Opaekaa Falls conceals a terrific hidden hike. Do not try to climb down to the base of the falls from the top of the falls, an extremely dangerous, messy, slippery, and treacherous experience. Opaekaa Falls is used as a backdrop for various films and TV shots, including a scene from the film Wackiest Ship in the Army starring Jack Lemmon.
The “trailhead” for this trek is the Wailua River and you’ll need a kayak. Enter the river anywhere near the Wailua Marina (where the Wailua River meets the ocean at Kuhio Highway). Kayak up the Wailua River about 0.5 miles till you see a tributary, the Opaekaa Stream, off to the right under a bridge. Follow Opaekaa Stream till it ends and secure your kayak — the rest of the trek is on foot.
Follow the stream bed up the through the pasture lands until you reach the base of the falls. Your reward is a beautiful, private view of Opaekaa Falls and the lush surrounding jungle. To return, just backtrack down the stream bed to your kayak and follow the river back to the marina.
If you would like to see Opaekaa Falls from the top down, drive up Kuamoo Road from Kuhio Highway in Wailua at the ocean (next to the famous Coco Palms Resort). Continue up Kuamoo Road about 2 miles till you see the Opaekaa Falls turnout to the right with ample parking and an overlook with railings.
For kayak rentals, click on Kauai Kayak Rental Companies.
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