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Exploring Akaka Falls State Park

Akaka Falls State Park on the Big Island, Hawaii

For a true glimpse of the majesty of nature on Hawaii, don’t miss a visit to Akaka Falls State Park. You’ll find it at the end of Akaka Falls Road, also known as Highway 220, approximately three and a half miles southwest of Honomu. Nestled north of Hilo on the Big Island, this beautiful, lush park is home to the incredible Akaka Falls, at 442 feet, as well as Kahuna Falls, at 100 feet.

The price of admission is just $1 if you want to walk through, and $5 if you want to take your car. This makes for a pretty affordable way to spend the day, especially if you’re looking for fun ways to involve the family. Spanning the northeastern Hamakua Coast, the two waterfalls that are showcased here can be accessed via a short hike. It’s just a 0.4-mile uphill hike that’s not too hard on the joints, and it doesn’t take very long either. You’ll meander through lush rainforest peppered with orchids, bamboo groves and ferns.

There’s a convenient paved footpath that will first take you to the100-foot Kahuna Falls. The loop will take you around a bend where you will come upon the immense Akaka Falls with a spacious gorge at the bottom. Akaka Falls has the distinction of being the most beautiful and popular of all waterfalls on the Big Island. The hike, from start to finish, takes barely an hour. It’s a self-guided walk punctuated by dense and colorful vegetation offering beautiful lookout points for both waterfalls.

You can access the trailhead right from the parking lot. It’s a paved route but there are a bunch of steps throughout, making it inaccessible for those in a wheelchair. Don’t bring a mountain bike, because it’s not allowed. Stay on the marked trail for safety and always bring out what you bring in. That means you should carry out your trash because there are not many receptacles along the way. No camping or open fires are allowed along the trail. Even though it’s a short hike, be sure to slather on the sunscreen and bring plenty of water and snacks. The photo ops here are crazy good, so be sure to bring your camera.

Be prepared for large crowds at peak times, as this is a popular stop for tour buses. Go early or go later, and you’ll have more chance of a peaceful hike. Located just a half hour from downtown Hilo and two hours from Kona, you’ll love the drive to get there along Highway 220. This road spans three and a half miles, taking you past sugar plantations before hitting the trailhead. It’s open daily so go any time on your trip. For a nice side trip, try Rainbow Falls which is another waterfall located close by.

Here at Hoku Hawaii Tours, we’d love to show you the waterfalls we have on Oahu. Call us for a fun, educational, affordable tour today!