Na Pali State Park is a natural paradise located on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. The park is known for its rugged coastline, towering cliffs, and lush valleys, but it also boasts some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world.
If you’re a waterfall enthusiast or just looking for an unforgettable adventure, Na Pali State Park is the place to be.
In this article, we will explore some of the park’s most beautiful waterfalls and provide tips on how to reach them and what to expect.
Hanakapiai Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls in Na Pali State Park. It is located in the Hanakapiai Valley, which is accessible via the Kalalau Trail. The hike to the falls is approximately 8 miles roundtrip and is considered to be moderate to difficult. Along the way, hikers will encounter breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, steep cliffs, and lush vegetation.
Once you reach the falls, you will be greeted by a 300-foot cascade of water. The pool at the base of the falls is a popular spot for swimming, but be warned that the water can be very cold. Visitors should also be aware that the area around the falls can be slippery and dangerous, so use caution when exploring.
To reach Hanakapiai Falls, you will need a permit to hike the Kalalau Trail, which can be obtained through the Hawaii State Parks website. It is also recommended that you start your hike early in the morning to avoid crowds and ensure that you have enough time to complete the hike before sunset.
Another popular waterfall in Na Pali State Park is Secret Falls, also known as Uluwehi Falls. This waterfall is located in the Wailua River State Park and can be reached via a short hike or a kayak trip up the Wailua River.
To reach the falls via hiking, visitors must park in the lot at the end of Wailua Homesteads Road and hike approximately 2 miles along the Kuilau Ridge Trail. The trail is relatively easy and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
Once you reach the falls, you will be greeted by a 100-foot waterfall cascading into a large pool. The pool is a popular spot for swimming and kayaking, and visitors can also explore the area around the falls. Be aware that the rocks around the falls can be slippery, so use caution when exploring.
To reach the falls via kayaking, visitors can rent a kayak or take a guided tour from one of the many outfitters in the area. The kayak trip up the Wailua River takes approximately 45 minutes and offers stunning views of the surrounding jungle and mountains. Once you reach the falls, you can dock your kayak and explore the area on foot.
Manawaiopuna Falls is another iconic waterfall in Na Pali State Park. It is also known as “Jurassic Falls” because it was featured in the movie “Jurassic Park.” The falls can only be viewed from a helicopter or a boat tour, as it is located on private property and is not accessible to the public.
Boat tours of Manawaiopuna Falls are available from several companies in the area, and typically last 2-3 hours. Visitors will enjoy stunning views of the waterfall and the surrounding jungle, and may even spot some wildlife along the way.
Helicopter tours of Manawaiopuna Falls are also available and offer a bird’s eye view of the waterfall and the surrounding area. The tours typically last 1-2 hours and offer a unique and unforgettable experience.
Waipoo Falls is located in Waimea Canyon, also known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” The falls can be reached via a short hike on the Canyon Trail, which offers stunning views of the canyon and surrounding mountains.
The hike to Waipoo Falls is approximately 3 miles roundtrip and is considered to be moderate in difficulty. Along the way, hikers will encounter beautiful views of the canyon, lush vegetation, and small streams.
Once you reach the falls, you will be greeted by an 800-foot cascade of water. The pool at the base of the falls is a popular spot for swimming and cooling off after a hike. Visitors should be aware that the rocks around the falls can be slippery, so use caution when exploring.
Kipu Falls is located in the Kipu Ranch area and is accessible via a short hike or a guided tour. The falls are a popular spot for swimming and cliff jumping, but visitors should be aware that the area can be dangerous and should exercise caution.
To reach the falls via hiking, visitors can park in the Kipu Ranch parking lot and hike approximately 1 mile to the falls. The trail is relatively easy and offers beautiful views of the surrounding jungle and mountains.
Guided tours of Kipu Falls are also available from several companies in the area. The tours typically include a hike to the falls, as well as other activities such as ziplining and ATV rides.
Once you reach the falls, you will be greeted by a 20-foot waterfall cascading into a large pool. The pool is a popular spot for swimming and cliff jumping, but visitors should exercise caution as the rocks around the falls can be slippery.
Tips for Exploring the Waterfalls of Na Pali State Park
Wear appropriate footwear: Many of the hikes to the waterfalls in Na Pali State Park can be slippery and challenging, so it is important to wear appropriate footwear with good traction.
Bring plenty of water: It can get hot and humid in the jungle, so it is important to bring plenty of water to stay hydrated during your hike.
Use caution when swimming: While the pools at the base of the waterfalls may be tempting for swimming, visitors should use caution as the water can be cold and the rocks can be slippery.
Respect the environment: Na Pali State Park is a beautiful and fragile ecosystem, so it is important to respect the environment and leave no trace behind.
Follow the rules: To ensure the safety of visitors and the protection of the park, it is important to follow all rules and regulations set by the Hawaii State Parks Department.
Exploring the waterfalls of Na Pali State Park is an unforgettable experience that offers stunning views of Hawaii’s natural beauty. From the iconic Manawaiopuna Falls to the popular Hanakapiai Falls, there is a waterfall for everyone to discover.
Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just looking for a relaxing day trip, Na Pali State Park has something for everyone. Remember to wear appropriate footwear, bring plenty of water, and use caution when swimming or exploring. By respecting the environment and following the rules, we can ensure that Na Pali State Park remains a natural paradise for generations to come.