• Features


  • Difficulty


The Waipoo Falls -Cliff Trail is a stunning hiking trail renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty and panoramic vistas. This trail is situated within the Waimea Canyon State Park, often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” and offers hikers an opportunity to explore the rugged terrain and lush landscapes that make Kauai a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. The Waipoo Falls is an 800-foot cascading waterfall that can be seen from various lookouts along the canyon road. You won’t be disappointed by this lovely hike that starts off amongst the forested bird-lands on the rim of Halemanu Canyon. This is a popular hike for families.

The beginning of this trail will take you from Highway 550 and along Halemanu Road for .75 miles to the trailhead of the canyon trail and Waipoo Falls Trail. Though you will not see the falls in all their splendor, this tranquil and beautiful hike will lead you along the canyon rim, giving you a unique vantage point of the canyon and Kokee Rain Forest. The trail ends at the top of the 800-foot waterfall along a fragrant Awapuhi ginger-lined stream, where you will find yourself perched high above the canyon floor with a spectacular view of the canyon below and magnificent photo opportunities.

During the summer months, there is less rain, and the stream could be low. When the water is flowing, this can be a refreshing swimming hole to cool off tired feet. Watch out for wild goats who make these cliffs their home.

This moderate hike has a lookout at the beginning of the trail, where you can see Waipoo Falls and get great photos. Some save this for after the hike, or you can see what you are in for by viewing it beforehand.

Key features of the Waipoo Falls Cliff Trail include:

  1. Scenic Beauty: The trail provides hikers with some of the most stunning views of Waimea Canyon, a vast and colorful gorge that stretches for miles, adorned with red and green hues that change with the shifting light. The trail itself offers panoramic overlooks that allow you to take in the grandeur of the canyon from different vantage points.
  2. Waterfalls: As the name suggests, the Waipoo Falls Cliff Trail leads to the top of spectacular Waipoo Falls. These waterfalls cascade down a lush, verdant valley, creating a mesmerizing sight and a perfect backdrop for photographs.
  3. Difficulty: The trail is considered moderately challenging, making it suitable for hikers of various skill levels. It’s approximately 3.4 miles round trip and can take a few hours to complete, depending on your pace and the time spent admiring the views.
  4. Diverse Flora and Fauna: Along the way, you’ll encounter a diverse range of Hawaiian flora and fauna. Keep an eye out for native plant species, colorful tropical flowers, and the chance to spot native birds like the ‘apapane and ‘i’iwi.
  5. Weather Considerations: The weather in this part of Kauai can vary, so it’s essential to be prepared. It’s recommended to wear sturdy hiking boots, carry plenty of water, and dress in layers, as the temperature can change rapidly. Sunscreen and a hat are also advisable, as the sun can be intense.
  6. Trailhead: The trailhead for the Waipoo Falls Cliff Trail is easily accessible from Waimea Canyon Drive. There’s a parking area near the trailhead, making it convenient for hikers to start their journey.
  7. Conservation Efforts: While hiking, it’s essential to practice Leave No Trace principles to help preserve this beautiful natural environment for future generations. Stay on designated paths, avoid disturbing wildlife, and carry out all your trash.

The Waipoo Falls Cliff Trail is a true gem of Kauai, offering an unforgettable hiking experience amid some of Hawaii’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just looking for a taste of adventure, this trail is a must-visit for anyone exploring the Garden Isle.

Explore Waimea Canyon By Helicopter


Hiking Tips

Heading into Kauai’s interior and remote terrain offers dome of the most beautiful backdrops on the world. By doing a little planning and being prepared you will make your hiking trip one of your best Kauai experiences.

  • Hiking Plan Always tell someone where you are hiking (name and location of trail) you plan to hike and when you plan on returning.
  • Water  Drink one-half to one full quart of water or sports drink each and every hour you are hiking in the heat. Carry your water bottle in your hand and drink small amounts often. Make sure if you are drinking water from any streams or fresh water sources you purify your water with a purifier is certified to filter microbial leptosporosis or giardia (not all do).
  • Food  Carry high-energy, salty snacks as well as meals. The hike out is much easier when you provide your body with enough calories to support the extreme physical activity you are engaged in.
  • Weather Check the weather before you set off on your hike. Kauai Weather Forecast
  • First Aid It is important to know that cuts in tropical climates should be monitored closely. Don not expose open wounds or cuts to river water.
  • Proper Footwear There are a variety of footwear options to choose from. The best advise is to wear what is comfortable for you. Do not break in new shoes along a hiking trail.
  • Clothing  Dress in layers so you can protect your skin from the tropical sun. Wearing a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen is recommended. A light rain jacket is recommended.