We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Waterfalls

Seattle
Level Contributor
27 posts
Save Topic
Waterfalls

My husband and I will be visiting in late February / early March. I love waterfalls, and I especially love photographing waterfalls, and I have several questions. Which waterfalls would you say are absolute "must sees?" We're in our mid-forties and can do easy to moderate hikes.

At the very least, I am planning on going to Wailua Falls since it seems the easiest to get to.

Secret Falls looks interesting, but I wonder about taking my digital SLR in a kayak. Is that the only way to get to this waterfall?

I would like to hike to Hanakapi'ai Fallls, but I haven't decided if that might be too ambitious or not. I know it is 8 miles RT, but what is the elevation gain/loss?

After reading the forums, I will probably skip Kipu Falls.

I know we will be taking a helicopter tour. I haven't decided if it is worth it or not to take one that lands at the "Jurassic Park" falls. Has anyone done this tour? How long are you actually at the falls, and can you get a better shot of it on the ground or from the air?

Also, what about the Princeville Ranch horesback tour that takes you to a waterfall? Are these only accesible on this tour? Is it worth it if I am more interested in the photographic aspects vs the novelty of swimming under a waterfall?

Are there any other horseback tours I should consider instead?

I know, a lot of questions. Thanks for any opinions!

California
Level Contributor
9,217 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Waterfalls

I can only comment about the Princeville Ranch horseback tour. No, this waterfall is definitely not worth going to. If you just want a nice horseback ride, we much prefer the ride at Princeville with the beautiful ocean view.

Orange County, CA
Level Contributor
870 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Waterfalls

I don't care about waterfalls, but the kayak to (not so) Secret Falls was great. It's might have been the most romantic thing we did on our honeymoon, because for the majority of the time, we were alone on the river. The trail however was packed. Still enjoyable though.

Get yourself a dry bag from REI before you go, useful for all sorts of things, including keeping your gear safe on a kayak. We got one for $20 that held our bag (LowePro SlingShot 200) plus towels and a change of clothes. Otherwise you can rent one from the kayak co.

BTW, it's not advisable to actually swim under a waterfall, unless its at the pool of your resort. Rocks and debris in the stream can cause serious damage.

Louisville
Level Contributor
3,115 posts
39 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Waterfalls

You love waterfalls and photography, how could you not do the helicopter tour that lands at Waipoo Falls (the Jurassic Park Waterfall )? We flew with Island Helicopters (which I think is the only company with the rights to land there) and they provide a great flight. We didn't stop at the falls, but wish we had. That waterfall is amazing, I can only imagine what it looks like from the base looking back up.

This site provides pictures and rates each waterfall.............

www.waterfallswest.com/page.php?id=kauai

Louisville
Level Contributor
3,115 posts
39 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Waterfalls

The attached site on my above post shows the Jurassic Park Waterfall as Waipoo Falls, or that is the picture shown under Waipoo Falls. But isn't the correct name Manawaiopuna Falls ?

The Blue Hawaiian Helicopter video also identifies it as Waipoo Falls ?

Does this waterfall have 2 names, or are there 2 waterfalls that look a lot alike based on pictures ?

Sorry if I confused anyone.

Wailua
Destination Expert
for Kauai
Level Contributor
1,752 posts
1 review
Save Reply
5. Re: Waterfalls

22kauai, I'd be interested to know why you don't like the waterfall on the Princeville Ranch tour. I hiked that with them once (no horses), and I believe all their tours go to the Kalihiwai falls, a series of waterfalls from 10 to 40 feet. You get to cross one of them using a cable. This is a very nice waterfall hike, though unfortunately on private land so only accessible through a paid tour.

Cancuncrew: the "Jurassic Park" waterfall is indeed Manawaiopuna, on private property and accessible only by helicopter tour. I don't have a login for the website you linked, so I can't see the photos there to tell if they are right or not. I just saw one tiny photo on the Waipoo details page that was correct. Waipoo is the large waterfall at the top of Waimea Canyon, it translates literally to "head-waters."

More about waterfalls:

The combined Cliff and Canyon trails in Waimea canyon take you to the top of Waipoo falls. Because there are several ledges, you can only really see the upper 50' waterfall, not the main 300' falls from the trail. There is however a pretty pool and rock waterfall above the falls, though only about 12' high.

Wailua falls is the easiest to view from the parking lot, but the hike down to the waterfall is not recommended. It can be very slippery, with roots in the mud, and it's not a real trail, so it causes erosion.

Opaekaa falls has a nice viewing area, but it is further away from the waterfall itself. The trail to the bottom of Opaekaa falls is officially closed, fenced, and posted. Trespassers are often reported to authorities by residents nearby and ticketed by state park rangers.

Pasting from another thread:

Hanakapi'ai is a hard hike, usually all day if you stop to take your time at the beach and waterfall. Because the bottom of the valley is often shady, it is more chilly then you think. You can swim in the waterfall pool, but there are signs about the falling rocks, and there have been reports of rocks almost hitting people there. Additionally, you have to cross the stream several times, and if there has been any rain, that can be muddy and difficult--or dangerous in flash-flood conditions. So, that is a great hike to do, but not really the best waterfall destination. Also, be aware of the dangers and check the weather first.

The waterfalls I recommend most are Secret (Uluwehi) falls and Ho'opi'i falls.

Secret falls are not secret either (their real Hawaiian name is Uluwehi), and not secluded. You need to kayak 2 miles up the Wailua river and then hike less than a mile to falls. Overall, with the kayaking and hiking, this is a fun 1/2 day activity, and it is one of the prettiest falls you can access (world-of-waterfalls.com/hawaii-secret-falls.…). As mentioned, there are both guided and unguided kayak trips going there, so it can be crowded at the falls--though if you go unguided, you can just wait for groups to leave.

Ho'opi'i falls are your best bet, I'm always recommending them on this forum. There are actually 2 waterfalls. The first you see from above, and some local kids even jump into them--NOT recommended. Then you hike through a beautiful forest (except for a junk car) and scramble down to the bottom of the second falls. Here there are rarely any people (I've even seen some nudists), and you can sit right next to the waterfall. The small pool on this fall is full of branches and not good for swimming, but you can climb on the rocks and touch the falling water. You can also swim in a swimming hole just downstream, visible from the waterfall. The hike isn't difficult, though there are 2 steep parts--one in the forest and one getting down to the second falls--and it's about 1.5 miles each way.

Seattle
Level Contributor
27 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: Waterfalls

Thanks everyone!

Ho'opi'i falls sounds really nice. But how do you get to them? I've tried searching, but I haven't found directions yet.

San Diego...
Level Contributor
5,801 posts
48 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Waterfalls

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g29218-i304-k41790…

…yahoo.com/…16

I think I have the crosshairs on the spot kauaihiker and others described as the parking area.

Take your mozzie spray.

Wailua
Destination Expert
for Kauai
Level Contributor
1,752 posts
1 review
Save Reply
8. Re: Waterfalls

The trailhead is on Kapahi Rd inland of Kapaa, at the center of this map (a bit NE along the road from the A marker):

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Kapahi+Road,+Kapaa,+HI&aq=0&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=48.688845,72.509766&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Kapahi+Rd,+Kapaa,+Kauai,+Hawaii+96746&ll=22.103186,-159.343268&spn=0.007008,0.008851&t=h&z=17

When you're driving on Kapahi Rd, look for the yellow gate on the left. From there it's easy to find the first waterfall, but a bit harder to find the second one. It would be best to have a guidebook that includes this hike, for example, the Kaua'i Trailblazer.

Wailua
Destination Expert
for Kauai
Level Contributor
1,752 posts
1 review
Save Reply
9. Re: Waterfalls

Dave beat me to it, and his link works. Actually, with all the maps websites, it depends on the size of the browser window where it is centered, so I don't see the cross-hairs in the right place on the yahoo link.

The yellow gate is on the NW side of the road, almost exactly half-way between the intersection with Kawaihau and the end of Kapahi Rd. Looking at the satellite view of the map, it's next to the big field closest to that side of the road--right where the field "points" to the road next to the houses.

10. Re: Waterfalls

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 17 October 2012, 15:18