Wailua Falls Trail is a 0.4 mile 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.

Length0.4 miElevation gain72 ftRoute typeOut & back
HikingNature tripsForestLakeRiverViewsWaterfallBugsMuddyOver grownRockyScrambleWashed outNo dogs
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Getting There

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.

Park up at the scenic overlook parking lot at the end of the road, or off to the side of the road if the lot is full.

http://www.hawaiitourismauthority.org/ 1801 Kalakaua Avenue Honolulu, Hawaii 96815 Phone: (808) 973-2255 Fax: (808) 973-2253

To get there, head north from Lihue and follow Maalo Road in Hanamaulu. Travel uphill for about three miles. If you visit in the mornings, you may be treated to a rainbow, making for an amazing photo of Wailua Falls.

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Reviews (259)
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Activities (110)
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Lex Boo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 19, 2021
HikingGreat!Muddy

I didn’t believe the reviews until I was there. I thought “oh it’s a short hike it’ll be easy.” No, this is quite tough. I don’t recommend little kids or those who don’t have good balance and grip. It is very slippery and very steep. My legs could barely reach some of the footings. Thankfully there is a rope. Going back up is a lot easier than initially going down. But one girl did slip and fall pretty hard going down so please be careful. However the view from the waterfall at the bottom is AMAZING. Completely worth it. You can even make your way behind the waterfall. If your able to do the climb I 100% recommend.

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Kurt Petric
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 17, 2021
BugsClosedMuddyOff trail

One of the best hikes I’ve ever done, but don’t do it if you don’t hike often. Go very slow on the way down, waterfall is amazing and the way up was a blast!

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isaac neale
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 17, 2021
HikingMuddyScrambleWashed out

The hike down is muddy and steep but there are always ropes or roots to hold onto. It took about 30 minutes round trip with some swimming. I did it when it was pouring and so did many others. Swimming beneath the waterfall was sweet, but going too close seemed dangerous.

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Kathy Hackworth
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 16, 2021
HikingGreat!Muddy

Muddy and slippery. Well marked (pink ribbon) and lots of ropes and roots to hang on to. Bottom was amazing. We jumped in and swam. Back to the top was easier than the way down forsure!

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Meghan Boone
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 13, 2021
HikingBugsGreat!Muddy

Short trail down to an absolutely incredible waterfall! My husband and I didn’t think it was nearly as hard/dangerous as many reviews we read. As long as you have the right shoes and take your time and don’t go when it’s pouring rain. There is only one small section that you have to use a rope or grab onto roots/trees. We didn’t get in because the falls were raging and current was strong, but by far the most beautiful waterfall we’ve seen!

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Lisa Bernardi
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 9, 2021
Hiking

Follow down the pink ribbon and ropes it’s totally doable our 5 year old managed it with us! highly recommend

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Dallas Esplin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 9, 2021
HikingGreat!

Very steep but there is plenty of big roots and ropes to help guide you down. The view is worth though, especially if you swim in the lagoon.

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Haley Prasad
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 8, 2021
Hiking

If you’re going to the overlook, you might as well climb down! You have to cut through the opener fence to the right of the stone wall at the overlook, and then follow the pink tapes to climb down. It’s steep and requires a bit of rock maneuvering confidence but trust the ropes and you’ll be completely fine. The overlook is somewhat lame and hard to see the falls so this short jaunt is worth it.

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Ariana Lavelli
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 28, 2021
HikingMuddy

This was a very wet and muddy trail and should not be done by inexperienced hikers. It wasn’t very long and was really cool to see the waterfall from the bottom. We didn’t swim but heard you could!

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Shope Christian
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 21, 2021

More of a muddy scramble past a clipped fence to a powerful washing machine shower than a hike. Must be sure footed. I’m from Oregon so waterfalls are pretty boring, but the experiencing the power of this falls after heavy rain was incredible.

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Sarah Thomson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 2, 2021
HikingBugsGreat!MuddyScramble

so fun! can be muddy & slippery but the ropes are a ton of help, even if you just use them as trail markers. fun little swimming spot at the bottom :)

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Justin M.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 1, 2020
HikingBugsGreat!MuddyScramble

Moderate short quasi scramble to the base of the falls. The conditions were muddy, but not terrible. There are a ton of bugs, but definitely worth enduring because the pay off is WORTH IT!!

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Zohrab Ajani
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 29, 2020
HikingMuddyOff trail

Go slow and steady. The view of the base is beautiful!

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Jared Forman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 17, 2020
Rock climbingBugsGreat!MuddyScramble

This is a climb, not a hike. Very steep, muddy, and slippery but holding the ropes and roots helps. Up is way easier but down took 15-20 mins. Also the current was super strong when I tried to cross the water, had to go back. Great views from top and bottom.

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