Waipo’o Falls
Waipo’o Falls
4.5
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Duration: More than 3 hours
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles128 reviews
Excellent
80
Very good
34
Average
14
Poor
0
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traveltheworld461
Fort McMurray, Canada3,090 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
Wear good footwear and bring lots of water and snacks. The GPS told us to keep following a road that was a little questionable to take a small car down. We parked with the other cars and walked the extra <1 mile. We did see some jeeps and trucks further down, so it is definitely a road.

The walk was absolutely beautiful and we passed through different scenery - shady forest, open sunny rocky areas, and mixed grass forest.

Stick right for the canyon views when you see a sign for Black Pipe Trail and Canyon Trail. We took a little side route to Black Pipe Trail but it was pretty thick. We met some other hikers and they suggested going back to Canyon Trail for better views. During our little detour through Black Pipe Trail, we did see some skinks in the brush so that was pretty cool.

All the online reviews I read said this hike is rated easy to moderate. It was definitely not easy and there was some fitness involved. I would personally rank it moderate to difficult.

We saw some tropicbirds flying in the canyon and the views were incredible. It's mostly uphill the whole way back so leave lots of extra time.
Written 6 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RickSch-US
Wichita, KS22 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
Be forewarned. Wear hiking shoes and bring plenty of water. We had no idea what we were getting into - thought it was a quick hike so were wearing Tevas and brought no water. Two miles in and two miles out of moderate hiking is what we read. That is two miles of extremely steep slopes, twisted, exposed tree roots all along the path and slippery silt-like soil. It took us about three hours to complete. The waterfalls (two of them) at the end of the leg in were small and underwhelming. NOT for senior citizens. Four of our party turned back about five minutes into the hike when the grandmother fell. That was at the start of the trail and it only got worse. About an hour into the trail we came across another 60-ish lady who had fallen and broken her ankle and had been waiting hours for rescue services to arrive. We're up there in age and survived but almost broke the spirits of the teenagers who were with us. Neat experience to do one time if you are completely prepared. We were not.
Written 20 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

judyvhKY
Crestview Hills, KY68 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
Something you need to do in Kauai. The drive up through the waimea canyon is absolutely beautiful. There are a lot of scenic stops along the way for pictures. We went up to the lodge to grab a sandwich and drink. There is a museum and a very helpful lady who showed us what trail to take. We went back down the hill just a little . Stop when you see the Koke’e state park sign. There is plenty of parking. You’ll see the trail sign just a bit down from the state park sign. If you have a 4- wheel drive you can drive about half way down. If not just walk it. We walked it all the way. It took an hour to get to falls and an hour to get back. So beautiful and worth the time and energy! It is a little more rough coming back - more up hill! Take water.
Written 24 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mike H
Phoenix, AZ2,017 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
The trail is on a road most of the way but we decide to walk it as the road started to look questionable and I didn't know if we would be able to turn around as we got further down it. The walk was good but a little slippery so make sure you have some good shoes with tread. Definitely take water and snacks.
The view at the end is worth the effort.
Written 13 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

suraimcfly
Los Altos, CA139 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019
The trail is steep and slippery. It was rated best for families but none of the toddlers had any dirt on them like the adults so I'm guessing families with little ones didn't go far. Rain can pour down anytime, making the trip muddy and slippery, fun for the adventurous at heart. Water fall is not best seen from this trail, but from outlook off highway. This is a 2 hour round trip hike for those wanting a short but strenuous up and down hike , it's not a stroll at all. You are constantly using your good knees and need footing/balance. A walking stick is highly recommended.

TIPS:

1) Plan 2-3 hours so you can out before dark. DO NOT EVEN THINK YOU CAN DO THIS IN THE DARK.
2) Plan for rain. Bring water, traction shoes.
3) I would not bring BABIES/TODDLERS/KIDS (voted best hike for families by some crazy tour company). Good knees, ankles , balance are a must. Walking stick is helpful.
4) PARK at the paved overlook parking lot right before mile marker 14. DO NOT park on the dirt shoulder where you iphone tells you to because the signage coming back will not take you to your car. Instead, it takes you to the overlook.

5) The most commonly heard question on the trail, "Do you know which way to the waterfall?" I would get a map before heading on this trail but if you can't then here's the best I can to help. Follow signs to Waipoo falls on the trail . Now, you'd think there'd be a sign all the way to the falls but Nooooooo..... not so. Once you get about an hour in or you find yourself at the fork with a sign that says "Black Pipe Trail", you will NOT go on that trail. Instead you will take the RIGHT side of the fork, the path with no sign. The falls is about 50 yards down that steep right side of the fork.
Written 23 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

gersty
NYC76 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2017 • Family
To reach the Waipo'o Falls hike you must travel up Rt 550 a narrow and winding road the climbs several thousand feet in elevation over about 11 miles and is the gateway to several amazing overlooks and hikes. The trip up takes time given the road itself and takes longer if the road is full of tourists. I went up twice during my stay (also did the Pihea Trail where the 550 ends). The second time I went I left Poipu Beach very early (was on my way up Rt. 550 by 7 AM) and had the road to myself.

As far as the Waipo'o Falls hike goes, you need to understand that the phrase "it is the journey, not the destination" applies here. As many have said before me, you end up at the TOP of the waterfall and not the bottom. I did plenty of research and planning before I ever landed on Kauai and therefore knew going in what to expect so was not disappointed when I arrived at the top of the falls. The view of the canyon from this vantage point was amazing and inspiring to so that even though I was not standing at the bottom of a tremendous waterfall the pay off was just as good. We explored all around the top of the falls and then found that the trail continues on past the falls (a little tricky to find). We hiked about another 1.5 miles out but while this part of the trail hugs the cliffside, it is all basically wooded with no real views. We had fun doing this section but if you are looking for more incredible views this did not provide them. Perhaps if we had gone further we might have eventually broken back out to the open cliffside. I did not see this part of the trail on the maps I reviewed when planning our hike and have not gone back to confirm where and how far this extension of the trail goes.

The hike to the falls is pretty strenuous and is mostly downhill on the way out which, of course, means that it is all uphill on the way back. Be mentally prepared for the hike out as the hike back is challenging and for those not in pretty good shape will be a battle. On the way in, once you break out from the wooded section of the trail you are rewarded with an amazing view of the canyon. The trail follows a cliff which slopes down toward the edge of a very high drop so for those that do not like heights this can be intimidating. There is a memorial at this point for a local who fell to his death here a number of years ago. My wife, who is terrified of heights, kept to the side of the trail as far from the edge as possible the entire time and made it through. I will not say she wasn't petrified at points (because she was) but she did make it through and if she can you should be able to as well. To me this section of the hike and the view from the top of the falls were the "payoff" and well worth the trip. There are not many ways to gain access to the canyons on this side of the Kuaia and this is about as close as one can get. I found it to be a spiritual place and was in awe. One of the most amazing places in the world. If you are up to the effort, do not miss it.
Written 24 September 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Megan S
Austin14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2017 • Couples
Compared to the other trails in Waimea Canyon and Kokee State Parks, we rated this one as mild-mod difficulty (the moderate only because the mud was extra slick in some areas). The actual trail is the Canyon Trail and it ends at Waipo'o Falls. Round trip to the falls and back to the trail head was 3 hours (about 4 miles) with plenty of picture stops along the way. Less traffic if you start earlier in the day, we were the first ones on the trail by 8:30 am but passed 30 people on our way back out! We did utilize our trekking poles which significantly decreased our amount of sliding/struggling in the mud and mist. The first view-point was a dud, all mist, but the view at the end of the trail was excellent. The falls are exciting to see up close, although you never get a good feel for the height of the main Waipo'o Falls as you are at the top with no good viewpoint on this hike. We were told the pool at the bottom of the short falls is a nice swim spot, but it was a little too chilly/misty for us to try out. Overall, highly recommend as an excellent short hike and/or good choice for a group with less experienced/intense hiking members.
Written 6 March 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stephanie O
Forest Hill, MD45 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019
My husband and I hiked to the top of Waipo'o Falls from the Pu'u Hinahina overlook. Although it did not rain during our hike, the trail was VERY muddy. I am so glad we had good hiking shoes. This is not a casual hike to do in flip flops. The trail is steep and slippery in several places. The only children we saw on our hike were playing in mud puddles and not attempting the hike.

Although the round trip is under 4 miles, because of the muddy conditions and steep portions, it took us about 3 hours. However, the view at the Falls and along the rim is stunning. There were a few other hikers but there were parts of the hike where I felt like it was just us and the canyon.

Take plenty of water and some salty snacks. It is surprisingly humid there and I was sweating a lot. We had ample water but I was sweating all my salt out so I was getting a headache. Nothing some granola couldn't take care of.
Written 26 August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TravelingCirque
27 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019 • Couples
We parked at the beginning of Halemanu road (only 4x4 vehicles can go down this road) and hiked to the Canyon Trail head, and then to the falls. You can also get there from Pu'u Hinahina lookout. Quite a few steep inclines and declines, we saw some younger children having difficulty during parts. You hike right into the jaw-dropping canyon and can see helicopter tours buzzing around. My wife and I only went to the lower falls. Its a fun way to get exercise and see some gorgeous views/landscapes.
Written 10 June 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vermonters210
Bennington, VT212 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2018 • Couples
Because of all the rain during the evenings while we were on Kauai, the Waipo'o Falls in Waimea Canyon was pounding! From every look-out, we could see the long dual streams of the waterfall thundering down hundreds of feet. It was spectacular! The roadside stops and the lookouts where you could comfortably park your car and hike a few stairs to fantastic panoramas are all worth a stop.
Written 23 November 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Waipo’o Falls - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

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