Explore the most popular lake trails in Hawaii with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Great for families with young children!

hiking
9 days ago

2nd time doing this hike & it’s just as breathtaking every time! Very steep downhill climb then right back up it. Very slippery, lots of mud. Saw double rainbows and enjoyed a pleasant mist from the waterfall at the bottom. Wouldn’t take kids or the faint of heart as this trail is extremely steep at some points, prepare to get muddy.

hiking
13 days ago

This was the hardest trail I've ever done and I was notably unprepared. It's really not anything you can physically train for in my opinion. Its not a muscular thing, its definitely and elevation thing. I did this hike yesterday and today my muscles feel great, so its not that kind of strain. I've been doing 4000 footers in New Hampshire and some US high points, where you gain 4000+ feet of elevation, but let me tell you, elevation sickness is no joke. This was my first time breaking 10k feet and I noticed even at the visitors center haha. I felt out of breath, dizzy, nauseous and exhausted the entire hike. Breaks help but only a little. I usually dont even drink the 2 liters I bring on other mountains but I drained 3Ls half a mile from the summit. Bring more food and water than you think you need! It took me about 5.5 hours to reach the summit, be prepared for cold and wind! That being said, I learned the hard way that elevations effect me, hopefully you're luckier than I am :)

15 days ago

Just FYI, I’m not a pro hiker.

I did this hike solo and trail is mostly easy to follow but got a little off trail at the last ~1mi, I didn’t see where the trail resumed after ‘Park 3’ (probably bc I’m not great with directions and I took a quick detour ~.25mi to take a peek at the mysterious lake, pretty cool, no swimming). Its mostly uphill, so it’s not for the weary hearted/minded. I went in January and was welcomed with clear skies and crisp wind to keep you cool throughout your ascent. It even stayed clear throughout the night +nearly new moon which was clutch for observing the Quadrantid Meteor shower. BRING LAYERS/BEANIE/GLOVES for the summit if you plan to be there after 3pm! I started in a tank and added a layer probably every 2,000’. At first summit will be refreshing but it gets cold up there. I’m not much of an experienced hiker so I took plenty of breaks (this is my first hike breaking 10,000’), but it’s definitely a doable struggle for the able-bodied and strong-willed. Altitude sickness didn’t hit me, it was mostly my endurance that slowed me down. I got a late start and I t took me about ~<7hrs (you can probably crush it in 5 if you’re badass) and I made it right before sunset! If you love astrophotography, the VIS is a good place to stay after your hike to observe the cosmos. I recommend the picnic tables off the side of the building to minimize cars/headlights distorting your view. I did this hike to test my abilities. Im glad to say that I did it but I’m on the fence about doing it again (definitely not alone though).

The hike is technically off limits but lots of people are still doing it. The entrance I used was to the right of the stone wall (if you’re looking at the falls) and past the green fence. You’ll have to hop the guardrail and you’ll see a brown sign that says Danger. It was pretty doable until I got to the last red rope. It was extremely slippery and I lost my footing but thankfully was able to hold onto the rope (wear hiking shoes, sneakers didn’t cut it!). Just go slow and be mindful with each step. You can get up close to the waterfall and even go behind it if you’re willing to get soaked. I went around 11am and saw double rainbows. It was so beautiful.

walking
16 days ago

Great local trail, easy, and dog friendly. No shade so bring water and please clean up after your fur babies.

I did it today and started at 7 am hiking.Was a nice day, took me 4 hours 50 min for 18 km. I would do it again and would even start 30 min earlier to enjoy the sunrise higher up

This was an amazing and quite difficult hike! The trail is easy to follow in good weather, but be prepared for the weather changing at altitude. We had sunny skies all the way up, but faced sleet and near whiteout conditions on the way down. We chose to follow the road down to make sure we wouldn’t get lost if we did face a whiteout. The views are worth the effort. Would do again!

Trail closed, but can still stop to see the waterfall.

It’s a very beautiful fun for kids. Can feed the ducks and fish.

hiking
30 days ago

Super fun hike! Go down a few ropes to help but steep and muddy. Once at the bottom the falls are amazing. Most stunning and epic falls in Hawaii in my opinion!

brutal up and back. wear sunscreen and be prepared to deal with the elements and altitude sickness. totally worth the views at the top and the feeling of accomplishment when you make it back at dusk.

Great for walking with your dog

Dec.8th 2018
When down to see the waterfalls from the Do not pass sign. It is slippery just need to be careful and stay low and go slow :) but you do need to able to hold yourself up with the ropes and trees and able to balance yourself.
Nature is very generous there are tons of trees, veins, roots to hold on to. I managed to go down and up without getting muddy. I didn’t even get mud on my hand.

Seeing this Water falls close by is amazing! It’s so worth the little slipperiness:)

*But it will be very hard to do if you are wearing slippers or sandals.

1.5 rating
This hike was a big dissapointment for my friend and I. The terrain is difficult, mostly sandy and on a constant incline. We were also very frustrated as the advertised distance was not accurate, in total to reach the summit, we hiked for 13km rather than 9. We followed the trail and did not take any detours. This could have been an issue had we run out of water.
Once we figured out that the distance was not accurate, we pushed through as we were promised gorgeous views. In complete honesty, the views at the top were not what we expected. Not to mention that the summit is a sacred area and hikers are discouraged to complete the hike. After hiking 13km, this was extremely disappointing.
We completed the hike in 6.5 hours (the average is 8) and although we made good time, we would have much preferred to spend our day at the beach.

we truly wish that we felt differently about this hike but we would not recommend to our friends.

Visited today (12/8) and several “do not pass” signs and a tall fence line the road. Did not attempt but could see several others that had managed to climb down.

I have done this trail with my 8,7,5 year old . My friend took his 1 year old .

Not an easy trail to do with kids , a bit dangerous at the beginning it is very steep for about 100 feet.
Then it’s not that bad

We loved the reward of this hike! Went there early in the morning so we were the only two people there. Seriously beautiful views of the waterfall from the bottom of it and the mandatory rainbow was there too. Be carefull on your way down though and stick to the trail where there’s ropes to help you descent. The trail start after the green fence on your left handside going away from the parking lot. Dont climb any fences, people get hurt and they might close off the whole thing then.

Great views and away from civilization. recommend for the short walk to see the sights.

This trail is for experienced hikers only and can acclimate to the elevation. This trail was awesome and can take your breath away in more than one way. The view of the lake was beautiful and then the view from the observatory was even better. You are above the clouds. Ensure you are well hydrated and pack layers for colder weather.

This was totally awesome hike. Short but steep down hill. I was able to enjoy the water after the climb down and cool down before hiking back up. I loved it.

Beautiful

hiking
2 months ago

The view at the bottom of the falls is definitely worth the short but very slippery hike. This hike can be potentially dangerous in rainy conditions. If you are not an experienced hiker, don’t want to get muddy, or are not in the best of shape I would not recommend this hike. Technically they have the trail fenced off with numerous postings of ‘trail closings’, but if you really want to experience the essence and power of the falls, you need to trek down to the base of the falls because the overgrown lookout point doesn’t even do the falls justice. If you attempt this hike, make sure you are extremely sure footed and you know your skill level.

Quick and easy hike if you have microspikes/crampons. Park at the end of the road. Follow the fence until there is an opening. from there, you can hug the fence from the inside going left, where you will eventually see the start to the trail (this is the way we came back up). Another way down (this is what we did) was following the path you see once the fence opens up. The hike down is quick, maybe 15 minutes. Some ropes to help you out, but focus on grabbing hard roots. I swam around the waterfall, but fair warning rocks are slippery so go slow, and ideally wear water shoes (switch into them when you are at the water). You can also get behind the waterfall. amazing. Spotted several rainbows while hanging out near the waterfall for a good 45 minutes. Today saw about 10-12 people in multiple groups coming in and out of the bottom. Not sure why this trail is marked closed. Must do!

This is an amazing hike! I try to make a point to do it everytime I'm on the Big Island.

This is a tough hike for most people so please make sure you are prepared for it. Its not a crowded trail at all which means if you get hurt, there may not be someone there to help.

Now that being said... the hike is beautiful and well worth the 11 miles RT. Towards the top you'll even feel like you're Mars!

Enjoy!

A beautiful place to relax and stay for some hours. The nature is amazing and the whole area is pretty clean.

hiking
3 months ago

This hike is not moderate. It Hard AF!!! If you can’t pull yourself up a rope on a slope as slippery as boiled witch guts, don’t do this hike. If you can, DO IT!!! The view from the bottom is amazing. 100,000% better than from the top.

hiking
3 months ago

Ok so, you can’t access this trail legally, my mom did the fall trail the day before without any problem (just said it was slippery and steep). However when we tried to go we got threats from a local tour guide that he would call the cops if we went down (which is apparently a $1000 fine). Either way my mom said it was breathtaking and worth it, but that’s if you can afford the risk of a fine. The signs say the trail is closed but nothing about a trespassing fine or it being illegal to access. There were about 7 people down there when we were trying to go down.

this hike gives you a good workout. the first part is harder with elevation gain and the second part might be challenging if you have altitude sickness.
The view on the top is worth the hike, which can be achieved by driving to the top as well. overall the hike is more of a workout than enjoyment as you are 100% exposed to sun and the cold wind.

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