"Hanapueo Falls" and "Lower Umauma Falls"

Hamakua Coast (The Big Island), Hawaii, USA

Rating: 2     Difficulty: 1
Hanapueo Falls (left) and Lower Umauma Falls (right)

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

Both the "Hanapueo Falls" and the "Lower Umauma Falls" (informal names I'm giving them after their respective stream names according to our Topo map) are visible from a bridge along Highway 19.

These falls basically got our attention as we were zooming along the highway and rubbernecked towards the gulch as we crossed over the road bridge crossing high above the gorge. I can only imagine how many more motorists miss these falls just zooming along unaware of the scene here. To further add spice to the scene here, we were even able to see Mauna Kea behind these falls on a clear day!

As for trying to get a closer look, we looked around from the large pullout on the south side of the bridge. However, we weren't successful finding a way to get closer to either of the falls. That doesn't mean such paths don't exist. It's just that we couldn't figure them out (assuming they exist).




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PHOTO JOURNAL

Looking above the Lower Umauma Falls towards the summit of Mauna Kea on a clear dayLooking above the Lower Umauma Falls towards the summit of Mauna Kea on a clear day
Further north along the Hamakua Coast, the road would eventually fork and the right branch would lead to Waipi'o Valley, which the mouth of the valley is shown hereFurther north along the Hamakua Coast, the road would eventually fork and the right branch would lead to Waipi'o Valley, which the mouth of the valley is shown here
Further to the south along the southeastern shores of Big Island is Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which features not only flowing lava and craters, but also the Holei Sea ArchFurther to the south along the southeastern shores of Big Island is Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which features not only flowing lava and craters, but also the Holei Sea Arch
Focused on just the Lower Umauma FallsFocused on just the Lower Umauma Falls

Closer look at Hanapueo Falls in long exposureCloser look at Hanapueo Falls in long exposure


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS




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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

To see the pair of waterfalls from the Hwy 19 bridge over Umauma Stream (while appear to lie outside the garden boundaries), look for the first Hwy 19 bridge north of the 16-mile post. This bridge is over 15 miles (under 30 minutes drive) north of the Hilo Airport in Hilo.

As you're heading north, use the pullout on the left (mauka) side of Hwy 19 just before the bridge. Once you leave the car, you'll have to walk along the bridge (fortunately the walkway is wide enough that you don't have to worry too much about becoming roadkill) until you're satisfied with the view.

To give you some geographical context, Hilo was 79 miles (under 2 hours drive) east of Kailua-Kona via the Saddle Road. Otherwise, taking the more conventional route along Hwy 19 through Waikoloa, Waikoloa Village, and Waimea, this drive would be 96 miles long taking over 2 hours.




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ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.




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MAP OF THE FALLS



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TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES



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NEARBY WATERFALLS




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What Other Visitors Have Said

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Lower Umauma Falls 
The best close-up of these Falls I could get.

Lower Hanapueo Falls should be your title 
Your site references Hanapueo Falls , although there is one falls that is only seen from the World Botanical Gardens in a serene river trail that leads …

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