The bottom 80ft drop of this 1100ft waterfall was once accessible along a trail leading to a swimming pool at the base of the falls where the last 80ft of the falls could be seen. Unfortunately, a landslide at the terminus of the trail that killed several people and injured many others on Mother’s Day in 1999 pretty much resulted in law suits that forced the state to close access to this trail indefinitely (probably a permanent closure as it has been over 10 years now). We’ve never been down there and it’s not looking like we ever will.
So the only way we could see the falls was by taking to the air on a helicopter tour. However, I wasn’t very impressed with the overall chopper experience on O’ahu, especially since the tour I was on hardly spent time in the Ko’olau Mountain Range where I thought most of the scenic action would be. So if my experience would be indicative of a typical chopper experience on this island, then I would think the risk reward for spending a fairly significant sum of money for a chopper tour would be questionable.
Now that I think about it, I recalled that the company I went with did have a Sacred Falls only tour, and in hindsight, I probably would’ve been better off just doing that (though I don’t think it would’ve saved that much money). Anyways, unless you absolutely have to see Sacred Falls from the air (a decision that’s made harder by the fact that it made our Top 10 Hawaiian Waterfalls List), it’s a tough call to determine whether it’s worth a couple hundred dollars to see this jewel of O’ahu as it’s a pretty steep price to pay.
Since I went with Paradise Helicopters to see this waterfall, I’ll give you the directions to their helipad location based on my visit.
Basically, from Waikiki, I took one of the many approaches (such as the Nu’uanu Pali Highway 61) to cross the Ko’olau Mountains to get to the eastern shore of O’ahu. Once I junctioned with Hwy 83 near Kaneohe, I then just drove along the North Shore on Hwy 83 until I reached Kuilima Drive. Then, I headed towards the Turtle Bay Resort on Kuilima Drive at Turtle Bay (this turnoff was flanked by a golf course, I recalled). Turning right onto Kuilima Drive, I then followed this road until I reached a big car park. The helipad was hidden away on the east side of this car park.