Kapena Falls

Honolulu / Waikiki (Oahu Island), Hawaii, USA

Rating: 1     Difficulty: 1.5
Kapena Falls


[Back to top]


Kapena Falls is a tiny waterfall tumbling around 20-30ft. What's funny about this waterfall was that finding it was either a matter of walking along a high speed highway or walking through a cemetery. Even funnier was that the first time we attempted to visit this waterfall, we ended up mistaking it for Alapena Falls, which was just downstream of where we needed to go.

Even though we saw a pair of teenagers jumping off a rope swing into the plunge pool beneath the falls, I cringed as I'm sure urban pollution probably infested the watercourse here with the leptospirosis bacteria. That illness is not so funny.

I had also read that this waterfall was featured in the TV series "Lost" as well as in the movie "The Rundown" featuring The Rock (Dwayne Johnson). So even though this waterfall seemed to be somewhat obscure, apparently, lots of people (including those affiliated with Hollywood) still know about it.

[Back to top]


Direct look at Kapena Falls with Pali Hwy bridge above itDirect look at Kapena Falls with Pali Hwy bridge above it
Not far from Kapena Falls was Waikiki Beach where we caught this dramatic sunsetNot far from Kapena Falls was Waikiki Beach where we caught this dramatic sunset
Looking back at the sign just after we hopped the guardrail to get onto the trail of useLooking back at the sign just after we hopped the guardrail to get onto the trail of use

Looking down at Kapena FallsLooking down at the falls

A tiny cascade on the way to the fallsA tiny cascade on the way to the falls (I believe this is Alapena Falls)

Another look at Alapena FallsAnother look at Alapena Falls

[Back to top]


[Back to top]


From Waikiki Beach, for me the preferred way to get to the falls was by finding a pullout along the Pali Highway, then walking along the highway before descending down towards the falls. But this was tricky because the only way we were able to accomplish this was to drive southbound on the Pali Highway. Northbound drivers have to exit at Wyllie St and either take Nu'uanu Ave to the Nu'uanu Cemetery (might be trespassing if you access the falls from there) or get back onto the Pali Hwy going southbound.

Once we were southbound on Hwy 61, we found a pullout about 500ft past the "Scenic Overlook 500ft" sign. At this pullout, there was a view overlooking a pagoda surrounded by tombstones as well as a bunch of broken glass (bad omen in terms of car break-ins). Once we got out of the car, we walked along the Pali Hwy (staying well clear of the oncoming traffic) then hopped over the railing just behind that Scenic Overlook sign. From there, a trail descended towards a view of the falls as well as its pool.

We were able to cross the stream just below the plunge pool for Kapena Falls, and then we could walk downstream towards the cemetery where where we checked out Alapena Falls.

[Back to top]


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

[Back to top]


Click here for the full World of Waterfalls map

[Back to top]


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

[Back to top]


[Back to top]


[Back to top]


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.

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

SA Teen Boys Manoa Cottage 1977-78 (Kapana Falls) 
I was in Salvation Army group Home in Manoa Valley during the years 1977-78. We use to come there often to jump off the falls. I never jumped; but I was …

Memories of Kapena Falls 
When I was a little girl, in my early teens, we used to walk through the cemetery to get to Kapena Falls and it was my favorite place to swim along with …

1973 Alpena falls 
In 1973 I was only 18 in the Navy than station on Wapahu panisula. Some friends of mine took me here. One was a Navy seal. There was a cliff about 30 feet …

Blast from the past... 
The fond memories of Kapena Falls & Jackass Gingers ... The memories will always be with me....

Old military brat (Kapena Falls) 
Once a great hangout for teens and similar airheads! Jumping feet first into murky, clouded water was very risky. Once parked my car on the Pali shoulder …

Becoming Kama'aina at Kapena Falls 
I was very fortunate to be stationed at Sub Base Pearl in 1953 with my cousin Joe Rodriguez. As we are native Floridians, we both enjoyed the island of …

1967-1970 Kapena Falls 
We used to swim here all the time while living in Hawaii during our teens. Parents were military and it was great fun at the falls . Not far from here, …

Kapena Falls...with a bonus Alapena Falls 
We found Alapena Falls first. Tons of mosquitos, not a deep enough pool to swim, lots of litter from beer bottles to other trash around the shore. …

Worst Place I've Found For Mosquitoes 
Bring bug spray! Worst place I've found for mosquitoes. Easy, short hike, and the waterfalls weren't bad, but nothing spectacular. We heard hunters …

Click here to write your own.

[Back to top]

[Go to the Oahu Waterfalls Page]

[Go to the Hawai'i Page]

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