Hawaii February 18, 2016
Everyone In Hawaii Must Visit This Epic Waterfall As Soon As Possible
Located along the northeastern Hamakua Coast, Akaka Falls State Park is home to two gorgeous waterfalls fed by the Kolekole Stream: Akaka Falls and Kahuna Falls. At more than 400 feet in height, Akaka falls is perhaps the most famous waterfall on Hawaii Island – and for good reason.
To reach the falls, you will take a 0.4 uphill walk through a lush rainforest full of bamboo groves, wild orchids, and draping ferns.
As you follow the paved footpath, you will see the lovely 100-foot Kahuna Falls, and once you follow the loop around the bend, you will be confronted with the jaw-dropping Akaka Falls, which plummets 442-feet into the gorge below.
The magnificent waterfall can be viewed at several points throughout the forested loop trail to Akaka Falls.
Many waterfalls in Hawaii only appear when it rains, or simply sheet down the side of the mountain, but Akaka Falls is different – the falls is a thick column of water that always seems to have a strong flow.
Koloekole Stream empties out into the ocean just 2.5 miles past the falls.
Fun fact: the oopu alamoo is an endemic Hawaiian species of goby fish that is spawned in the stream above the waterfall, but matures in the sea. The fish have a suction disk on their bellies that allows them to cling to the wet rocks near the waterfall, and they climb back up the stream – and the 442-foot waterfall to the stream, when it’s time to spawn.
In the Hawaiian language, Akaka means “split, separation, or crack.”
The lush, tropical vegetation that surround you on the stroll to the falls is quite refreshing.
To reach the state park, head about ten miles north of Hilo on Highway 19, and turn uphill on Akaka Falls Road between mile markers 13 and 14. Drive more than three miles to the parking lot at the end of the road: but be warned, the small lot fills up quickly.
It will cost you $5 to park at the falls, or $1 for pedestrians walking through the gate.
While the waterfall is absolutely stunning at any time, the best time to visit the park is a weekday between 9 and 11 a.m. – you’ll beat the tour buses, and the sun is high enough to illuminate the entire waterfall.
So, who’s ready for a trip to the Big Island?