Wailua Falls Trail

MODERATE 69 reviews
#1 of 1 trails in

Wailua Falls Trail is a 0.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Lihue, Hawaii that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

0.3 miles
45 feet
Out & Back



nature trips

rock climbing

trail running







wild flowers



over grown



washed out


no dogs

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, but if you cant resist the amazing Bucket-List waterfall experience be prepared to hike down the cliff trail located to the far right of the look-out spot. Start by walking back on the road for about 50 yards, then jump the guard rail and look for the trail head, 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.

1 hour ago

Took kids down 3 yr (1), 5 yr (1), 6 yr (1), 8 yr (2), 12 (1), 14 (1), 16 yo and 2 adults. Everyone 8 and above did fine. One 5 yo had troubles and our 6 yo did ok. 3 yo it was rough and team effort. I’d say 8 and older your $. 6 to 8 is case by case. Bring a lunch and spend a couple hours swimming and having fun. Older kids loved it. For me down was about 12 Min and up about 7 min until rain which made it bad bad especially with kids.

6 days ago

loved it ! very steep edge but lots of rope and tree roots to help you get down - make sure you go behind the falls so beautiful

16 days ago

Awesome hike! Highly recommend going down behind the waterfalls.

20 days ago

Steep, but completely worth doing. Wear shoes with good grip or chacos

26 days ago

Very steep and muddy. Bring mosquito repellent. So thankful to the kind soul(s) who put the climbing ropes in place. The tree trunks, roots and hanging vines made the rest possible. You should be in decent shape to attempt this. Going down is harder than coming back up.
Once you’re down there, it’s definitely worth the trouble!

28 days ago

Spectacular under the falls!! Slippery and steep but well worth it.

1 month ago

Reviews are accurate, it's steep and technical but worth it! I did it with my adventurous 18, 16 & 13 yr olds. We all hiked & swam wearing chacos which was perfect. Left my rule abiding husband & 9 yr old back at the hotel. If you do it you have to jump in, it was cold in December but spectacular! A highlight of our time on Kauai for sure.

2 months ago

After seeing the falls from above the day before, We decided we had to climb down. As stated, it's short, steep, and slippery, but it is worth the climb. It definitely helps having the right shoes. If you're even slightly considering it, just do it. You won't be disappointed. Don't skip out on going behind the falls. Simply spectacular.

Hop the wall, follow the fence to the right, and look for a rope to start your descent.

3 months ago

Reviews are accurate. Fencing blocks trail head. Shorter way through is at the far end of green fencing and hang a sharp left. Look for rope on your right for beginning of trail. Worth it.

3 months ago

Absolutely breathtaking!

3 months ago

Absolutely breathtaking

4 months ago

Outstanding hike! Refreshing swim! Swim across and cli.bed behind the waterfall, slippery but awesome!

4 months ago

Breathtaking. Plus I grew up watching fantasy Island!

4 months ago

Short, steep trail down to the lagoon. It can be comfortably done in 20 minutes if you wear hiking boots. We also brought a day pack with water shoes and a towel, which we were very happy to have. If you are going to do it, make sure you swim in the lagoon, and walk behind the waterfall. An awesome experience!

5 months ago

Would recommend issa dope waterfall

5 months ago

Trail CLOSED, fenced off, possible $1000 fine!!!

6 months ago

NO FLIP-FLOPS. Use excellent hiking shoes, or go barefoot if necessary. We picked up SEVEN shredded flip-flops that people had ditched at different points along the way down, because they were making it worse.

Otherwise, don't go if it's raining or has rained a lot recently; go slow no matter what; and enjoy both the stunning pool swim at the base of the falls AND the easy-going hike along the left-side rocks that lead you around and behind the falls. Amazing.

6 months ago

My girlfriend and me hiked down this trail today and it was definitely worth it! It's correct that it is pretty steep and also slippery when wet. How long it takes you to get down there depends on how experienced you are in rough terrain. For most people it will be around 10-15 minutes. Good shoes are very recommended!
Down by the warerfalls it was so impressing that i ran back up to the car to get the camera. Also bring bathing clothes!

How to get down:
When you are up by the parking lot you will see a fence on the right side of the small stone wall. You can crawl around here and go down but i would recommend the other way which is on the right side of said fence. It comes out to the same trail but the beginning is easier.

If you wear decent shoes it is really not that hard to get down there and it is really a great experience!

Btw: The trail is closed so it is not allowed to go there but most people don't care.

6 months ago

This was a great hike with rewarding views! Follow the locals route which is equipped with ropes to help you down the steep rocky/muddy/root-filled descent. The trail starts where the chain link fence meets the waist-high rock wall that you have to jump over. Be prepared to get muddy and wear sturdy shoes. Wear your bathing suit if you want to swim at the base of the waterfall! My husband and I did this trail this week and loved it! If it's raining, it will be an especially tough hike. I recommend going in drier weather if possible.

6 months ago

First let me start by saying looking at this from above is breath taking. Second, the locals said the trail map we have on this app takes 30-45 and they suggested the 'locals way'. That is a short 15-20 minutes fierce vertical descent with ropes. Park then walk by the hand railing looking at the waterfall to the chain link fence. Where the chain link starts HOP over the railing and walk along the chain link to the 'big ditch' . Head down from there. And you are GOLDEN!!!!! This was the highlight of my 18&16 year old's trip to Kauai. We LOVED IT! Once we sent down a crew of all ages followed. Do it: you won't regret it

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