One amazing fact about the Kauai waterfalls is: The island has had an annual rainfall average of more than 372 inches since 1912. Can you imagine how many feet of rain that is?
Now let’s move to some tips for traveling! It’s tough to travel to Mount Waialeale Falls. There isn’t a well-defined path, so it’s simple to wander off track. There are some breathtaking views that may be had if hikers discover the falls. There are at least 2,950 feet of vertical drop!
Please be aware that trekking in this area is very unsafe or almost impossible because of the damp terrain. Take a helicopter tour of Kauai to see this in all its glory, according to my perspective!
Location: Central Kauai island, Hawaii, U.S. Waialeale
Hanakoa Falls is one of two waterfalls that may be seen on the world-famous Na Pali Coast, which is located on the island of Oahu. The other waterfall is Hanakapi’ai Falls, which will be discussed more below. Hanakoa Falls, at 1,000 feet, is the taller of the two waterfalls.
Location: When it comes to approaching Hanakoa Falls, there is some debate on the best method. It is only possible to see the waterfalls in partial tiers halfway down the Kalalau Trail due to height changes and the surrounding natural environment.
Permission is required to make the six-mile trip to the falls. So, what are you waiting for? Get started now! Make sure you have your camera ready, as well as your boots.
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Hanakapiai Falls is the lesser of the two waterfalls that can be seen along the Na Pali Coast. To get to these falls, you’ll have to travel down the Hanakapiai Falls Trail, which is around four miles long.
However, about two kilometers into the trek, you will realize that it was worthwhile. Hikers arrive at Hanakapiai Beach, which is renowned for its breathtaking beauty, massive waves, and a high degree of difficulty for surfers of all levels.
After passing through the gorgeous Kauai shore, you will arrive at your destination, which is the Hanakapiai Falls located at the end of the route. The plunge is 300 feet into the emerald-green depths of a pool below, which is surrounded by water.
Location: On the Na Pali side of the island of Kauai, Hawaii, United States
The Kalihiwai Falls, a stunning multi-tiered waterfall on the Kalihiwai River, is a famous tourist site in the Hawaiian Islands. The river runs along the north-central coast of Kauai, between Kalihiwai Bay and Princeville, and it is a popular tourist destination.
Hiking the trek isn’t tough; in fact, equine excursions may be available to transport you to the destination. It is impossible to be disappointed by magnificent waterfalls, which plunge 80 feet below the surface of the water.
It’s not a big issue if you don’t make it to the falls. If you wish to visit the falls, the Princeville Ranch is the best site to start your journey. At the ranch, visitors can learn about the geology, fauna, and history of the surrounding area.
Location: On the Princeville Ranch, Kauai, Hawaii, United States
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Despite the fact that Kipu Falls is just twenty feet high, it is one of the most dangerous waterfalls on the island of Kauai. The waterfalls are encircled by a wide pool of water that is relatively deep in comparison to the surrounding area.
There have been five fatalities and countless reported injuries at the falls in the last five years, so proceed with great caution!
Grove Farms Company, the owners of the property on which the falls are situated, decided to shut the falls to the public due to the potential danger to visitors to the area.
If you decide to visit the falls, you may be subject to legal consequences since you are trespassing. Despite the fact that this is an absolutely gorgeous waterfall, you are unable to see it at this time.
Location: Kipu Rd, Lihue, HI 96766, United States
Getting to Uluwehi Falls, or “Secret Falls,” is a challenge if you’re on your own. Heavy rain and strong winds might have an influence on this trip. I strongly suggest taking a tour.
To get to the falls, you must first take a canoe or kayak excursion down the Lower Wailua River, followed by a muddy trek up the waterfall. Even after kayaking all the way to the beginning of this route, it was a piece of cake to hike along with it (around 2 miles by kayaking to the trailhead).
For those who are willing to risk the journey and the climb, there is a 100-foot-drop waterfall that plunges into an incredible pool surrounded by lush flora at the bottom.
This waterfall is not a well-guarded secret. Daily, hundreds of individuals accept the challenge, and it takes just a little amount of work to reach the destination.
Ho’opi’i Falls may be seen on the Ho’opi’i Falls Trail, which is located near Kapa’a on the island of Kauai. On this more than one-and-a-half-mile stroll, visitors are welcome to bring their dogs but must ensure that they remain on leashes.
There are two waterfalls in this area. Visitors enjoy jumping into the pool below the Upper Ho’opi’i Falls, which has a 15-foot drop to the pool below and is a popular swimming spot. In terms of popularity, this one is the more popular one.
Lower Ho’opi’i Falls, a 30-foot cascade located a mile downriver, is a must-see. The lower falls were included in the tale of “Jurassic Park,” which was filmed in 1993. Trekking out to see whether it’s in a movie is definitely worthwhile.
Location: Near Kapaʻa, Kauai
Na Pali-Kona Forest Reserve and Na Pali Coast State Park, Kauai’s most renowned state park, both border Hoolea Falls. A large number of people come to see this vista and the surrounding region because of it.
The Kalalau Trail ends at Kalalau Beach, where the falls are situated. This is a long way to go, and it may take a few days for visitors to get there, depending on how fast they travel.
You’ll be rewarded with a breathtaking view of the 200-foot Hoolea Falls if you persevere.
Location: At Kalalau Beach at the end of an eleven-mile hike on the Kalalau Trail
Red Dirt Waterfall
Located in the Waimea Canyon, Red Dirt Waterfall is a small but worthwhile stop on any road trip through the canyon. Its name comes from the red dirt surrounding the waterfall, which is a result of iron-rich basalt rocks that have oxidized over time. The vibrant red hue of the soil is a striking contrast to the lush green vegetation of the surrounding area.
To visit Red Dirt Waterfall, simply head to the 23-mile marker on Waimea Canyon Drive, which can be accessed from Waimea town. It’s important to wear appropriate shoes when visiting, as the red dirt can be slippery and the area may be muddy.
How to experience the waterfalls?
There are many ways to experience the waterfalls of Kauai. Here are a few suggestions:
- Hiking to the falls: Many of the waterfalls on Kauai can be reached by hiking through the lush, tropical forests of the island. This is a great way to get close to the falls and take in the natural beauty of the surroundings.
- Swimming in the pools at the base of the falls: Some of the waterfalls on Kauai have pools at the base where you can cool off and take a dip. This is a great way to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the falls.
- Taking a guided tour: Guided tours are a great way to learn more about the waterfalls and the surrounding area. Many tours will take you to some of the most popular waterfalls on the island and provide information about their history and significance.
- Safety considerations: It is important to always be safe when visiting the waterfalls and to follow any posted signs or guidelines. Make sure to wear appropriate shoes and bring plenty of water, as the hikes to the falls can be strenuous. It is also a good idea to be aware of your surroundings and to avoid getting too close to the edge of the falls.
What waterfalls can you drive to on Kauai?
There are several waterfalls on Kauai that can be easily accessed by car. Some of the most popular waterfalls that can be driven to include: Opaeka’a Falls, Wailua Falls, Waipoo Falls, Red Dirt Waterfall.
Can you see Wailua Falls without hiking?
Yes, it is possible to see Wailua Falls without hiking. While the best views of the falls can be seen by hiking to the base, it is also possible to see the falls from a distance without hiking.
- One option is to view the falls from the road. The falls are visible from the main road and can be easily accessed by car. There is also a parking area near the falls where you can park and walk to a viewing platform that offers a good view of the falls.
- Another option is to take a boat tour of the Wailua River, which passes by the base of the falls. Many boat tour companies offer trips up the river that include a stop at the base of Wailua Falls, allowing visitors to see the falls up close without having to hike.
Can you swim in any waterfalls in Kauai?
Yes, it is possible to swim in some of the waterfalls in Kauai. Many of the waterfalls on the island have pools at the base where visitors can take a dip to cool off. Some of the waterfalls on Kauai where swimming is possible include:
- Wailua Falls: Located in the eastern part of the island, Wailua Falls has a pool at the base where visitors can swim.
- Hanakapiai Falls: Located on the Kalalau Trail in the Napali Coast State Wilderness Park, Hanakapiai Falls has a pool at the base where visitors can swim, although it requires a longer hike to reach the falls.
- Waipoo Falls: Located in the Waimea Canyon State Park, Waipoo Falls does not have a pool at the base, but it is possible to swim in the Waipoo Stream below the falls.
- Opaeka’a Falls: Located on the eastern side of the island, Opaeka’a Falls has a pool at the base where visitors can swim.
It is important to note that swimming in the waterfalls can be dangerous and should only be done by those who are confident in their swimming abilities. It is also important to follow any posted signs or guidelines and to be mindful of your surroundings to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
Wailua Falls has a swimming area, right?
At your own risk, you may swim at Wailua Falls. If you want to cool down in the waterfall, you’ll have to descend the short (but tough) walk to its base.
May Opaeka’a Falls be reached by a moderate climb?
Yes, in a way. It’s a dangerous trek, and you’ll have to do it at your own risk.
Does seeking out Wailua Falls require a trek?
The answer is no, you can get a beautiful view of this Kauai waterfall from the side of the road, which is a very simple overlook. Helicopter tours of Kauai are also an option!
Kauai is a truly breathtaking place, with endless opportunities for adventure and exploration. From its stunning beaches to its lush, tropical forests, there is no shortage of natural beauty to take in. One of the most iconic and must-see attractions on the island are its waterfalls. From towering cascades to hidden gems, there are a plethora of Kauai waterfalls to explore and enjoy.
In this blog post, we highlighted some of the most breathtaking and must-see waterfalls on the island, as well as provided some tips on how to best experience these natural wonders. Whether you prefer to hike to the falls and take a dip in the pools at the base, or take a guided tour to see the falls up close, there is something for everyone.
It is important to always be safe when visiting the waterfalls and to follow any posted signs or guidelines. With its stunning beauty and endless opportunities for adventure, Kauai’s waterfalls are not to be missed. So come along with us and discover the breathtaking beauty of Kauai’s waterfalls for yourself.
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