Wailua River Kayak and Hike – Kauai, Hawaii

Uluwehi Falls

Uluwehi Falls – also known as Secret Falls – is a beautiful 100+ foot waterfall located in Wailua River State Park on Kauai.

The route to the falls includes a 2.5-mile kayak on the Wailua River, followed by an easy hike of less than one mile. The paddling and hiking are relatively easy, and although it takes a couple hours to complete the journey, the falls are well worth it. And there are scores of people there on pleasant days.

If you have your own kayak, you can make this trip yourself (and if you have your own kayak in the area, you probably already do this on a regular basis). But for tourists, there are a bunch of tour companies offering guided trips down the river to the falls.

The kayak portion, starting at the Wailua Marina just off Highway 56, is an easy paddle down the slow-moving and scenic Wailua River. A high cliff towers over the south side of the river, while traffic on Kuamoo Road flows by on a bluff the north side. At the fork in the river just past the Hawaiian village, head right and the river gets narrow. Your guide will know where to dock your kayak and proceed with the short and easy hike to the falls.

At the falls, there is plenty of room to find a spot in the rocks for lunching, relaxing and gazing at the waterfall. There is a wide pool at the base of the falls to swim in, although the water is often chilly. Be careful as decent-sized rocks can tumble down the falls.

The kayak trip back is with the current, making for a relaxing end to a scenic trip.

  • Uluwehi Falls
  • Chicken at Uluwehi Falls
  • Uluwehi Falls
  • Uluwehi Falls

Directions: To get to Wailua Marina, take Highway 56 to Wailua and turn west just south of the river. The marina is right there. If you are venturing down the river with a tour company, they will provide transport to and from the marina from their base of operations

Elevation profile: