Hike to the Base of Wailua Falls

1.5 miles 150 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Kyle Szegedi

Take a short hike to this amazing Kauai waterfall (173 ft) with beautiful views from the base. This is a fun excursion for the adventurous – no maintained trail.

The short, makeshift hike to the falls is well worth the effort – this is one of the most beautiful waterfalls on the island of Kauai.

Look for a small path at the south end of the parking lot. You will have to hop over a cement barrier that is about chest high (there is no sign marking this area as off-limits).

The path down is very steep, and has ropes tied to the trees to help you navigate down to the bottom. Definitely come during dry weather, as the trail will be very muddy and difficult to navigate, otherwise.

Read More

Tags

Chillin
Photography
Hiking
Easy Parking
Forest
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Swimming Hole

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Easy, Quick, Rewarding

I wouldn't say this hike is 1.5 miles round trip. I dont think it is even a mile.

Killer

The best way I can describe our experience is that we casually flirted with death to see a beautiful waterfall. We took the path on the south end of the parking lot and climbed over a cement barrier. It took some time to find the ropes. God bless whoever put those ropes in because without them we would surely be dead. It was very steep and muddy due to recent rain. There were several times we were holding on for dear life. Once down, the waterfall was beautiful and we dipped our toes in the stream. We did not feel comfortably swimming since there was no other soul in sight and we had already pushed our luck. *TIP: Remember where you came down. We struggled with finding our way back to the path. This trek is not for the faint at heart. Glad we did it and made it out with no injury but some of these reviews were a little deceptive. Serious hikers only, do not bring flipflops, and do not bring children under the age of 12.

Best Swim On The Island

The slip and slide to the bottom wasn't as bad as I thought it would be! Definitely worth the end swim. Make sure to get and swim up to the falls but be careful getting in among the slippery rocks. I felt so much peace and positive energy amidst the waters of this powerful waterfall! The base of the fall was surely the best view in the house. :)

🥇Top Contributor

over 3 years ago

Muddy but gorgeous

This is a very steep walk down to the base of the falls. Note that you can also view the falls from the top of the road. If you want to venture down, make sure to use ropes to help you maneuver and wear good footwear. The bottom of the falls is majestic.

It is illegal to hike now

Unfortunately there are signs that state no trespassing at all the entrances to the trails. there are two ways down now, I went to the opposite end of the parking lot (just before the falls) at the end of the fence and hopped the guard rail and fallowed the spine down. There are ropes there to help you and the vines hanging down from the tree are strong enough to hold a grown mans weight. This way is the less muddy way. The other way down is hop the guard rail and go left and you'll find the trail which also has ropes on it. You're out of view from people up top until you get into the water. The water isn't cold at all and is very refreshing. I would bring bug spray though for the hike down, we got eaten alive!!

Stay Nearby

Kilauea, Hawaii

Farm Stay Cottage

It is landscaped with lush, tropical plantings to ensure your privacy. and decorated in a simple and tasteful island style.The cottage is airy and bright, with big windows and many shutters to let ...

From $185/night

Nearby Adventures

  • Kayak the Wailua and Hike to Secret (Uluwehi) Falls

    First, you need kayaks to get on the river. I bring my Oru Kayak with me everywhere, but we did have to rent one additional, and there are rentals everywhere - a quick Google search will get you tons of options. You can launch your boat from direc...

    1.5 miles

  • Hike to the nose of Sleeping Giant

    There are a few different approaches for this hike - you can take either the East route, West route, or the Kuamoo-Nounou route. The East route is closest to nearby towns of Kapa'a and Wailua, so for convenience I chose this route.The trail quick...

    4 miles 1000 ft gain

  • Hike the Kuilau Ridge Trail

    Parking at the trailhead is limited to approximately four vehicles, so arrive early. If you are unable to park, continue down Highway 580 and you will find parking next to Kawi Stream. The beginning of the trail, an old fire road, starts with a gr...

    5 miles 488 ft gain

  • Hike to Waimea Falls

    The hike to the Waimea Falls offers both the natural beauty of a tropical rainforest, as well as the unique, in situ opportunity to learn about local history. Although this hike can be crowded, it is definitely worthwhile to see and swim in this a...

    1.9 miles 216 ft gain