Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Guided tours
No
Backcountry camping
No
Lodging
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

‘Akaka Falls State Park is a small park featuring the majestic ‘Akaka Falls, towering 442 vertical feet, and Kahuna Falls, a much smaller falls at 100 vertical feet. While the view of Kahuna is only partial, the park offers an easily accessible and spectacular view of ‘Akaka Falls and a short .4-mile loop through lush tropical forest. Along the paved loop you’ll cross a picturesque cascading stream, traverse through massive bamboo trees, and cross under a massive outstretching banyan tree. While the crowds can be large at this small park, it is a great option for those travelling with small children who want a short hike coupled with great views.

The Kolekole Stream feeds ‘Akaka Falls and is home to one of the coolest fish species in the world, ‘the o'opu ‘alamo'o (lentipes concolor). This goby lays its eggs atop ‘Akaka Falls and, once hatched into a larval form, the fish make the floating journey down the falls to the Pacific Ocean. After a few months of hanging out in a planktonic state in the ocean, the post-larval fish swim 2.5 miles back upstream, traveling up numerous falls, including ‘Akaka Falls. How does this little goby make the vertical climb up the sheer cliff? Using a super-sucker disc and its strong pelvic fins. The fish will spend their entire adult life in the stream, laying eggs that will start the cycle over again. 

If the parking lot is full (or you do not want to pay the full $5 for parking), you can park along the street just outside the parking area. Often you’ll be forced to park here anyway due to the large volume of visitors. The entrance fee for non-Hawaii residents is $5 per car or $1 per pedestrian, and it is collected at the entrance to the trail. There are picnic tables adjacent the parking lot, along with bathrooms.

‘Akaka Falls State Park is only 11 miles from Hilo, and it passes through the historic Honomu town. If you have the time to stop in Honomu, you can pick up a number of local treats, including tropical jams and sweet breads, and there is a nice coffee shop, too.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

Park entrance fee

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Stunning waterfalls. Lush forest. Easy access. Kid friendly.

Cons

High Traffic.

Features

Family friendly
Flushing toilets
Picnic tables
Near lake or river
Waterfalls
Wildflowers
Bird watching
Potable water

Location

Field Guide

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