If you’re looking to just hike, hike, hike… Kauai is definitely the Hawaiian island for you. It is a treasure trove of hikes to waterfalls, hikes to beaches, hikes for the views, hikes for just about anything.
One of my favorite hikes on this island is Ho’opi’i Falls. The trail is a moderate 2 mile trail, it did not take long at all, we actually hiked this right after hiking Sleeping Giant!
The week we went to Kauai, it rained the entire time. With all the rain, this trail became another slip-and-slide course!
The trail meanders through the lush, tropical forest of Kauai, along a stream. The trail is easy and visible until you get to the falls, then you have the option of climbing down a rock-face to jump into the falls waters. Or the less strenuous route of going above the falls and watching it from above.
I, of course, made the more difficult decision and climbed down the rock-face. It honestly, probably, was not as hard as I remember but due to the ever lasting rain that week, the rocks were coated in a nice thick layer of slippery mud.
Once you’re down into the falls area, the rocks become your playground. The water glides over the rocks and drops into a swimming area. The waters are surprisingly calm and a refreshing break from hiking.
I threw off my clothes and jumped right into the water while I waited for the rest of my family to make it down. Pro tip: wear good hiking water shoes to make tide pools and waterfalls easily accessible without worrying about cutting your foot on a sharp rock below.
We scurried around with the other tourists taking pictures in the falls. I shamelessly captioned my Instagram “we went chasing waterfalls,” for all of my 90s and 2000s babies.
We had enough fun chasing waterfalls for the day and climbed back up to the trail.
One good samaritan actually attached a knotted rope to use to get down and up the rock-face. We actually thought the rope was just there for everyone and unbeknownst to us, had been taken back down when we were ready to climb back up. Luckily my aerial capabilities kicked in and I was using my upper body strength and flexibility to find foot holes to climb back up. The rock is doable and more of a mental obstacle so I’ll give you a boost and let you know that my clumsy, 53 year old mother was able to get back up… with some help from her *amazing* children.
Along the way we spotted a family using the upper level of the stream and waterfall as a slide. My parents are a bit more reserved and are NOT fond of my jumping into the unknown so they did not allow me to slide down with those guys but if you find the spot, let me know! One day I’ll go back just to do the slide! Keep an eye out for the locals so you don’t go sliding down the wrong chute!
This hike is a great hike for anyone. There were all levels of hikers enjoying the falls and I definitely enjoyed it, myself.
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