We had a difficult time putting together a Top 10 Best Hawaii Waterfalls List.
After all, it’s completely subjective and limited to each person’s experience with the named waterfalls. Plus, picking just ten falls in a state that has arguably one of the highest density of waterfalls in the US further added to the struggle.
We base this list on our own personal experiences so you know we’ve compiled something genuine.
We tried to balance numerous factors such as accessibility, allure, scenery, and longevity.
Besides, we believe we’ve seen enough waterfalls in the Hawaiian Islands to put together such a list.
So without further ado, here they are in reverse order…
This reportedly 700ft waterfall is decorated by the scenic backdrop of the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, otherwise known as Waimea Canyon.
Although this waterfall typically only flows during the Wet Season and it sits on a drier side of Kauai, it’s not often that you get to witness a waterfall surrounded by contrasting colors amidst such memorable scenery.
Plus, the Kalalau Lookout wasn’t much further from both this falls and canyon.
Indeed, this waterfall just seemed to be well situated no matter how we looked at it.
So given this rare combination of unusual scenery, location, and size, we had to place it on this list of our favorites.
This 80ft postcard waterfall is also one of the easiest ones to visit.
We know because every time we’ve been to the Hilo side of the Big Island, we made a stop for it.
Flanked by lush tropical flora, this post card waterfall with its free plunge tends to draw photographers.
In addition to scenic allure, that cove behind the falls is also rumored to be where King Kamehameha buried his father’s bones.
Moreover, since it flows on the state’s longest river (Wailuku River), it has a rare Hawaiian year-round flow.
So given all that it had going for it, this waterfall makes our top 10 list.
Not to be confused with the Wailua Falls on Maui, this double-barreled waterfall is on the island of Kauai, and is easily one of the most scenic in the state.
Perhaps this 80ft waterfall’s claim to fame originated from its appearance on the opening sequence to the old television show “Fantasy Island”. I can totally hear the words “Airplane! Airplane!” in my head whenever I think of this falls.
In any case, don’t miss this easily-accessible must-see waterfall if you happen to be visiting the Garden Isle. Besides, it’s pretty much a drive-to waterfall.
Jurassic Park fans will certainly recognize this waterfall.
With its unusual shape and enormous size, we most certainly had to make room for this impressive falls. We believe that of all the known publicly inaccessible waterfalls on the island of Kauai, this falls certainly makes it hard to turn down a helicopter flight to go see it.
In fact, when we first experienced this waterfall, it was only from the air.
However, it seems that some helicopter companies have recently been allowed to land at the falls! How cool is that?!?
And no, you need not fear dinosaurs to pay a visit!
Even if you’re not up for the epic Kalalau Trail backpack along the famous Na Pali Coast of Kauai, you can still dayhike to this towering waterfall in the Hanakapi’ai Valley (a side valley of the Na Pali Coast).
Granted it wasn’t an easy hike, but it also didn’t require a permit to visit either.
Besides, as it’s surrounded by fluted cliffs and a lush jungle, this waterfall adds to the scenic allure of arguably the most scenic coastline in all the Hawaiian Islands.
The more accessible of two prominent waterfalls in the legendary Halawa Valley of Molokai, it’s a great place for us to have a swim, learn about Hawaiian culture, and appreciate its surroundings.
When we viewed it from the air, we saw there were more tiers of this 250ft waterfall (possibly 700ft of total drop) coming into view.
A trip to the most Hawaiian of the Hawaiian islands wouldn’t be complete without a visit to this gem of Mo’o’s domain.
This remote 1,200ft waterfall on the north shore of Molokai is one of the state’s tallest.
It is often confused with the ephemeral Kahiwa Falls perhaps because of bad information given by helicopter pilots or bad information given by the topographic maps.
Whatever the case is the with nomenclature, we counted ourselves among those fortunate to see this waterfall.
And I’m sure those who witness this beauty will definitely not forget it, and thus it easily makes our top 10 list of Best Hawaii Waterfalls.
This 1,100ft waterfall is easily O’ahu’s most spectacular waterfall.
Unfortunately, its access is closed indefinitely due to a fatal landslide that took place on Mother’s Day in 1999.
However, it is possible to still see the falls if you’re willing to fork out some serious dough to go on a helicopter ride.
We were certainly willing to do it so we know how difficult it would be to shell out that kind of money just for this waterfall, but its scenic allure sure makes it very hard to turn down.
In our minds, this 420ft waterfall is definitely the Big Island’s best waterfall and certainly one of the best in the state.
Given the fact that it flows year round, it’s easily accessible, and it’s so reminiscent of the type of waterfalls found in inaccessible gulches and valleys, this waterfall is certainly up there in our top 10 list of Best Hawaii Waterfalls.
In the same reserve, we also noticed there was another waterfall called Kahuna Falls, which appeared to be just as tall though a bit harder to view.
In any case, make sure not to miss these waterfalls!
Situated at the end of arguably Hawaii’s best hiking trail (The Pipiwai Trail), this 400ft waterfall was our ultimate reward. That’s saying something since the trail included several waterfalls as well as a bamboo forest.
For such a tall waterfall, it’s amazing that this one also flows year round and that you can get right up to its base.
With the foresight and generosity of stakeholders who made selfless acts for the benefit everyone, the waterfall sits in the protected lands of the Kipahulu District of Haleakala National Park.
And don’t forget this spot also had more waterfalls and swimming holes further downstream by the turbulent coast in a spot informally dubbed the “Seven Sacred Pools”.
Add it all up and this waterfall just nudges into the top spot of our list.