Sandy beach
No
Cliff jumping
Yes
Hike-in Required
Yes
Sensitive Habitat
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.

Kapena Falls is situated right under the Pali Highway just minutes from downtown Honolulu. To passing cars, few would ever suspect there to be a giant pool and falls just off the road. By the parking area lookout on the southbound side of the road one can pick up the trail that heads along the rock wall and busy road. At the end of the rock wall the trail veers off into the woods to the left. Here, a short walk leads to the top of the cliff above Kapena Falls. A sign marks the dangers of cliff jumping and is a memorial to those who have drowned at this spot. This 30-foot cliff face provides a good view of the entire pool, but a trail leads down to the water's edge for those who don't want to jump. On the way, hikers will pass by a rope swing dangling high above from a branch. At the edge of the pool, the water drops off rather quickly into a murky brown hue that will likely have you questioning its cleanliness. Leptosperosis, a harmful, waterborne bacterium has been found in this area in the past-- so enter at your own risk! For those willing, the pool would be ideal for inflatables, a picnic, or just to watch the more adventurous cliff jumpers. This area has been featured in the TV series Lost as well as the hollywood film The Rundown with Dwayne Johnson. Be sure to bring bug spray, as the mosquitoes can be quite irritating. Due to the large amount of trash in this area, please do your part and help keep the falls clean. 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Winter
Summer
Fall

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Large swimming hole. Tall cliff.

Cons

Trash. Dirty water. Mosquitoes.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Features

Waterfalls
Family friendly
Near lake or river

Location

Field Guide

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