Waialae Falls

Waimea Canyon State Park, Hawaii, USA

About Waialae Falls

Hiking Distance: roadside or tour
Suggested Time: 60-90 minutes (tour)

Date first visited: 2006-12-23
Date last visited: 2006-12-28

Waterfall Latitude: 22.07428
Waterfall Longitude: -159.60613

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Waialae Falls (or Wai’alae Falls) is a another tall waterfall nestled deep in Waimea Canyon.

While we were able to see this waterfall from the ground (just barely), our best photos of the falls came from a helicopter tour where we flew pretty close to the falls as well as other falls upstream of it.

Air_Kauai_heli_071_12262006 - Aerial view of Wai'alae Falls
Aerial view of Wai’alae Falls

I think there’s a way to do a long backpacking trek to get closer to the falls, but we had neither the time nor the will to partake in that so we can’t say anything more about that option.

Now even though we were able to see this waterfall from a chopper, it really depends on the helicopter pilot and the route he chooses that will determine how much of the falls you’d get to see (if at all).

The photos provided on this page show you what’s possible.

And it was only through the helicopter tour that we were able to tell that it plunged in several distinct leaps.

The view we got from terra firma (just barely) was from the Iliau Nature Loop Trailhead.

We didn’t go any further than a few paces from the nearby car park, but from this spot, we were able to see just a glimpse of the very top of the Waialae Falls.

Waimea_086_12272006 - Very distant view of Wai'alae Falls from the Iliau Nature Loop Trail. I think this is as good as it gets if you're not on a helicopter flight that takes you closer to it
Very distant view of Wai’alae Falls from the Iliau Nature Loop Trail. I think this is as good as it gets if you’re not on a helicopter flight that takes you closer to it

I’m sure with a telephoto lens, the photo of the falls wouldn’t look as rinky dink as what’s shown above.


Waialae Falls resides in Waimea Canyon State Park. For information or inquiries about the general area as well as current conditions, you may want to try visiting the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) website.

Air_Kauai_heli_076_12262006 - A closer look at Wai'alae Falls by helicopter
Air_Kauai_heli_045_jx_12262006 - The pretty falls further upstream from the main falls
Kauai_Inter_Island_heli_011_12222006 - Wai'alae Falls shown in context

The Iliau Nature Loop is between the 8-mile and 9-mile posts along Hwy 550 (Waimea Canyon Road). This road leaves the Hwy 50 at Waimea about 25 miles (45 minutes drive) west of Lihu’e. Otherwise, consult the Manawaiopuna Falls page for driving directions to the helipads corresponding to the helicopter companies we toured with.

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Tagged with: waimea, waimea canyon, kauai, hawaii, usa, waterfall, waipo'o, waipoo, puu ka pele, na pali, alakai, kalalau, helicopter, iliau

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