Wailua Falls Hike on Kauai Island, Hawaii

Wailua Falls is a majestic sight set in the lush green landscape of Hawaii. Located on the enchanting island of Kauai, this mesmerizing cascade has captured the hearts of countless travelers.

Take a hike through the tranquil Wailua River State Park and you’ll find yourself gazing up at the 80-foot-high wonder, whose waters tumble gracefully into a crystal pool, beckoning swimmers to take the plunge.

Visitors flock to this picturesque paradise with cameras in hand to immortalize the awe-inspiring view. But wait! Brave adventurers have an even bigger challenge ahead of them: the elusive Secret Falls trail.

Hawaii Kauai Wailua Falls Helicopter
Helicopter view of Wailua Falls Jeremy Wood

Though hidden and poorly marked, the determined souls who dare to venture onto this secret trail are rewarded with breathtaking views of the waterfall, nestled in a lush, emerald-colored forest.

What to do at Wailua Falls?

The falls is one of the most popular tourist attractions on Kauai. Visitors can hike to the falls, swim in the pool at the base of the falls.

  • Swimming in the pool at the base of the falls is a popular activity for visitors. The water is refreshing and there are plenty of rocks to sunbathe on. But when swimming, do not approach the point where the waterfall meets the pool. Be careful when swimming near the waterfall as the current can be strong. You don’t want to get into that mess. Be in places where you are not over your height, do not neglect your safety. But do not try to jump from the top of the falls. It is extremely dangerous. It can cause injuries and even worse consequences.
  • You can catch great photos. Especially when you go in the morning, you can see a wonderful rainbow image with the effect of light. If you coincide with the high rainfall period of Kauai Island, the waterfall you see as a duo turns into a single waterfall flowing violently with the effect of density. This again allows you to get fantastic views.
  • You can climb on foot from the left side to the back of the waterfall. It is slippery because it is always wet. You have to be careful. Being behind the waterfall will allow you to feel the power of the waterfall better.
  • You can also see the falls from the air. Kauai island helicopter tours are also among the activities that island visitors participate in. These tours offer visitors a bird’s eye view of Kauai and provide some great photo opportunities.

And a small suggestion. If possible, try to get an early start when visiting the falls. This way you can beat some of the crowds and possibly enjoy more time to explore without having to wait for other tourists who arrive later in the day.

How long is the hike to Wailua Falls?

The falls is located on the east side of Kauai in the US state of Hawaii. The falls are about 80 feet high and spill into a pool at the bottom.

The falls can be reached by car and there is a small easily accessible parking lot at the top of the waterfall. From the parking lot, it is a short walk to the lookout point where you can see the falls.

After parking your car, you come to a point where you can see the waterfall from above. Here you can see tourists taking photos and leaving. Walk away from the waterfall until a large wire fence starts. After a while you will see a path made of tree roots.

Hawaii Kauai Back Of Wailua Falls
Secret Falls Kauai Thomas Bourget
Hawaii Kauai Wailua Falls
Kauai Waterfalls Journey Era

After a descent of about 10 minutes you will reach the pool of Wailiua Falls. If you don’t find this path, you will have to climb down a steeper and more muddy path. Make sure you are in good condition and have good shoes. When you reach the bottom of the falls where the waterfall cascades, you can take in the spectacular view.

Where is Wailua Falls and how to get there?

Upon the scenic isle of Kauai, tucked away amidst the captivating Hawaiian chain, the mesmerizing Wailua Falls awaits discovery. A mere 20-minute jaunt from the quaint town of Wailua, this breathtaking destination entices countless tourists with its natural splendor.

In the heart of Wailua River State Park, a short 15-minute (5 miles) drive from the bustling town of Lihue, lies the awe-inspiring falls. Thrill-seekers keen on exploring this destination have a choice to make: they can either cruise along the road in their own vehicle or board a convenient shuttle bus.

  • If you are driving, take the Kuhio Highway (highway 56) north from Lihue. The highway will turn into Maalo Road; continue on this road for about 2 miles until you reach the Wailua River State Park parking lot.
  • If you are taking a shuttle bus, there are several companies that offer shuttles from Lihue to Wailua River State Park. To uncover more details about these services, it’s wise to consult with your hotel or hostel, as they’re likely to have valuable information on shuttle offerings.


If you’re planning a trip to Hawaii, Wailua Falls is a highly recommended natural attraction that you simply can’t miss. With its majestic 80-foot high cascading waterfall, this breathtaking sight is sure to leave you in awe of the natural beauty that surrounds us.

Whether you’re a tourist from overseas or looking for a leisure activity in Hawaii, Wailua Falls should definitely be at the top of your list of places to see. With its stunning beauty and tranquil atmosphere, this breathtaking sight will stay with you long after you leave!