Best Waterfalls in Hawaii

Whenever we think about a holiday in the Hawaiian islands, the first thing that comes to our mind is the rainforest and the waterfalls. Undoubtedly, Hawaii is the home of some of the world’s most amazing-looking waterfalls. Most of the mountains located throughout the islands of Hawaii are made up of primarily volcanic ash and lava that came out years ago during volcanic eruptions. The waterfalls originate from these mountains, and a few of them are tall, while some are a lot shorter than the taller ones. Some of them are overcrowded, and some of them are quiet. The change in the number of people visiting the waterfalls differs simply because of the accessibility of the waterfalls. Those which are inaccessible do not mean that they are unable to view. The term ‘inaccessible’ here implies that you can’t get there by foot, but you can always take the aerial route. There is something for everyone as along with the waterfall you will also experience the beauty of volcanic mountains, rainforest filled with exotic plants and some of the native wild animals of Hawaii and others. If you are on a trip to Hawaii and don’t want to miss the chance to visit the best waterfalls in Hawaii, you need to read this article. Here we will make a list of some of the most visited waterfalls in the Hawaiian islands. So, without wasting any further time, let’s get straight into it.

Best Waterfalls in Hawaii

1Sacred Falls, Oahu

The length of the whole hike is 4.5 miles, and you need to spend at least 2.5 hours to reach the waterfall having a height of 1100 feet. On your way, you will come across unstable rocky surfaces, narrow pathways, which makes it dangerous for hikers. Unfortunately, you cannot hike near or around sacred falls but can experience a nice view of the waterfall by taking a helicopter ride. Hiking in this area has been made illegal by the government, and if anyone is found hiking in this area will be fined and can even receive a jail sentence. So, if you want to add some more adventure to your trip to Hawaii, you must visit this waterfall which is considered the best waterfall in Hawaii by many. Several travel companies offer the chopper ride to the visitors, and you will have an experience of a lifetime.

2Manoa Falls, Oahu

If you are a beginner but do not want to miss a chance to hike any of the waterfall hikes in Hawaii, you must consider Manoa falls as an option. This one-mile-long hike is beginner-friendly, and because of the short distance, you can reach the waterfall by putting in a little effort. There are places where you can relax and get the magnificent natural beauty among all the best waterfalls in Hawaii. More water rushed from the mountain ridge to the pool below during the summer months. In summer less water flows through the waterfall and because of that you will find it easier to reach the waterfall this time. Moreover, if you are a fan of Hollywood movies and shows, you might be familiar with this location. The rainforest, along with the waterfall, has appeared in the popular film ‘Jurassic Park’ and the television series ‘Lost.’

3Olo’upena Falls, Molokai

Olo’upena falls, which is 2953 feet tall, making it the 4th tallest waterfall in the whole world, and among all the waterfalls originating from the cliffs close to the sea, this one is the highest. This magnificent waterfall originates from the Haloku cliffs and is divided into multiple tiers. Several tall mountains surround the waterfall, making it inaccessible for the people. There are two ways to see the breathtaking view of the waterfall. If you want to look at the sea, you can do it by taking a ride on a cruise ship. You can also choose to go by chopper, and we can promise that the view you will get from the helicopter ride will be worth remembering.

4Waialeale Waterfalls, Kauai

If you seek a view that includes a tall waterfall surrounded by lush greenery, then look no further as Waialeale falls can provide you with precisely that. That is why this made our list of best waterfalls in Hawaii. People often call it ‘The Weeping Wall’ as it dances down from one of the tallest mountain ranges in Hawaii, Mount Waialeale. In the native language, the word ‘Waileale’ means overflowing water which completely justifies the nature of this waterfall. The mountain which surrounds the waterfall is more than five thousand feet tall. The whole mountain is covered by lush greenery. On average, every year, approximately 450 inches of rainfall occurs in this area, making the surrounding land extremely wet. Due to such heavy rain throughout the year, the amount of water never changes in the waterfall. You can also experience amazing rainbows, which is common in this part of Hawaii. To satisfy your adventure-loving soul, you can take a long hike to reach the waterfall, or you can also take a helicopter ride to get a glorious top view of the waterfall along with the rainforest.

5Wailua Falls, Kauai

The meaning of the word Wailua in the Hawaiian language is where two streams of water get mixed. Two water streams flow side by side and come all the way down to the Wailua River, which is the primary water source in Kauai. During the rainy season, both the streams mixed into one and created a large gushing flow of water because of heavy rainfall. Wailua falls one of the best waterfalls in Hawaii and is very closely related to Hawaiian culture. There is popular folklore that in ancient times Hawaiian men and women used to jump off from the cliff, which is more than 80 feet tall, to celebrate adulthood and prove that they were brave. If you are not willing to go all the way down to the waterbed, then also you can see the impressive waterfall from the Maalo road, which is approximately 3 miles above the waterfall. This road is located on the north side of Lihue.

6Waimoku Waterfalls, Maui

While heading towards the Ohio Gulch, a popular tourist attraction of Hawaiian island, you will come across seven sacred pools. In close vicinity of the seven sacred pools, you will see the tallest waterfall in Maui, Waimoku waterfalls. When it rains, the flow of water increases, and the waterfall seems more vicious. Hiking is legal here, and you will enjoy your hiking journey, but if you decide to hike during monsoon or on a rainy day, you need to take proper precautions as the trail becomes muddy and slippery. One can easily access the waterfall by going through the Haleakala National Park. At the end of one of the most exciting waterfall hikes in Hawaii, the Waimoku waterfall hike, you will come across a hole filled with fresh water where you can relax after the strenuous hike. Boulders surround the pool to make the swimming experience safe for visitors. Once you finish the walk, you will realize why we include Waimoku waterfalls in Hawaii’s list of best waterfalls.

7Waimea Falls, Oahu

On your Hawaiian vacation, if you want to get close to nature, you will enjoy visiting the Waimea Falls. The waterfall is also known as Waihi Falls. On the northern seashore of Oahu, you can locate this tiny but beautiful waterfall. The pool underneath the waterfall is not very deep, so kids can also swim in that worry-free. You can also participate in several adventurous activities such as cliff jumping, snorkeling, and others if you choose to visit the Bay Beach Park, which is located close to the waterfall. Other than that, as we have mentioned earlier that this place is the home of some of the most exotic plant species; you can get a close look at these species at the botanical gardens situated close to the Waimea Falls.

8Waimano Falls, Oahu

Whether you are visiting Hawaiian islands with your family or friends, you will be pleased after finishing hiking the Waimano falls. The whole roundtrip is merely 3 miles long which is easy for any grownup person and even kids. It would be best if you found your way through the evenly distributed rainforest, and at the end of your journey, you will find not one but two pools filled with fresh water. If you love challenges, you will be glad to know that this is the best place for cliff climbing and cliff jumping. You can choose the cliff’s height based on how much adrenaline rush you are feeling in your body. Most of the cliffs are 15 to 20 feet tall and depending on your skills, you can choose one, and if you want to relax after the hike, you can also do that by swimming in the water hole.

9Waiilikahi Falls, Hawaii Islands

Unlike most of the waterfalls discussed in the article about the best waterfalls in Hawaii, Waiilikahi falls differently from the rest based on the surroundings and accessibility. The hike that you need to take to reach this waterfall requires experience. Nine miles long path and in your way, you will come across several switchback trails, making it even more inaccessible. Once you reach there after this challenging journey, you will realize why there is so much hype about this one particular waterfall hike in Hawaii when there are so many. This waterfall is located right in the middle of the Waimanu valley, and to begin, and you need to start your descending journey from the Waipio valley. After walking for a few kilometers, you will find the first trail in your way, the Muliwai trail. From there, the going will get tough, but you will always feel amazed because of the exotic flora and fauna that can be seen here.

10Kapena Falls, Oahu

Having kids cannot prevent you from visiting some of the best waterfalls in Hawaii; all you need is an easily accessible waterfall. Kapena falls a tiny waterfall that is not more than 20 feet tall, and you can reach the waterfall in less than 10 minutes after parking your car on the nearby road. The hiking trail is used for nature trips, bird viewing except for hiking. To reach the waterfall, you need to walk a little more than 5 minutes keeping the metal building on your left. From the top of the waterfall, you can jump into the plunge pool just below the waterfall. If you want to be more adventurous, then you can even jump off the rope down to the pool.

11Lulumahu Falls, Oahu

If you are looking for solace where you can rejuvenate yourself, then you should visit Lulumahu falls in Oahu, which is, if not the best, then definitely one of the best waterfalls in Hawaii. Lulumahu falls located on private government land, and if you enter without a proper permit, you may receive a fine and even jail sentence for trespassing. So, it is better to seek access before reaching the waterfall. This permit-gaining process might be a little tiring, but you will not find it challenging to get the waterfall if you know the exact way. The whole hike will be full of adventure as the bulk of the distance you need to cover is filled with a bamboo forest, making the journey more thrilling. On your way, you will come across some of the notable places in Hawaii, such as Old Hunting Grounds and the famous Nu’uanu Reservoir.

12Likeke Falls, Oahu

Just sit, relax and enjoy the fantastic view around you. The journey you will take to reach this one of the best waterfalls in Hawaii will be worth your time. The Likeke falls is probably the best place to test your hiking skills, as the surface you need to go through is filled with mud and rocks covered with moss. The soil comes from the heavy rainfall that is natural in this world region. There are two ways to reach the waterfall, one is shorter, and the other is quite long. The shorter route goes through the Koolau Golf course, and you will get to the waterfall within 15 minutes. It would be best if you spent at least an hour choosing the path that goes through the Pali lookout. No matter which one you choose, the multi-tiered cascade waterfall that you will see at the end of the trail will make your heart skip a beat because of the sheer beauty that it possesses.

13Honokohau Islands, Maui

One of the best waterfalls in Hawaii and the tallest one on Maui island is the Honokohau islands. Are you ready to take the experience of your trip to the next level? Then it would be best if you considered visiting the Honokohau falls. You might have seen this waterfall in the Hollywood movie titled ‘Jurassic Park,’ and if you were stunned by the beauty of the waterfall on screen, then you will not be disappointed by looking at it in real life. The waterfall in the Honokohau island is arguably the highest waterfall which is more than 1000 feet tall and is divided into two tiers. Here it would be best if you took a chopper ride to get a top view of the waterfall. The waterfall is located in a remote mountain valley in West Maui, which can not be accessed by car and not even by walking. The helicopter will hover around the valley filled with the jungle for about one hour. If you have kids with you, then they will surely enjoy the splendid view from the helicopter. 

14Waipuhia Falls, Oahu

The uniqueness of the waterfall makes it probably the best waterfall in Hawaii. Locals called this waterfall Upside Downfalls because, in case of a strong wind, it seems that the water is flowing in an upwards direction. Most people find this anti-gravity effect fascinating. In most of the waterfalls in the Hawaiian islands, we recommend that you visit on a sunny day, but you should make an exception in this case. It would be best to see this waterfall a little more than 14000 feet tall on a stormy day to get a better gravity-defying experience. You can watch this magical waterfall without even stepping out of the car. If you want to add a little more adventure to your trip, you can also enter the cave, which remains hidden from plain sight. The cave is located almost at the center of the Waipuhia waterfall.

15Hiilawe Falls, Hawaii Islands

Hilawe falls is one of the best waterfalls in Hawaii because of the scenic beauty that one can see on visiting the waterfall. In the 18th century, Hilawe falls were the home of the great Kamehameha, who did the impossible and unified all the Hawaiian islands. It is nearly 1450 feet tall, and that is why it finds its way quickly in the list of tallest waterfalls in the Hawaiian islands. Earlier, the water flows through the stream used to be much stronger than the light flow of water that we see nowadays. Water flow gets reduced after the Lalakea stream, the primary source of the water, was divided into two halves for irrigation and cultivation in the late 20th century. Still, when you visit the waterfall in the future, the view of the waterfall and the trees of the rainforest surrounding Hiilawe falls will not disappoint you.

16Twin Falls, Maui

You might have guessed from the name of the falls that there are two waterfalls. The mixing of 2 water streams makes it distinctive, and if you’re searching for a pool wherever you’ll be able to swim right below the waterfall, it’s entirely legal. The waterfall is found within a non-public property known as Wailele Farm; however, you can enter it while not paying entrance fees. The path is split into two sections. Within the 1st half, you’ve got to travel through a dense forest where you may see assorted, colorful flowers. You can complete this part of the hike in ten minutes. Here you will see the falls on the lower level, and then if you would like to explore additional, you’ll be able to transcend a definite point. A disclaimer says you need to be a knowledgeable hiker to travel to the second part of the hike; however, genuinely walking this part isn’t that tough because of the flat parcel enclosed by streams and rocks. Finally, after you reach the Twin Falls, you may bump into a natatorium that appears like an enchanting place.

17Allele Falls, Maui

The trip to the hiking path is a couple of miles and a 0.5, and in 10-15 minutes, you reach it. Allele falls are often considered the most effective waterfalls in Maui for kids. You’ve got to cross the Piilani route, and once traveling the thirty-ninth metric linear unit, you’ll realize the origin on the right side of the Allele bridge. You’ll park your automobile there, and there are just one thanks to reaching the 50ft waterfall, which is on the side of the creek. Another attraction is that the stream we tend to is talking about here, and youngsters like to cross the stream and play within the water. Although the body of water is shorter than a number of the best waterfalls on Maui, it is often mentioned as heaven on earth simply because of the very significant thing about the place.

Also Read

Best Waterfalls in Maui | Maui Waterfalls

18Hanawi Falls, Maui

When checking out Hawaiian Falls, the program’s photographs displayed on the screen will undoubtedly embody an image of Hanawi Falls. The palace is very stunning, and you can’t imagine the wonder of this place. This water is divided into two parts, the primary half maybe a waterfall that’s solely thirty feet high, and therefore the next half the waterfall drops from a height of two hundred feet. To succeed at the bottom of this waterfall, you’ve got to take a path through the village of Nahiku. If you’re not terrified of heights, you can take a number of the best photos of the cascading part of Hanawi waterfall from the bridge over the Hanawi stream.

19Makamakaole Falls, Maui

If you are looking for an adventurous excursion with a breathtaking view of the surrounding nature, you can make Makamakaole waterfalls your first choice. The waterfall, which is almost 270 feet high, can be split into multiple levels, and if you don’t want to take the trail, you can get a distant view of the valley as well. The total length of the route you need to walk for a round trip is 5 miles. The stream that comes straight from Makamakaole waterfall will come your way 13 times, making it both fun and challenging. The experience you will get from hiking this trail cannot be described in words, as along with the waterfall, you will come across water-filled holes for swimming, as well as tall grass and bamboo-covered grounds.

20Masahiko Falls, Maui

A ponytail-shaped waterfall that is 184 feet tall to be actual is seen on the celebrated Pipiwai path located at Oheo Gulch. Take a brief 0.5-mile hike to reach the spot from where you’ll be able to get a transparent view of Makahiku Falls, which is a part of Haleakala parkland in the Kipahulu District. The place to begin for this trail is found close to the forty-second mile on the Hana Highway. If you would like more, you can merely walk uphill to reach the eternity pool, which looks to make the viewer feel that it is touching the sky. You ought not to swim within the eternity pool throughout the flooding as Makahiku Falls of about two hundred feet is found simply below. You can forever have a panoramic view of nature, whether or not you relax by the pool or stroll through the luxurious leafage of the Makahiku Waterfalls Hiking Trail.

Final Words

As we have reached the end of the article, we hope you have gained a better idea about the best waterfalls in Hawaii. The weather remains pleasant in most of the waterfalls throughout the year. In some falls, especially those situated in Kauai, only the experienced hikers can reach the waterfall due to the heavy rainfall. However, some of them are inaccessible, which we have mentioned earlier. Both the Hawaiian government and private agencies offer guided tours that include most of the waterfall hikes discussed in the above article. You can choose either one of them depending on the budget and comfort you are looking for. Finally, we can say that you will have a great time, and your adventure-loving soul will be satisfied with the hiking experience. Food and accommodation will also not be an issue here as local restaurants and hotels often receive good reviews from the visitors


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