442 Foot Akaka Falls on the Big Island

One of Hawaii’s claims to fame is waterfalls – and Akaka Falls on the Big Island is not to be missed.

Akaka Falls is a gigantic 442-foot waterfall. The waters cascade over the edge and crash down into a gorge below, which makes for a pretty dramatic display. You can find this beautiful waterfall on the northeastern coast of the Big Island - it’s a quick and scenic drive from Hilo (about 20 minutes).

Akaka Falls

All 442 feet of Akaka Falls

Once you’re in the park, you’ll enjoy a leisurely 0.4-mile hike to get to the falls. On the way, you’ll pass another lovely waterfall, Kahuna Falls, which is about 100 feet in height and the perfect “appetizer” for its 442-foot behemoth cousin.

The hike itself is lovely and, in places, borders the immense gorge that forms at the foot of the waterfall. You will encounter a small hill just before the falls, so there is a little uphill walking to do, but it’s short and not too taxing.

As you walk, you’ll enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of the rainforest all around you. You’ll see lots of gorgeous tropical flowers, including gardenia, hibiscus, bird of paradise, wild orchids, and more. There are also banana trees, towering bamboo groves, banyan trees, and giant ferns.

To get the most out of your trip to Akaka Falls, be sure to bring sunscreen, bug spray, water and, of course, your camera. These are some pictures you don’t want to miss!

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