Aside from volcanoes, beaches and tropical rainforests, Hawaii is also blessed with beautiful and breathtaking waterfalls. In fact, the State of Hawaii is arguably where most waterfalls in the US are located. Here are some of the most magnificent waterfalls of Hawaii.
Located in the Akaka Falls State Park in Hilo, the Akaka Falls is a 422 feet (129 m) tall waterfall on the Kolekole Stream surrounded by a lush green rainforest. It can be viewed from several points along a loop trail through the park.
Featuring an approximately 300 feet (91 m) drop, the Hanakapiai Falls is located on the Na Pali side of the island of Kauai. Described as “gorgeous but challenging,” it requires a hike of approximately 2 miles from Hanakapiai Beach to reach the falls. The trail is unmaintained and is a popular day-hike for experienced hikers.
The Hiilawe Waterfall in the Big Island is one of the tallest and most powerful waterfalls in Hawaii. It drops about 1,450 feet (442m) with a main drop of 1,201 feet (366m), into Waipio Valley on Lalakea Stream. Lalakea Stream above the falls has been diverted for irrigation purposes so the falls can be dry even during the wet spring in March.
Kahiwa Falls is a tiered waterfall located on the northern shore of the Molokai Island, between Wailau and Papalaua valleys. It features a drop of about 2165 feet (660 meters), although often only 1749 feet of its drop are counted as the main fall. The falls have 6 tiers, the highest drop is 183 m tall. Because of its isolated location, the Kahiwa Falls can only be viewed from the sea or from air. At strong winds the waterfall may get caught and rise upwards.
Located in East Kauai, Kipu Falls is very accessible and has become a popular attraction for its serene pool, jumping cliff and rope swings. The falls is also featured on the introduction scene of the classic Indiana Jones movie “Raiders of The Lost Ark” with Harrison Ford.
Makahiku Falls is a 200 foot (61m) horsetail waterfall in Haleakalā National Park on Maui, Hawaii. It runs on the Ohe’o Gulch stream. The falls can be reached through the Pipiwai Trail.
Located on the island of Oahu, the Manoa Falls is features a vertical drop of about 150 feet (46 m). It is accessible from the nearest road by a hike of approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km). The hike passes through many ecosystems and feels like an arboretum. The falls drop in an enviting little pool ideal for wading. The path is often slippery and muddy, and flash floods are prone to occur anytime.
Known as the fourth highest waterfall in the world, the Oloupena Falls is a magnificent waterfalls located in the north-eastern part of Molokai. The falls have formed on a short, seasonal stream and are falling over the edge of one of the tallest sea-side cliffs of the world, located between the Pelekunu and Wailau valleys. They have gnawed a groove in the cliff-face and can be observed only from the ocean or air.
Opaekaa Falls is a spectacular waterfall located on the Wailua River in Wailua River State Park on the eastern side of Kauai. It features a 151–foot drop that flows over basalt from volcanic eruptions millions of years ago. Below the ridge down into the ravine through which the water falls can be seen the vertical dikes of basalt that cut through the horizontal Koloa lava flows. The falls name means “rolling shrimp” in the Hawaiian language, which dates back to days when the native freshwater shrimp Atyoida bisulcata were plentiful in the stream and were seen rolling and tumbling down the falls and into the churning waters at the fall’s base.
A beautiful waterfall in Hilo featuring a 80 ft (24 m) drop into a large turquoise-colored pool almost 100 ft (30 m) in diameter. The Rainbow Falls is surrounded by lush, dense tropical foliage which adds to its allure. The Rainbow Falls is best viewed via the viewing platforms at the Wailuku River State Park. The falls flows over a natural lava cave, the mythological home to Hina, an ancient Hawaiian goddess. It got its name from the fact that, on sunny mornings, rainbows can be seen in the mist thrown up by the waterfall.
Located in the Waimanu Valley, the Waihilau Falls is considered the third tallest waterfall in Hawaii and the thirteenth highest in the world at 2,600 feet (790 m) in height.
Wailua Falls is an 173-foot waterfall located in Kauai, that feeds into the Wailua River. There is a path to the bottom of the falls, but it is muddy, slippery and dangerous. Some hikers have strung ropes along the path, but officials come by every so often and cut them. In ancient times, Hawaiian men would jump from the top of the falls to prove their manhood. The Falls were featured on the opening credits of the television show Fantasy Island.