Opaekaa Falls
Opaekaa Falls

Opaekaa Falls

Wailua Homesteads, Kauai, Hawaii, 96746

The basics

Opaekaa Falls is technically two separate streams—the cascade is some 40 feet wide—but after heavy rains, you can expect one grandmother falls, exploding down into a turbulent pool below. Coming from Highway 56, the viewpoint sits about two miles up Route 580—look for signs alerting you to the roadside lookout on the right. Parking, picnic tables, and restrooms make this spot a great place to stretch your legs, have a snack, and bask in Kauai’s grand and always-lush nature.

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Things to know before you go

  • Try to visit early, when the morning sun makes the misty water seem to glow.

  • Across the road from the lookout, you’ll find another superb view—one of the Wailua River valley.

  • Wailua Falls, Wailua River State Park, and the town of Wailua are all within a few minutes' drive.

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How to get there

You’ll want a car to access Opaekaa Falls. If you’re coming from Lihue—aka the airport—get on Highway 56 (Kuhio Highway), turning left at Highway 580 (Kuamoo Road). From there, it’s about two miles to the designated parking area and the view of the falls. If you see the Mile 2 marker, you’ve gone too far.

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Residéer

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When to get there

There’s no bad time to visit Okaekaa Falls, though there are better times. Aim for a sunny day before noon to try to catch the falls glimmering in the morning light—though cloudy days are still nice, that sunglow is ideal. If you’re a night owl, seeing the falls in the light of a full moon is beautiful, too.

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Beyond the viewpoint

There used to be a trail you could hike down to get to the falls’ pool, but after several fatalities, it’s ceased being used (and is closed per state regulations). If you’re looking for a nearby adventure, try the Sleeping Giant hike on the Nounou Mountain Trail. It’s 3.4 miles (5.5 kilometers) out and back and easily accessible from Wailua—some call it the “frontside trail.”

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