Hike-in Required
Open Year-round
ADA accessible
Guided tours
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.

One of the must see sites when visiting Hilo is Boiling Pots, a waterfall and series of eddies along the Wailuku River.

Making up a portion of Wailuku River State Park, along with the more popular (and more scenic) Rainbow Falls, Boiling Pots is the name given to a fast moving and dangerous series of bowls and eddies at the base of Pe'epe'e Falls. While the water is not actually boiling, the name comes from the churning and bubbling motion of the water as it rushes along the stone course.

Despite the name of the park, the following the closure of the brushy access trail down to the water, the Boiling Pots aren't even visible anymore. The closest visitors can legally come here is an observation deck, from which vegetation obscures the 'pots' and the lower portion of the waterfall. And while it may be tempting to try to good a better look at the falls, this area is deadly. Wailuku translates to Waters of Destruction.

The Wailuku River is the 2nd longest river in the state, flowing from where Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea meet in the high elevation interior. The river flows for 18 miles, tracing a series of scenic falls as it approaches Hilo.

If in a rush, it makes more sense to make a point of visiting Rainbow Falls. However Boiling Pots does offer an elevated view over the river and interesting view of the falls coming down from the high points of the island.

Wailuku River State Park sites are open from 7:30am to 6pm daily. 

There are a couple picnic tables, a grassy lawn, and bathrooms at Boiling Pots, along with a short paved path to reach the overlook area.


Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass



Easy to access the viewpoint.


Obstructed view of falls.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions


ADA accessible
Flushing toilets
Family friendly
Potable water
Near lake or river
Picnic tables



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