Hawaii Waterfall: Discover the Hidden Beauty with 13 Best Cascades

Imagine the rhythmic beating of a waterfall, cascading down in a fantastic display of nature’s power and beauty. You are close enough to feel the cool, refreshing mist on your face, and the soft hum of falling water provides the perfect soundtrack for your adventure on the majestic Hawaiian islands.

Hawaii, an emerald paradise known for its crystal-clear beaches, but equally enchanting are the remarkable waterfalls hidden amongst its lush, tropical jungles. Whether you’re a passionate photographer, an avid hiker, or simply a nature lover seeking tranquility, Hawaii waterfalls offer you an experience that is both thrilling and serene.

You deserve to savour every second of your Hawaiian adventure journeying through legendary landscapes painted with cascading waterfalls.Each falls, unique in its character and charm, promises a memorable journey.

So grab your gear and let’s embark on this beautiful voyage of discovery to find the best waterfalls in Hawaii.

Akaka Falls

Location: Akaka Falls State Park, Hilo, Big Island

Height: Approximately 442 feet

Accessibility: Akaka Falls is located in Akaka Falls State Park, and there is a moderately easy half-mile loop trail from the parking lot that provides a grandstand view of the falls.

With its impressive height and hypnotic beauty, Akaka Falls is one of the most breathtaking landmarks along the lush Hamakua Coast. This towering waterfall is more than just a sight to behold; it’s a call to immerse yourself in Hawaii’s natural wonder.

Nestled within the verdant rainforest of Akaka Falls State Park, it cascades down a staggering 442 feet into a serene stream-filled gorge. Exploring the Hamakua Coast, you cannot miss the ensnaring melody of crashing water echoing through the wilderness, signaling the presence of Akaka Falls.

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A moderate hike along an enchanting half-mile loop trail, peppered with a panorama of rich fauna and flora, brings you face to face with this magnificent wonder. Undeniably, a visit to the Akaka Falls is much more than a sightseeing trip; it’s an encounter with awe-inspiring beauty, where every moment is one to treasure.

View of Akaka Falls on a sunny day in Hilo, Hawaii, USA
photo credit: John ko via Unsplash

Waipoo Falls

Location: Waimea Canyon, Kauai

Height: Approximately 800 feet

Accessibility: Waipoo Falls can be seen from the moderately intense Canyon Trail, which leads to the top of the waterfall. The trail provides a rewarding hike.

Traversing the Canyon Trail in Kauai, you’d be remiss not to carve out time for the towering Waipoo Falls. Nestled in the heart of the stunning Waimea Canyon, the falls are a remarkable sight to behold from any vantage point.

But the crowning glory is undeniably the view from the top of the falls. With an incredible drop of about 800 feet, peering over the edge is an experience that is thrilling and humbling in equal measure.

While the hike up is moderately intense, reaching the top of the falls provides a soul-stirring perspective of nature’s grandeur. The sight alone is enough to invigorate tired hikers, making the challenging ascent completely worthwhile.

Wailua Falls

Location: Near Lihue, Kauai

Height: Approximately 173 feet

Accessibility: Wailua Falls is easily viewable from the roadside, making it a convenient stop for waterfall enthusiasts.

Known as the “Garden Isle,” Kauai certainly lives up to its name with the stunning Wailua Falls. Not only famed for its beautiful double flow, but it also gained recognition as the backdrop for the opening credits of the classic television show, “Fantasy Island.”

Perfectly combined with the lush greenery, wildlife, and rainbows created by the mist, Wailua Falls offers a picturesque snapshot that embodies the island’s natural beauty. Plus, it is relatively close to the Aston Islander on the Beach Hotel, making it a convenient and captivating destination for guests.

After taking in the beauty of the falls, consider indulging in a refreshing swim in the pool at the hotel to complete your day of relaxation and exploration. Whether you’re a casual observer enjoying the view from a distance, or an adventurer keen on exploring the surrounding area. Wailua Falls is a stop you shouldn’t miss when visiting Hawaii.

Aerial view of Wailua Falls with a small rainbow in Kauai, Hawaii, USA.
photo credit: Alexandra Tran via Facebook

Rainbow Falls

Location: Hilo, Big Island

Height: 80 feet

Accessibility: Rainbow Falls is located in the Wailuku River State Park on a short walk from the parking lot, providing easy access waterfalls on the Big Island.

Named for the rainbows that you’ll often see in its mist on sunny mornings, Rainbow Falls is one of the brightest jewels in Hawaii’s crown. This stunning waterfall is located right in Hilo, making it a convenient stop on any Big Island itinerary.

The cascade drops a whopping 80 feet over a lava cave that, according to local legend, is the home of Hina, the moon goddess. If you arrive early in the morning, you’ll witness the awe-inspiring sight of the rainbow-colored light refracted in the waterfall’s mist.

The vista is breathtaking and provides an excellent photo opportunity, so don’t forget your camera! Without a doubt, Rainbow Falls is a must-visit natural beauty, demonstrating the enchanting charm that Hawaii continues to offer.

Waikani Falls

Location: Maui’s Road to Hana

Height: Approximately 70 feet

Accessibility: Waikani Falls, also known as Three Bears Falls, is along the Road to Hana on Maui.

Prepare for a striking display of nature’s prowess at Waikani Falls, frequently referred to as “Three Bears”. This enchanting cascade consists of three parallel falls that vary in height, earning them the lovely moniker of ‘Momma, Poppa, and Baby Bear’.

Related Post: Waterfalls on Road to Hana: 7 Breathtaking Views

The surrounding lush greenery and encompassing rainbow provide a stunning backdrop for photos, so don’t forget your camera. While swimming is often possible when the water flow is gentle, always prioritize safety as water levels can change rapidly.

If you’re looking for ‘easy access waterfalls near me’ in Hawaii, Waikani Falls is a truly mesmerizing option. Though the viewing area may require a bit of careful crossing, its majestic beauty is well worth the effort.

beautiful lower view of three bears falls and waikani falls in maui hawaii, USA

Manoa Falls

Location: Oahu, near Honolulu

Height: Approximately 150 feet

Accessibility: Manoa Falls is a popular hiking destination on Oahu, with a 1-mile trail leading to the falls. It’s easily accessible from downtown Honolulu.

If you’re on the hunt for the best Hawaii waterfalls Oahu, you’re in for a treat! Nestled amidst the lush greeneries of the Manoa Valley, Manoa Falls is one absolute gem your eyes mustn’t miss.

This 150-foot waterfall offers a dramatic scenic panorama amplified by the effervescent rainbows frequently decorating the fall’s mist. An adventurous trek through the verdant rainforest and bamboo groves brings you to this mesmerizing cascade, making the journey as rewarding as the destination itself.

Pssst…discover the mesmerizing wilderness by booking the ‘Nature and You: Oahu Waterfall Hiking Tour with Lunch‘ through Tripster. Immerse yourself in the vibrant ecosystem by day, while listening to the soothing sounds of falling water, a real Hawaiian symphony.

Umauma Falls

Location: Near Hilo, Big Island

Height: Approximately 300 feet

Accessibility: Umauma Falls is set in the World Botanical Garden and requires a small admission fee. A well-maintained garden path provides stunning views of the falls as it cascades into the river below.

Let’s set a course for one of the most stunning Big Island waterfalls: the Umauma Falls. This striking tri-level waterfall is a must-visit for any waterfall enthusiast, with its beautifully draped cascades set amidst verdant tropical surroundings.

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What makes Umauma Falls truly special among other Big Island waterfalls is the fantastic view from the top which offers an unparalleled glimpse of the Hawaiian wilderness. Unique among Hawaii’s waterfalls, Umauma also offers you the chance to zip-line for a breathtaking bird’s eye view of the cascades.

The guys and lady on the zipline at Umauma Falls are enjoying themselves.
photo credit: The Umauma Falls Experience via Facebook

Waimoku Falls

Location: Kipahulu District, Maui

Height: Approximately 400 feet

Accessibility: Waimoku Falls is hidden along the Pipiwai Trail and requires a hike. The trail can be slightly challenging, but the sight of the waterfall is undoubtedly worth the effort.

The Waimoku Falls is known for its dramatic cascade, beautifully contrasting with the evergreen surroundings it cuts through. On your journey to this majestic fall, you’ll journey through a lush bamboo forest, offering a tranquil ambiance that only adds to the spectacle.

Once you reach the falls, the majestic water thunders down, a sight sure to leave you in awe, with the mist dancing in the sunlight creating a mystical prism of colors. Perfect for nature photography or just spending a quiet moment, Waimoku Falls is a must-visit destination that sums up the untamed beauty of Hawaii.

Hanakapiai Falls

Location: Kauai, along the Kalalau Trail

Height: Approximately 300 feet

Accessibility: Hanakapiai Falls is found along the Kalalau Trail, one of Kauai’s most famous hiking paths. The hike is lengthy but offers delightful views.

Perched within the breath-taking Na Pali Coast, The Hanakapiai Falls is a sight to behold. A part of Kauai’s famous Kalalau Trail, the trek to this 300-foot waterfall is truly rewarding.

With the lush beauty of the Na Pali Coast forming a magnificent backdrop, you’ll be spellbound by the sight of water plunging into an inviting pool below. While the journey is not for the faint-hearted, the fusion of excitement and serenity brought by the thundering waterfall is worth every step.

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Stay alert for sudden flash flooding, which is quite common in this area, Regardless, Hanakapiai Falls remains a must-visit on the Na Pali Coast, emblematic of Hawaii’s sublime, untouched splendor.

man standing under Hanakapiai Falls with hiking backpack and camera in Kauai, Hawaii, USA

Manawaiopuna Falls

Location: Kauai, on private land

Height: Approximately 400 feet

Accessibility: Manawaiopuna Falls, also known as Jurassic Falls, is located on private land in Kauai and can only be viewed during a helicopter tour, creating an extraordinary experience.

Immersed in the verdant valleys of Kauai, Manawaiopuna Falls stands as a monumental symbol of nature’s splendor. This 400-foot stunner, fondly referred to as Jurassic Falls, was elevated to international stardom after it featured in the blockbuster movie, Jurassic Park.

Its cascades tumble down into a tranquil pool, surrounded by an emerald green jungle that serves as a breathtaking backdrop. An epitome of paradise, the waterfall is lodged on private property, making it inaccessible by foot.

However, no terrain is too rugged for a helicopter! Only by partaking in a helicopter tour can you truly comprehend the sheer majesty and immense size of this waterfall. Book through Tripster and make it a memory that will be etched in your minds forever!

Maunawili Falls

Location: Oahu’s Windward side

Height: Approximately 20 feet

Accessibility: Stop scouring the internet for ‘easily accessible waterfalls near me’. Maunawili Falls is located on Oahu’s Windward side and offers a fun hike with stunning views.

Maunawili Falls should be unquestionably on your bucket list. Carving out a 20-foot plunge, the waterfall offers a fantastic spot to get snaps that are ready for your social feed.

Adjacent to the waterfall is the Maunawili Falls Trail, a 2.5-mile round-trip hike filled with lush scenery and the melodic chorus of native birds. The trail also offers views of the sublime Koolau Mountains and the stunning Windward Coast.

Small waterfall cascading over rocks into a pool surrounded by lush greenery

Twin Falls

Location: Along Maui’s Road to Hana

Height: Varies

Accessibility: Twin Falls is along the famous Road to Hana on Maui and offers an easy walk to the falls along well-maintained paths.

Right off the Hana Highway, Twin Falls is often the first waterfall encounter for many Hawaii trip-takers. A popular stop on many Maui itineraries, the area offers more than just waterfalls, with lush vegetation and invigorating clear pools perfect for a refreshing dip.

Twin Falls is particularly unique because it’s two waterfalls in one, hence the name of this Hawaii waterfall. The level of spectacle depends on the recent rainfall, so visiting after a heavy shower ensures you’ll get the most dramatic view.

Related Post: Waterfall Hikes on Maui: 11 Most Stunning Falls on the Island

Opaekaa Falls

Location: Wailua River State Park, Kauai

Height: Approximately 150 feet

Accessibility: Searching for ‘easy to get to waterfalls near me’? Opaekaa Falls is comfortably situated roadside within Wailua River State Park, providing easy viewing without the need for a hike.

Opaekaa Falls is a mesmerizing sight to behold, offering all the lush beauty you’d expect from Hawaii’s tropical paradise. With water cascading down a backdrop of vivid greenery, it paints a dream-like landscape that captivates photographers and nature enthusiasts alike.

Within easy reach, a quick trip to the viewing space gives you a panoramic view of these spectacular falls. Whether you’re planning a day of adventure or seeking a tranquil retreat, Opaekaa Falls stands as a highlight among Hawaii’s waterfall wonders.

view from a distance over mountains to the Makamakaole Falls in Maui, Hawaii, USAEscape to Paradise: Experiencing the Best Waterfalls in Hawaii

If you’re dreaming of an ultimate vacation, picture yourself exploring the waterfalls on the islands of Hawaii, where the landscapes are as diverse as they are stunning. Hawaii hosts a plenitude of waterfalls, each offering unparalleled experiences etched in their cascading waters.

Enriched with vegetation, wildlife, and crystal clear waters, each waterfall offers a unique paradise to the lucky visitors who stumble upon them. So, pack your bags and prepare for a journey that offers not just relaxation. But also moments of wonder and awe that will spark your soul and invigorate your spirit.

Whether you have a thirst for adventure or a love for natural beauty. Now is the perfect time to visit beautiful waterfalls of Hawaii to enjoy their breathtaking views and mesmerizing sounds.

Tell Us, Did We Miss Any of the Best Waterfalls Hawaii?

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Written by Archie Villaflores

Over the years, he has won numerous national contests for news and editorial writing, but he has recently discovered that his true passion...

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