Uluwehi Secret Falls via Wailua River [CLOSED]

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Wailua River State Park

Uluwehi Secret Falls via Wailua River [CLOSED] is a 6.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Kapaʻa, Kauai, Hawaii that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, fishing, and sea kayaking and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 6.1 miles Elevation Gain: 465 feet Route Type: Out & Back

fishing

hiking

nature trips

paddle sports

river

views

waterfall

wildlife

muddy

closed

no dogs

It has been reported this trail has a temporary closure due to COVID-19. Please see the park's website for up to date information. A kayak on the Wailua River with a short hike to the majestic Secret Falls. Start this paddle by renting a kayak or joining a guided float. Launch your boat, and begin you paddle upstream through thick tropical vegetation. At 1.8 miles, you have the option of docking your boat and explore the Kamokila Hawaiian Village; a traditional Hawaiian village. Continue up the Wailua river until it splits and bear to the right. Paddle through dense vegetation then beach your kayak on the right bank. Walk west on the path. In .3 mile, cross the North Fork Wailua River (use the yellow rope that runs across tributary as a stabilizer). Continue to hike northwest through the dense jungle and along a narrow embankment that is full of gnarled roots and is often muddy (bring close toe sandals.) Continue following the trail along the river bank and pass a cement tower with a water level marker. Turn left; head away from the river, and climb up a short, steep, and often muddy embankment. At the top, cross a small stream and turn right, continuing on trail. Continue until you reach Secret Falls. Enjoy time soaking at the falls then retrace your steps to you boat. Kayak down stream and return to the boat launch (down stream is often more difficult then upstream especially with afternoon trade winds.)

hiking
2 days ago

We loved this trip. First you kayak on the river and then you have to hike the rest. Nice trail, little muddy but fun. You have to cross a little river, there is a cable where you can hold on, we went up to our knees true the water, so much fun!! At the end there is the waterfall. We walked even behind the falls. That was just fantastic, what a power did that water have. After a little swim we went back.

hiking
muddy
over grown
1 month ago

This hike will make your heart happy. So much wild life, waterfalls went last July it was perfect going again this July and this adventure makes the list again!

hiking
muddy
rocky
3 months ago

Yesterday’s adventure with Ancient River Kayak was great. Thomas, our guide, was fun and knowledgeable. If you read other reviews you’ll learn that the trail is muddy and or quite muddy in places with lots of roots and rocks to plan your steps around. I loved the hike and the river crossings. Arriving at the waterfall was amazing. About 500 folks per day do this trip. I am 51 and not in shape but am active. I did great, and I love this kind of outdoor adventure!

hiking
muddy
3 months ago

Very nice kayak trip with very muddy trail. Beautiful falls at the end.

hiking
bugs
muddy
3 months ago

you will get muddy and wet but if you're willing to march through, the waterfall and area is amazing. go as early as you can, it becomes a zoo as soon as 9am

hiking
muddy
3 months ago

Great kayak and hike. We did this on our own with no problem. Hard to avoid the mud, we brought running shoes and wore without socks - that worked well for traction and you can wash them off in the river crossing. Fair amount of people on the trail and at the falls.

hiking
muddy
rocky
4 months ago

Fun Kayak (4 miles total) and hike (2 miles total) out and back. Arrival at beautiful waterfall is the highlight. This trail is very muddy in the winter it we were fortunate that the area has seen less rain. Water shoes with good grip bottoms were ideal. Should have brought my trekking poles. Several kayak tour companies list this as appropriate for “all family members” which can be misleading. This is appropriately rated as a moderate hike. We used Kayak Wailua and tip of the cap to our guide Darren. Highly recommend

hiking
4 months ago

Great kayak/hike combination. I don’t think there is anywhere near the elevation gain stated, unless they are measuring to the top of the falls. I’m only showing <100’. Roots, rocks and a few stream crossings. After two weeks with limited rain, mud was limited and not that bad. Waterfall and pool swimming were a highlight. Our guide Anya from Ancient River was excellent. Highly recommend traveling with them.

hiking
muddy
4 months ago

hiking
bugs
muddy
4 months ago

VERY VERY MUDDY! Seriously folks... expect to be walking in ankle deep mud, so wear hiking shoes, NOT water shoes or sandals. Several of the people in our group lost a shoe in the mud, slipped due to no traction on sandals, etc. You have to walk through mud, cross a few creeks (one is thigh deep), climb some muddy “stairs”, and climb on/over big slippery rocks. The amount of time that you are hiking through mud and water is exponentially greater than the amount of time spent frolicking in the waterfall pool. With that said, beautiful view, fun kayaking trip, lots of mud so take a change of clothes and extra shoes for after.

hiking
5 months ago

Excellent trail that requires a 4 mile round trip kayaking to get to the trailhead. The trail was very muddy and slippery due to rain. Kayaking and hiking was a great way to get to the mesmerizing waterfall! Pond was shallow with chest high water, so it was great to swim or walk in it. We took a tour with Duke's Kayak adventures and our guide Brian was super cool! Highly recommend this 1.5 mile hike.

hiking
muddy
5 months ago

hiking
bugs
muddy
washed out
5 months ago

Fun hike (sorta). This trail is absurdly muddy. It’s insane. My Chacos and feet were so covered mud caked that you could not identify my shoes. The waterfall is beautiful, so that was fun. We paid $110 for the tandem self-guided kayak. We left as the first rental at 8 AM and didn’t have many people at the falls. Start early!

hiking
muddy
5 months ago

Super fun kayak and hike. It was a full on mud bath though, beware :)

hiking
bugs
muddy
over grown
5 months ago

Great paddle and fun hike. You WILL get muddy. If you head out about 10:30am and leisurely paddle by the time you get to the falls most tour groups will be soon packing up. When you cross the first river use the rope, the current can be stronger than it appears. After crossing grab one of the walking sticks on the other side, I never hike with one but was glad to have it. The trail is slick. We hiked in our keens and they worked out great. Put bug spray on before hiking in and when heading out from the falls. You will need it!

hiking
rocky
6 months ago

Worth it. Go early.

hiking
muddy
over grown
6 months ago

Beautiful! Some areas over grown but fun to walk through. I think I counted 4 river crossings. Super muddy and slippery in spots. Best choice is old tide tight tennis shoes. The mud can get sticky in some areas! You can get in and swim under the waterfall! Super fun but it was running pretty strong yesterday so just be careful but so worth the swim! The kayak ride out and back was easy and fun. We did the whole trip in about 4 hours. Just depends on long you want to hang out at the water fall. We were probably there about 20 or 30 minutes and we moved at a steady pace coming back and leisurely on the way there. Definitely a must do.

hiking
muddy
over grown
6 months ago

This was a really great hike. The entrance is only accessible via kayak (available in a tour for $65pp or self guided singles for $100, doubles $110). I’d recommend self guided, wear water shoes with good grip. There are a few rivers to cross and an opportunity for a swim at the end.

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