Hawaii March 11, 2019
This Waterfall Staircase Hike May Be The Most Unique In All Of Hawaii
When one thinks about Hawaii, there are a few things that undoubtedly come to mind: gorgeous white sand beaches, crystalline turquoise waters, lush jungles, and some of the world’s most magnificent waterfalls. From short waterfalls that cascade into small pools you can swim in to towering cascades you can only witness via helicopter tour, the waterfalls you’ll find in Hawaii are truly remarkable. This particular waterfall, however, might just be one of the Aloha State’s most unique. It’s accessible via a short staircase trail, and you’ll want to bring your camera.
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. Cascading approximately 442 feet into a lush, tropical jungle, Akaka Falls is not only a place of pure paradise but one of Hawaii’s greatest waterfalls.
To reach the falls, you will take a 0.4-mile uphill walk through a lush rainforest full of bamboo groves, wild orchids, and draping ferns.
You can take two routes to reach Akaka Falls, both of which require traversing quite a few stairs: there's the easy side, which features only 61 steps, and the longer, circle route, which features more than 100 steps.
The lush, tropical vegetation that surround you on the stroll to the falls is quite rejuvinating, and is
almost worth a trip of its own.
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.
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.
The magnificent Akaka Falls can be viewed at several points throughout the forested loop trail, each vantage point offering a new, unique view.
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. Don't forget to bring your camera!
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.
At more than 400 feet in height, Akaka falls is perhaps the most famous waterfall in Hawaii — and for good reason. No Hawaii Island vacation (or drive along the Hamakua Coast) is complete without a visit to Akaka Falls, and you absolutely must visit at least once in your lifetime.
Akaka Falls State Park is located at Akaka Falls Rd, Honomu, HI 96728, and is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information,
Love waterfall hikes as much as we do? Check out
this epic bucket list of Hawaii’s best waterfall trails.