Waterfall Walk at Akaka Falls State Park Updated: 08.01.2017
On a visit to the Hamakua Coast in Hawaii, Alan and I discovered the lovely Akaka Falls State Park located 11 miles north of Hilo. Although Akaka and Kahuna Falls are the star attractions, the park is filled with many small waterfalls and lush vegetation. It makes for a pleasant morning or afternoon of walking and photographing on the Big Island.
Cost of entry is $5 per car to park in the lot at Akaka Falls State Park or $1 for walk-ins (if you park on the side of the road outside of the park boundary). The 0.4-mile loop trail to the waterfalls is paved, although there are some stairs.
Plummeting 442 feet, it’s easy to see why Akaka Falls is one of Hawaii’s most famous waterfalls. A viewing area includes protective railings so that you don’t fall over the edge while capturing the waterfall’s slender but powerful plunge into a gorge created by years of erosion.
It pays to slow down and look closely during the easy hike to the waterfalls. It takes about 30 to 45 minutes, depending on how much time you spend taking photos, to complete the trail. You’ll be walking through a lush, upcountry rainforest filled with ferns, wild orchids, bamboo groves and banyon trees, so why hurry?
With only a 100-foot plunge into the rainforest, Kahuna Falls is less impressive. It’s also harder to photograph as there is no access from the edge of the cliff.
Alan and I read about Akaka Falls State Park in Hawaii The Big Island Revealed. We thoroughly enjoy spending time walking through the misty rainforest and photographing the water features, including Akaka and Kahuna Falls.
Akaka Falls State Park is a popular stop for tour buses. Go between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. to avoid the crowds.
And don’t forget that My Itchy Travel Feet contributor, Noel Morata of Travel Photo Discovery lives on the Big Island. Check out his beautiful photos of Akaka Falls State Park.
Looking for more travel fun in Hawaii? Start at our Boomer Adventures in Hawaii page.
Disclosure: Affiliate links are included for your convenience. However My Itchy Travel Feet does receive a small percentage of the purchase, at no extra cost to you. Thanks for keeping us in business.