About Waialae Falls
Waialae Falls (or Wai’alae Falls) is a another tall waterfall nestled deep in Waimea Canyon that we were able to see from the Waimea Canyon Road (Hwy 550).
Even though 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.
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).
Therefore, 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 (see directions below).
We didn’t go any further than a few paces from its neighboring roadside pullouts, but from this spot, we were able to see just a glimpse of the very top of the Waialae Falls.
As a result, I’m sure a telephoto lens would benefit tremendously in terms of getting a more satisfying photo of the Wai’alae Falls.
This was precisely what I was able to do on our second time coming to Kaua’i in November 2021 (which was nearly 15 years after our first visit in late December 2006).
Unfortunately during that visit, we were fighting the onset of darkness as we didn’t get around to checking this place out until just after sunset.
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.
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, and according to my GPS logs, it was about 8.8 miles north of the Hwy 550/Hwy 50 junction.
For geographical context, Waimea was about 18 miles (about 30 minutes drive) west of Koloa / Po’ipu, about 24 miles (over 30 minutes drive) west of Lihu’e, about 32 miles (under an hour drive) west of Kapa’a, and about 53 miles (under 90 minutes drive) southwest of Princeville.
Finally, consult the Manawaiopuna Falls page for driving directions to the helipads corresponding to the helicopter companies we toured with.
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