Waimea Falls Park
- Ranking amongst some of the best Oahu hikes, this is more like a pleasurable one mile
stroll through lush botanical gardens, that lead up to the
grand Waimea Falls. Still known as the
Falls Park, this Oahu waterfall and tropical grounds are now run
of Waimea Valley Hi’ipaka.
Enjoy watching this beautiful cascading waterfall in the video below!
Unlike the other waterfalls on Oahu, Waimea Falls Park was once an entertainment theme park where you could drive up right up and park, grab a seat, and sip on a pineapple juice beverage while watching cliff divers take death defying plunges alongside the Waimea Waterfall. Hula dancers used to provide additional entertainment with dance performances as well.
After years of neglect, this area was transformed into the non-profit Waimea Valley gardens that now benefits and preserves the Hawaiian culture and community.
The road that you once drove inland to the waterfall has been
into a beautiful botanical garden walk. The type of
entertainment now offered are more
educational presentations and workshops on Hawaiian culture and history, including the surrounding lands, animals and different species of plant life.
There are usually demonstrations, workshops, tours, works of art, and Hawaiian performances taking place in the main entrance courtyard. You will find the Waimea Valley staff friendly and a rich source of information, as they take great pride in their heritage.
You won’t find many Oahu hiking trails here, but more like a
stroll that mainly takes place along a flat road that weaves through
the lush, tropical jungle and leads you to the main attraction -- the
Waimea Falls. Give yourself enough time so you can enjoy the beautiful
flora on this meandering path.
You might feel like you have stepped into the movie set for Jurassic Park, as you are surrounded by oversized tropical plants and unique botanical gardens. You will find many posted signs along your walk, describing the grounds, history and plant life that exists in the sacred Waimea Valley.
It should take you
about 20 to 30 minutes to reach the Waimea
which is anchored at the end of the trail. You will be
rewarded with the stunning presence of a
50 foot waterfall that
cascades down into a pool below.
Although the cliff divers are long gone, the one thing that has not changed at Waimea Falls Park is the ability to take a plunge into the fresh water pool, and swim up to the waterfall if you dare.
You will find lifeguards
on duty, and
life jackets available
use if you choose to wear one.
If you want to see the waterfall in its full glory, make sure
after some substantial rainfall. Otherwise, the glorious
cascade you were expecting might have dwindled down to a small trickle.
This should go without saying but please do not drink the water while swimming at the waterfall.
Take the 98A bus from Kuhio Ave (away from Diamond Head) to the Wahiawa Armory (ask the bus drive to notify you), where you will need to transfer to the number 88A Oahu Bus.
The 88A Oahu Bus will take you into Old town Haleiwa and then onward towards the North Shore Beaches. Ask the bus driver to notify you once you have arrived at Waimea Falls Park. He will drop you off near Waimea Valley Road, where you will have to walk the last 200 yards.
There is a small park entrance fee that goes towards the preservation and maintainance of the gardens and grounds.
Open daily between 9am and 5pm
Closed on certain holidays, including Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day
Just follow the river that travels from the Waimea Waterfall,
the park and across the highway, into Waimea Bay Beach Park.
Known as one of the most beautiful beaches on the North Shore, this Oahu beach also produces some of the largest waves to be ridden and seen in the wintertime. When the gigantic waves go flat in the summer, the kids turn to jumping off da gigantic Waimea rock into the water!
Travel a little bit farther up the road, and discover the
Pipeline at Ehukai Beach.
If the Oahu surf report indicates that the waves are up on the North Shore, and you manage to find a parking spot, then you’re in for a treat!
This is probably one of the only spots on the island where you can walk up to the shoreline and view big wave riders, surfing perfect barreling waves that crash onto a razor sharp reef.
Haleiwa has a neat little rustic North Shore old town to stop by
through or returning from Waimea Falls Park.
You will find a handful of Hawaiian art galleries, ono restaurants, shrimp trucks, old school surf shops, clothing and boutique stores, and 2 popular Hawaiian shave ice shops.