Secret Falls (Uluwehi Falls)

Wailua River State Park (Kauai Island), Hawaii, USA

Rating: 2     Difficulty: 3
Secret Falls or Uluwehi Falls
Secret Falls (Uluwehi Falls) is a very popular waterfall requiring some form of water transport to get to the trailhead. We visited this waterfall during our December 2006 visit as a canoe along part of the Wailua River coming from the Kamokila Hawaiian Village.

Since the falls was said to be 100ft, we figured that it was enough of a motivating factor for us to go through the trouble of doing the popular river kayak or canoe up the Wailua River to the trailhead. I recalled that the canoe that Julie and I did together was rowed by a non-Polynesian employee with a thick pidgin accent. This part of the excursion probably took about 15 very relaxing minutes from the Kamokila Hawaiian Village, which I think was the closest to the trailhead for the falls along the Wailua River.

After we landed our canoe, we were then left on our own to do an unescorted hike to the falls (we agreed on a meeting time back at this spot, which was in about two hours, I believe). In hindsight, I wondered if we should've done a self-guided kayak so we wouldn't have to be constrained by a time limit. I guess we'd have to explore that option next time.

Anyhow, we first had to traverse a rope-assisted stream crossing across a fairly deep stream. When we were there, it was about thigh-deep. However, after the visit, when I asked the authorities at the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) about this waterfall, they told me that they often cut the ropes since they feared it provided a false sense of security, especially when the water level was high. So who knows if that rope will be there or not?

After the rope crossing, that was when we began the hike, which took us roughly 45 minutes each way at a relaxed pace.

The trail pretty much follows the river with a few slippery muddy spots as well as two more stream crossings. For traction and protection on those water crossings, we wore Keens (though I'm sure a pair of sports sandals or water shoes should work). We certainly didn't want to ruin our hiking boots or other closed-toe shoes not made for river walking or jungle hiking. The trail ended right at the plunge pool below the base of Secret Falls.

Given the fact that we saw a bunch of people here from the multitude of tour groups all converging on this spot, I guess it shouldn't have come as a surprise that it was quite crowded here.




[Back to top]

PHOTO JOURNAL

Speaking of 'secret', Kalalau Valley was a relatively secluded spot of Kaua'i that can only be seen from the Waimea Canyon side, a long Kalalau Trail backpack, or kayak under calm conditionsSpeaking of 'secret', Kalalau Valley was a relatively secluded spot of Kaua'i that can only be seen from the Waimea Canyon side, a long Kalalau Trail backpack, or kayak under calm conditions
Waimea Canyon was the Hawaiian version of the Grand Canyon, and it's definitely an impressive sight to beholdWaimea Canyon was the Hawaiian version of the Grand Canyon, and it's definitely an impressive sight to behold
Secret Falls was on the Wailua River, whose mouth was close to the towns of Kapa'a and Wailua, where we stayed a couple of nights and even got this view of a full rainbowSecret Falls was on the Wailua River, whose mouth was close to the towns of Kapa'a and Wailua, where we stayed a couple of nights and even got this view of a full rainbow
Canoe at Kamokila Hawaiian VillageCanoe at Kamokila Hawaiian Village

Rope-assisted stream crossingJulie traversing the rope-assisted stream crossing

Walking along the Wailua RiverWalking along the river

A small cascade by a stream crossingA small cascade by a stream crossing

Last stream crossing before Secret FallsLast stream crossing before Secret Falls

Finally at Secret FallsFinally at Secret Falls

Secret Falls from a different angleView of the falls from a different angle


[Back to top]

VIDEOS OF THE FALLS




[Back to top]

DIRECTIONS

From what I've read, most of the kayak/canoe rental vendors and tour companies (e.g. Kamokila Hawaiian Village, Wailua Kayak & Canoe, Wailua Kayak Adventures, etc.) are located in the vicinity of Kapa'a, Hanalei, and Po'ipu. I believe most of the put-in points are at the mouth of the Wailua River (near the Hwy 56 and Hwy 580 junction) or further upriver at or near Kamokila Hawaiian Village (across Hwy 580 from Opaeka'a Falls Overlook).

As mentioned earlier, we took off from the Kamokila Hawaiian Village, which was shortly west of the overlook for Opaeka'a Falls.



[Back to top]

ITINERARIES

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




[Back to top]

MAP OF THE FALLS



Click here for the full World of Waterfalls map





[Back to top]

TRIP REPORTS

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




[Back to top]

TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES





[Back to top]

NEARBY WATERFALLS



Have You Been To This Waterfall?

Share your experience!

Click here to see visitor comments for this waterfall

Click here to see visitor comments for other waterfalls that we've visited in this region

Click here to go to the Comments Main Page

You can use the form below, but if you find our host's interface too troublesome to use (especially if you're trying to upload photos), then just send a text submission anyways using the form, but also let us know that you'd like to attach photos. If you've provided an email address via the form, then we can reply back acknowledging your request, and you can then reply to that email with your photo attachments. We're very sorry about this, but there's not much we can do about SBI's terrible interface.



[Back to top]

[Go to the Kauai Waterfalls Page]

[Go to the Hawai'i Page]

[Return from Secret Falls to the World of Waterfalls Home Page]