Waterfalls are one of those magical Hawaiian elements, along with rainbows and poke, but let’s stay focused. There are so many waterfalls on the islands, you could spend your whole vacation chasing them and never run out! Even if you don’t spend all of your time seeking waterfalls, you must at least witness one. Some you have to hike to, while others are available from easy viewing platforms. Rainbow Falls in Wailuku River State Park [Waianuenue Avenue, Hilo] has a lookout point where you can marvel at the dramatic falls just a few steps from your car.
The scenery is gorgeous, the falls inspiring, and the emerald pool looks so inviting – but dangerous! No swimming allowed here because of a strong current.
Climb up a few steps and you will be granted a view from the top of the falls.
You’ll most likely see why they dubbed it ‘rainbow’ falls from this point. You can walk around and find a huge banyan tree, but overall this area is pretty small and packed! Worth the crowds though to see the magnificent falls. While you’re in the area, don’t miss a trip to the nearby Boiling Pots and Pe’epe’e Falls (stop laughing, you’re so immature…it’s pronounced peh-eh peh-eh!!! 😉 ). Once again there is a viewing platform just a few steps from your car. The Boiling Pots, large green pools of bubbly water fed by Pe’epe’e Falls are a great sight, but you can’t really see the waterfall very well from up there. So if you are feeling adventurous take a kapu (forbidden!) hike down to check out the scene for yourself. Just to the right of the viewing platform there is a well-trodden trail. It is pretty steep and dense with flora, but very short!
Take your time and make your way down. Once you get to the bottom you’ll feel like you’re in a whole other world. Enchanting bubbling pools spilling little waterfalls into the one waiting below, pure magic.
In the distance you can spot Pe’epe’e Falls.
It is not easy to get close to. You will have to hike through deep water, which can only be done when conditions are right.
We dubbed Hawaii as the ‘common sense state.’ People die doing foolish things, so many hikes and areas have become kapu on account of this. When weather is bad or you are not feeling confident, don’t go out doing crazy things! On a sunny day this hike is very manageable, but during rain flash flooding can occur causing a deadly situation. Use your best judgment when hiking to avoid perilous situations. Once you are finished exploring the base of the area, make your way back up the path you came from. These two spots make for an excellent little escapade just outside of Hilo. View the beauty, respect the nature, stay safe and enjoy!