Wailua Falls Trail [CLOSED]

HARD 216 reviews
#2 of 3 trails in

Wailua Falls Trail [CLOSED] is a 0.6 kilometer heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Līhuʻe, Kauai, Hawaii that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 0.6 km Elevation Gain: 22 m Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

nature trips

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

bugs

muddy

over grown

rocky

scramble

washed out

closed

no dogs

Please note: this trail is currently CLOSED. This trail can be very dangerous and tricky if it’s raining, as it would be extremely muddy and slippery. Wailua Falls, just north of Lihue, is a step off the beaten path. Located at the south end of the Wailua River, it cascades into two streams, dropping 80-feet below. Like other spectacular spots on Kauai used as film locations, Wailua Falls is most recognized in the opening credits of the long-running television show "Fantasy Island." Easily accessible, by car, Wailua Falls can be seen from the roadside, so you can leave your hiking boots behind. The trail is very steep and demanding, with large roots, rocks, and mud nearly all the time due to the swimmers trekking back up the trail. Parts of the trail are so steep the locals have attached a rope to hold on to and descending with for the second half of your trek down to the lagoon.

hiking
closed
muddy
6 days ago

It is posted that trail is closed. Steep inclines. Becomes very slippery and muddy quickly as water from the top runs down the trail. Heavily walked trail and amazing views!

hiking
bugs
closed
muddy
7 days ago

hiking
11 days ago

If it has rained recently or if you see any moisture on the trail, instantly abandon it. Some portions of it is just a regular simple trail but all the tricky sections are the climbs up the steep face of the hill. All you have is a few ropes/roots to hold on as you literally hoist yourself up or down. If it's even slightly wet/muddy, each foothold, each root and the ropes will be slippery and it's super easy to kill yourself here. Since a lot of people climbing back up this trail are wet from the swim, the trail is almost always wet. Such a fun trail when dry. It took us 25 minutes to go down to the falls, take a couple of photos and climb back up. A bit hypocritical I know, but I wouldn't recommend this trail unless you're dead sure the trail seems dry. To get to the trail, climb over the wall. Then walk away from the falls and follow the chain link fence until it ends. (To be clear, you should have the chainlink fence & road on your right and the trees on your left) Keep walking for 10-15 feet and you'll see a narrow path on your left going into the woods.

hiking
bugs
muddy
19 days ago

Trail closed you can still go around the fence. Wear bug repellent

hiking
26 days ago

Trail is closed. But you can drive to the top and will see the beautiful cascade! On your way down stop at a truck that sell fresh fruit, avocados and make you ice cream with the fruta, all from their farm.

hiking
bugs
rocky
27 days ago

Hard but totally worth it! Make sure you have the right shoes.

hiking
1 month ago

If you haven't hiked to the bottom off the falls and want to it is absolutely amazing! There were all these reasons to be nervous to do it (sign says trail closed, people have been hurt etc) so its intimidating at first. We hopped the guardrail and took that trail right by the gate. I heard it was the steeper one and it might be but it is actually the better one to take because there are giant strong roots to hold onto, ropes tied to trees to help and because of all the roots there are more stable places to step. We ran into another couple about to go back up and they were asking us about our trail because the "easier" one was slick and a lot of sliding down on mud with nothing to hold onto. I had 4 kids with me age 15 - 23 (boys and girls) of all athletic (or non-athletic) abilities. Take your time - its not too long of a hike, wear sneakers (we were in bathing suits and shorts), expect mud and have a wonderful time! It was the very best part of our 9 days trip to Kauai. Just breathtaking!! Water is refreshing and safe. The only thing I would do differently is put bug spray on my legs - I had no idea I was being bit but had quite a few bites the next day.

hiking
1 month ago

When you first arrive there will be a small parking lot on the left that fits about 10 vehicles. The falls are pretty from this elevated view. There is a hole in the fence that will lead you down to the falls. The path down is actually very dangerous and difficult but short. Once you get to the bottom, you can hike behind the falls. This was an amazing experience. Absolutely stunning views.

hiking
closed
muddy
1 month ago

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

Hike was short and Amazing!! Very muddy started raining half way down but it wasn’t to bad! Once at the bottom follow the trail the left and don’t miss going behind the falls!

hiking
2 months ago

Slippery...be very careful...so worth the effort

hiking
muddy
2 months ago

hiking
closed
muddy
2 months ago

The trail is only about 80 meters of steep downhill descent. We went to the falls on a rainy day which made the decent a little treacherous. You need to hold onto a fixed rope and slowly step down the rock face. It took us about 25 minutes to decent due to other hikers ahead of us. The last 100 meters is flat, but very rocky and muddy. The waterfall was amazing. Water temperature was pleasant and you can swim to the base of the falls. This place is perfect for some adventurous-looking Instagram pictures. Highly recommend!

hiking
closed
muddy
2 months ago

Super fun hike! I went with my family and I saw kids taking this hike which made it seem easy. With that being said, it is not an easy hike. A 50 foot section of the trail requires climbing down the side of a slope with ropes and tree roots as support. We got down the hike in about 20 minutes and stayed at the bottom for 2 hours swimming in the falls and climbing behind the falls! If you can get down the trail I highly recommend it!

hiking
3 months ago

Do as the locals, you won't be disappointed. may be intimidating at first but if you take it slow with deliberate steps especially during the steep wet areas, you'll be fine. its actually one of the shortest trails we've been on and only takes about 15 to 20 minutes to descend with incredible views awaiting you and a great pool to refresh in.

hiking
muddy
3 months ago

hiking
off trail
private property
scramble
3 months ago

Worthwhile, but very steep and slippery. We had too much water at the waterfall so you could not walk behind the water. Officially, the trail is not allowed. However, the locals go too ... entrance is on the right side of the wall. Climb over the wall and first 10m hold right at the fence.

hiking
3 months ago

It’s $1,000 fine if you get caught going down. We went after the rain and it was extremely muddy and slippery but fun. There was too much runoff so the falls were brown and the water was too murky to go in. Not really worth the risk to be honest you can see the falls just fine from the road. Shaka!

hiking
closed
3 months ago

I rated this 5 stars because of the amazing waterfall at the end. It is a dangerous trail and I can see why it is closed off. Like everyone else said, you have to be careful with your footing and hold onto tree roots and ropes while going up and down. I got lucky that the trail was dry the day I went and I would not attempt it if it had just rained. Tbh pretty sketch but worth it in the end. Go swimming in the water and go behind the waterfall! Just be careful because the rocks are very slippery. I went at 8:30 in the morning and found a small group to go down with but when I went back up around 10:30/11 the parking lot was packed so I recommend going early. You also may get yelled at by a local lady to not go down, just wave and ignore her. One last thing, if you’re wearing running shoes or flip flops, don’t. You need to wear shoes with more traction or else you’ll be slipping the whole way down (and up). I wore my Tevas and I was fine but the other people I was with were wearing Nike’s and really struggled.

hiking
3 months ago

This trail is a lot of fun but be cautious going down as a misstep can end in serious injury. That said, there have been multiple pregnant ladies and small children who have successfully gone down and up these past couple days I’ve been here. I got lucky with a hot and dry day but I can see how it can get real dangerous real fast when attempting it after rainfall. I personally probably wouldn’t. Took about ten minutes going down, 10-15 going back up. Be sure to take a dip in the water!

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