Waipo'o Falls is a fantastic waterfall on Kokee Stream dropping 800 ft. in two tiers. It is located in the heart of the Waimea Canyon, the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.
The first viewpoint of Waipo'o Falls is located at the signed Waimea Canyon Overlook just past mile marker 10. At this popular turnout, you will find outstanding views of Waimea Canyon and Waipo'o Falls. But you are a long distance away from the falls, so you will need a long lens for your camera as well. There is a second (and much better) viewpoint a couple miles up the road at the unsigned Pu'u Ka Pele Lookout, a roadside turnout just before mile marker 13. Although still quite a distance away from the waterfall, it feels much closer.
The Canyon Trail is a moderately strenuous hike located between mile markers 14 and 15 on Hwy 550. This trail takes you to the top of Waipo'o Falls. It is considered one of the outstanding hikes on all of Kauai. However, if you are expecting to see a close-up view of Waipo'o Falls, do not do it. You will get great views of the Waimea Canyon from this hike, and you will get to some swimming pools at the top of the waterfall, but there are no actual views of the waterfall itself on this hike.
The flow of Waipo'o Falls depends a lot on the amount of recent rain. During the summer months, there will not be much flow at all and it may even be dry. But if you are fortunate enough to see it in the winter, or after a lot of rain, it is really quite impressive.
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