First off, shout out to Rainbow Kayak Tours for the ultimate Kauai adventure. We really didn’t know which adventure we would be getting too but glad we got to experience paddling through the Wailua River and hiking to the Secret Falls that ends with a mind-blowing 120 ft waterfall. We first met up with a group of other adventures near the Kauai Marriott Resort at the Rainbow Kayak Tours shop. Tom, who was our instructor greeted us and invited us to free snacks and unlimited bottled water. He gave us dry bags so we can keep our backpacks dry. In our backpacks we had our hiking shoes, sun block, cell phone, extra pair of shorts, and snacks. Once the whole group was connected, we headed out on the tour van to Wailua River State Park.
It was my first time kayaking so I was a bit nervous because we were about to kayak 2 miles to the hiking trail. For starters, it took us some practice because we did bump into the bushes maybe twice heading over there. Not to mention, me and my partner were not really in motion with the paddling. But hey, we survived and eventually got into rhythm.
The paddling can get a bit intense and might distract you from enjoying the views. We switched it up a few times and took turns paddling so we can take pictures and just chill and soak it up. There are other commercial boats and people paddle boarding so you have to share the river and stay to your right. Once we kayaked to our destination, we changed our water shoes to hiking shoes to start the hike.
Caution signs are scattered throughout the trail. We came to our first stop of the trail and to my surprise we had to pass the stream. This is where your water shoes come in handy but at this point we changed into our hiking shoes and left our water shoes with the kayak. Bad mistake because our shoes got soaked.
After the stream, the trail starts to get interesting. You end up walking through a rainfall type of enviornment with tall bushes and it starts to get real muddy. Good thing, there are wood panels along the path to avoid slipping.
Tom, our tour guide, enlightened us with some old Hawaiian facts. He talked about mana’o (knowledge) of the island and how they used the plants around for many things. Below is an extract Hawaiian’s would use to excoriate their skin.
More muddy paths is what we expected next before hitting the water measurement tower.
Our tour guide shared with us that water has actually reached the top of the tower during rainstorms.
After passing the water tower, you will reach the first waterfall. It’s a small waterfall that was man made many years ago. Waterfall is refreshing and you can see a small incline heading towards. This is when you know you are getting closer to the main waterfall.
Walk maybe like .5 mile more and you will reach the epic 120 ft waterfall called Ulewehi Falls aka Secret Falls. When we got here, our tour guide told us we can explore what we wanted. You can have lunch that they provide (ham sandwiches/fruit), swim by the waterfall, or take as many pictures as you want. There are several danger signs warning you from falling rocks. You can see the huge rocks from above but what are the odds, right? We got in the water and tried going under the waterfall. It is possible but you literally can’t see anything because the water is hitting your head and disables your vision. Nonetheless, many people where all over the waterfall.
Words can’t describe how beautiful it was to experience this waterfall. To the kayaking, hiking through the mud, and swimming near a 120 ft waterfall was truly a life experience.
This is just one of the memorizing waterfalls to see in Kauai. You can also check out Wailua Falls, Waipoo Falls, Opaekaa Falls, and Hanakapiai Falls. I definitely will try coming back next year to check out another one. Hope you enjoyed this post. My next post will be my favorite spots in Kauai. Stay tuned….