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Canyon Trail to Waipoo Falls

MODERATE 354 reviews
#2 of 17 trails in

Canyon Trail to Waipoo Falls is a 5.1 kilometer moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Kekaha, Kauai, Hawaii that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from October until February.

DISTANCE
5.1 km
ELEVATION GAIN
369 m
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

bird watching

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

no dogs

Directions from Waimea: Follow Highway 550 northward into Koke'e State Park. Turn right on to Halemanu Drive, which is a short distance past mile fourteen. Follow this road to the Halemanu-Koke'e Trailhead. (A four-wheel drive vehicle is necessary on this road if rain is in the forecast.)

muddy
5 days ago

Great views and a good workout. lots of shade till the end. it was a bit muddy for 20 minutes but not bad. It's a hike to the Waterfall, not a view of the Waterfall, but amazing Canyon views at the end.

hiking
muddy
8 days ago

This is a great trail for beginner hikers who want a little challenge. There are lots of ups and downs, but they are easily manageable if you grab a walking stick at the trail head. The waterfall at the end is beautiful and the water was VERY refreshing. Going back seemed much easier than the route in.

hiking
8 days ago

Great hike with Kids ! Gorgeous views! Sweet little waterfall and pool

hiking
9 days ago

This was a short hike with fantastic views and a great spot to watch the sunrise light up the canyon! A family hike in the midst of a lot of tough Hawaiian hikes

hiking
9 days ago

Gorgeous views from the end of the hike! We saw people of all ages and skills on the trail. Just go slow if it’s muddy!

10 days ago

you will cross a stream twice! don't recommend flip flops!! absolutely breathtaking views!! can't imagine doing this if it is muddy!!!

hiking
11 days ago

Nice, fun trail. Was muddy in a few spots, but went during a pretty dry week. Neat little pool with waterfall to enjoy lunch by or soak in the views from the outcrop. Not really a good view of the larger portion of the falls, but can get pretty close to the falls/edge if you climb down one section near the end.

12 days ago

Beautiful views of Waimea canyon. Hike was muddy and slippery. It's an upside down hike, so it's fairly steep going in and a climb coming out. The small pool at the top of the falls is cold but went in anyway. View of actual falls is blocked by trees and bushes. Still worth the hike. Take a walking stick or grab one graciously left at the trail head. Enjoy!

15 days ago

Done this hike a few times. Pretty easy if you dont do it in sandals or gym shoes like so many do. It's a very good hike. Not too long and it helps get your steps in.

hiking
muddy
rocky
21 days ago

A large amount of the hike for us was down Halemanu Road since we were in a midsize rental (you will need an impressive 4x4 to get down to the trailhead). The rains haven’t been too heavy the last few days, but some areas were certainly slick. Take your time and be prepared for your clothes to be stained with mud/dust that doesn’t wash out.

The views of the canyon and the top of the falls were worth the hike, in my opinion. I’m sure it depends on the weather. The traffic seemed to pick up on our way back, so I definitely recommend arriving early if you want to beat the crowd.

No facilities at the trailhead, but there are several spots to stop on the drive in and out. Enjoy!

hiking
muddy
22 days ago

hiking
scramble
23 days ago

Fantastic hike! A few spots were slippery. I could see how this trail could be super muddy in different conditions. There were a handful of spots that required scrambling between boulders. Trail puts out on top of the waterfall.

hiking
23 days ago

Beautiful hike! A few slippery areas passing over rocks with running water.

hiking
bugs
muddy
rocky
25 days ago

Great hike! A big workout as there are lots of inclines on the way out and back too. There wasn’t too much mud - only at the beginning and near the 2 little creeks you have to cross (just walk on the branches and you won’t get wet). The views are spectacular. Waterfall is lovely too - the other reviews say it’s not worth it but I thought it was great!

hiking
26 days ago

As the reviewer below said--mostly dried out with a few slightly slippy patches and two simple fordings but LOTS of good steep ascents and descents. Two waterfalls at the end. To the left, a small double waterfall with a brain-curdlingly cold pool you can swim in (and we did). To the right, a hair-raising view from the top of a waterfall plunging hundreds of feet below. Amazing views along the trails and several places where we just sat and stared and pinched ourselves at what we were seeing. Hiked with two kids, 9 and 14 with no issues. Excellent.

The most amazing hike ever! Muddy and slippery in the beginning but if you make it past there, you're golden! We decided last minute to hike it and of course I was not prepared. Wearing flats, somehow I made the entire trek there and back. And don't stop at the lookout, swimming on top the falls is the best part!! 3 days later I'm still feeling the aches of the muscles that I used I didn't know I had! lol

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

Nice but quite busy and muddy. Must be careful slippery conditions. However very beautiful when you reach the falls.

hiking
blowdown
muddy
1 month ago

Too much mud, very slippery conditions after major storm yesterday. We turned around after slipping and sliding and ultimately landing in the mud. despite wearing good hiking boots. Will try another day if the weather dries out.

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

I thought this trail was great when I hiked it on 2/7/19. Definitely muddy and since it’s been raining these past few days I’d imagine it be even muddier now. I hiked in tennis shoes and slipped a couple times, I’d probably recommend hiking boots and a walking stick can help you determine how deep the mud is in certain areas. I started hiking around 9am and was the first in the upper parking lot by the road. I didn’t see anyone until halfway. I didn’t go all the way to the waterfall because I read that it was a letdown and you apparently have to lean over a ledge to see it (not my jam). The canyon view was incredible, though. Unbelievable to be higher than the helicopter tours at some parts. On my way back I ran into probably 50 people going the opposite way- now I understand when people said it was crowded. Get there early! Overall very very happy and well worth it.

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Waterfall is a letdown but great hike

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike with beautiful views! Just a bit crowded.

hiking
2 months ago

We did this hike today - our 3rd time over the years! Simply beautiful and not overly strenuous even for two mid-60 yr olds. Canyon views are fabulous!! One key piece of advice is to park on the road by Hale Manu road - quite a few spots there - then walk down the 4wd-only road about a half hour to the trailhead. Much, much easier than the steep, rutted spur trail coming from the Pu’u Hinahina Lookout parking lot. About an hour each way plus photo time at the top of the cliffs. We didn’t go the final leg to the falls but really love this trail! Not very wet today.

2 months ago

Amazing views of valley and 2 waterfalls (one from the top). Don’t worry about the mud. As of yesterday the mud trail has dried and solidified into a perfect hiking surface. Had no trouble even with my heavily worn Crocs. The only slippery areas are where it dried out too much resulting in loose dirt, particularly at the slope descending from the vista. Avoid those loose dirt areas and stay on the hardened mud and you will be fine. Just past the vista, take the final loop clockwise as there is a very steep section on the right fork. Can always double back if too steep for you.

hiking
2 months ago

This trail was very muddy and slippery. I would recommend hiking shoes as the trail was very slick in trainers. We hiked all the way to the falls. The pool is tiny and mud is ankle deep around the pool so it is hard to swim or even wade. Canyon trail lookout is good but the real reward is the canyon view on the black pipe trail. It is very worth it to hike the extra distance. Not sure the additional hike to the falls is worth it. We started the hike at 8 am and by the time we were hiking out the path was extremely crowded. We had three kids 8 and older with us and I agree with the rating of moderate.

hiking
2 months ago

A wonderful hike! Walking poles most useful.

The highlight at the end was spectacular to say the least. The canyon view overshadowed the top of the falls which you can climb to (down). Interesting how a seemingly small stream can produce a beautiful falls!!

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing trail with beautiful scenery of Waimea Canyon. Don't go on the hike for the views of the waterfalls which are nice but incomparable to the stunning views of inside the canyon. Start at the Puu Hinahina lookout. Not as muddy as some of the other trails we completed in Kauai.

3 months ago

Spectacular views.

3 months ago

Plenty of parking before 10am but fills up after. Moderate hike is right but made more challenging by muddy conditions. Walking sticks are really helpful for folks who need extra support. Not worth it if you’re doing it for the waterfall alone—though the canyon views are incredible. You’ll hear the helicopters overhead, so it feels less remote than it is. Fine outing overall but probably wouldn’t do it again.

3 months ago

Great hike. It was muddy for us because it just rained, so really slick at some points. At used walking sticks in and out. The water fall is a cool view, but the canyon itself is amazing scenery at the top. Just over 2 hours with lots of picture taking breaks.

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