Wailua River and Secret Falls

MODERATE 28 reviews

Wailua River and Secret Falls is a 6.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Kapaa, Hawaii that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for fishing and sea kayaking and is accessible year-round.

6.2 miles
836 feet
Out & Back


sea kayaking





no dogs

A 14 mile out and back kayak on the Wailua River with a short hike to the majestic Secret Falls. Start this 7-mile 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.)

17 days ago

1 month ago

We experienced this trail via Duke's Kayak Adventures... muddy and fun trail to Secret Falls after a quick kayak trip into the jungle. So beautiful and so much fun!!

1 month ago

This is not a trail so much as a series of increasingly onerous suggestions to move through the jungle. If you can't find the "trail" cross the stream. You will lose the trail multiple times so don't get frustrated. If you stay on the right fork of the stream you will eventually get there. I would plan on 3-4 hours (I'm a pretty fast hiker). The previously hiked maps are very helpful to know which side of the stream you should be on. Wear good (water resistant) boots and bring a change of socks. I'd do it again.

1 month ago

whitewater kayaking
2 months ago

It was awesome. We kayaked to the trail and had a great time! The trail was very muddy and slippery. It was very good to have a great guide! Awesome day. We had a bring your own lunch that was kept dry and cool in a cooler backpack provided by the kayak tour company. Cannot say enough good things about our trip!!!'

3 months ago

3 months ago

Take the Rainbow Kayaking tour and kayak to the trail. A one mile hike (fairly strenuous with river crossings!) takes you to Secret Falls where you can swim and have lunch. The kayaking is 2.5 miles each way so it is good to be in fairly decent shape but it isn't that hard. My siblings are in their 60's and did fine! So much fun!!

3 months ago

4 months ago

4 months ago

Fun kayak and good hike through the jungle.

5 months ago

6 months ago

6 months ago

7 months ago

8 months ago

9 months ago

well we kayaked in from the beach and that trip was grueling. even with me being fit and strong and my wife helping it was exhausting. once u get on the trail it is a piece of cake. tons of mosquitoes, I got bit every where. the trail was really muddy when we went. but this trail is kid friendly for the most part. the waterfall is perfect. not to wild , not too boring. great for all the pics u could want to take. u can eat food with the dozens of live chickens and roosters by the waterfall. ironically I fed a chicken some chicken and he seemed to really really like it

10 months ago

Gorgeous! Be aware that the paddle back is a little more strenuous than the paddle in - this can be an issue for kids or inexperienced paddlers. Be aware that the 'simple trail' to the waterfall includes wading through a running stream about 2.5 feet deep and maybe 20 feet in width. We saw a couple people struggling and one senior who was sitting out the hike. This 'simple trail' is not really accessible for someone who is not really steady on their feet. Little kids and older folks may require help, My mom wouldn't be able to do it. Our group enjoyed it, but it is something to be aware of. We rented SUP from Ali'i Kayaks - the staff there was great!! It wasn't hard to find the start of the hike to the 'secret falls' - it was filled with beached kayaks and SUPs. For someone who loves to hike and SUP, this is one of the best days ever.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

After canoeing we did the hike to the falls. The hike is easy. Canoeing back to the rental service was harder..
If you want to go further up the river you don't have to go to Fern Grotto. The kajak landing is hard en Fern Grotto has no much to offer.