Jul 092012

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This is what summer is all about! A quick afternoon trip up a neighborhood trail turned into an adventure under tree roots, over fallen logs and rock hopping up river to Makaleha Falls. Only about three hours roundtrip, this hike had a huge payoff at the top. The perfect swimming hole engulfed by steep canyon walls lies just beneath the waterfall. It was a refreshing break before our journey back through the jungle. We’ve been having a great summer exploring new parts of the island and discovering treasures like this within our own neighborhood!

  3 Responses to “Makaleha Falls Hike”

  1. Hey, Chris. When I googled Makaleha Falls hike, I came up with your post, so I was hoping you could help me. Me and a group of others have tried this hike 3 times on 3 separate vacations to Kauai, but we always lose our way when the trail deadends and you have to hike up the river a ways before finding the trail again. I’ve read some tips and vague descriptions online and in guidebooks, but we’ve messed things up 3 times now! We are a group of relatively smart people with a bazzillion degrees between us, but for some reason we aren’t smart enough to get back on the trail. We end up hiking forever up the river until we give up, once again. Can you help us succeed this July 2013? You can email me privately if you have tips. Thanks. Tom

  2. Hi Tom,

    Thanks for your comment… this is a really tricky hike for sure. I would have turned back if it weren’t for some friends that we went with who knew the way. It feels way longer than described because you’re trailblazing most of the last mile or so through jungle, up river, through mud, over logs, etc. It definitely feels like you’re lost the whole way up, but in the Makaleha valley, there’s really only one way to go… up. So don’t worry about getting lost, you just have to keep heading up river. Eventually, you’ll know you’re almost there when the river walls get steeper on both sides of you. At that point, the best way is just rock hopping up the rest of the way. If you’re one to move speedy through the unknown, plan for about 4 hours roundtrip. Otherwise 5 hours, especially if you want to take your time taking pictures of the waterfall.

    Hope this helps and good luck,

  3. I must do this hike. Sounds so dope and looks amazing!!!

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