8 Hawaiian Waterfalls to Add to Your Bucket List

For some, a trip to Hawaii is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Make the most of a Hawaiian vacation with a hike to a waterfall -- or two!

1. Upper Waikani Falls

Photo courtesy of Tor Johnson & the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

There are few scenic drives like the one you'll find along the Hana Highway in Maui. You could easily hit 10 to 15 waterfalls along the 60-plus mile stretch of road. Upper Waikani Falls, also called the Three Bears, is just one of the stunning falls you'll see along the way. The cool thing about the Upper Waikani Falls is that it's situated very close to the road, so you can stop for a photo op and keep on trucking. Or park a little way up the road and walk back to the falls. At the right time of the year, you can splash in its crystal clear waters.

2. Pools of Oheo

Photo courtesy of Kirk Lee Aeder & Hawaii Tourism Authority.

One of the more remote waterfalls you'll find near Maui's Hana Highway is the Pools of Oheo in the Kipahulu area. Some call the falls Seven Sacred Pools. It's about 12 miles outside of the town of Hana in the Haleakala National Park. There is a fee to get into the park (it's valid for three days), so if you're staying on the east side of the island you may want to dedicate some time to exploring this area. If you're hoping to get some scenic photos without a bunch of tourists in your shot, you'll have better luck early in the morning.

3. Lower Puohokamoa Falls

Experienced hikers, under the right conditions, can trek down to the base of the Lower Puohokamoa Falls. We highly recommend taking the trail just far enough to capture some gorgeous photography from a distance. 

More Maui Waterfalls

Maui is the motherland for tropical waterfalls. Here are three other scenic falls to consider when you're on the island.

4. Akaka Falls

Photo courtesy of Tor Johnson and the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

The northeast part of Hawaii, The Big Island is a tropical rain forest that produces some of Hawaii's most captivating waterfalls. In the Akaka Falls State Park, you will enjoy a hike to views of the Akaka Falls on well-maintained trails. 

5. Kahuna Falls

Photo courtesy of Tor Johnson and the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

You get two waterfalls for the price of one when you explore a little further into the Akaka Falls State Park and see Kahuna Falls. The trail takes you to a scenic overview that may not be as visually impressive as the up-close-and-personal views of Akaka Falls, but these falls are stunning nonetheless. If you have the opportunity to take a helicopter tour of the area, you'll experience an even more powerful view.

6. Rainbow Falls

One of the most iconic waterfalls on the Big Island, Rainbow Falls in the Wailuku River State Park gets its name from the rainbows that are often visible in the surrounding mist. Make sure the battery on the camera is fully charged for this adventure! 

More Big Island Waterfalls

Why not get out and see them all? Here are three more Big Island waterfalls guaranteed to impress.

7. Wailua Falls

Photo courtesy of Tor Johnson and the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

Kauai has a diverse terrain. There are lush rain forests, a stunning canyon, and the spectacular Wailua Falls. This is a family-friendly stop because the viewing area is just a short distance from the parking area. No long hikes required to enjoy this beauty.

8. Waipoo Falls

If you're looking for a little bit of a challenge, but not a rugged climb, the trail to Waipoo Falls is just the ticket. There are lookouts early in the trail so you can snap some scenic selfies before you get too busy enjoying the enchanting scenery. Or you can head back for an early lunch, we won't tell. But the trail ends at the top of this 800 foot waterfall. That's a pretty impressive sight you may not want to miss. 

More Kauai Waterfalls

Kauai may be a small island, but here are a few more breathtaking waterfalls to explore.


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