Hike to the Waterfalls at Kauai's Secret Beach

Kauapea (Secret) Beach, Kilauea, Hawaii, United States

  • Activities:

    Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:


  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:


  • RT Distance:

    2 Miles

Easy Parking

Kauapea Beach, also known as Secret Beach, is a secluded beach that can only be accessed via hiking trails, which is why it is less frequented by tourists. It is the perfect spot to visit after a rain storm, as the waterfalls by the lava formations are at there strongest at this time. You'll most likely want to ask a local how to get to the waterfalls, as there is a small unmarked boot path located near a neighborhood in Kilauea. It is definitely worth the adventure.

Disclaimer - as I was shown this spot by a local, I would suggest asking for the exact location of the trail from a local. It can be reached by one of the nearby neighborhood roads in Kilauea.

The boot path is fairly short (approximately a mile or so), and involves a short stream crossing, which can be a bit tricky if there have been any recent rain storms. The lava formations are located to the North of the actual beach, from which the Kilauea lighthouse can be seen. From what I heard, there's normally only a couple waterfalls flowing, but if there's been rain recently there can be as many as four waterfalls, which was the case when I went.

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Waterproof gear
  • Shoes you don't mind getting wet
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Overall rating: 

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Really cool spot! It’s more of an “adventurous walk” than a hike, but nonetheless really cool. Like the OP, we had to ask a local for directions. Here’s what he told us: if you’re coming from Princeville (aka South down Kuhio Hwy), turn left on Kalihiwai Rd and continue down for about half a mile (APPROX. ADDRESS: 2970 Kalihiwai Rd). Once you’re about half a mile in, you’ll see these blue signs on the right side of the road that say “Parking Reserved for Practitioners of Traditional and Customary Native Hawaiian Practices.” The man we talked to said it was fine to park there, however there’s only room for 3-4 cars, so keep that in mind. After you’ve parked your car, stay on the right side of the road and you’ll see a series of gates behind a yellow fire hydrant that’ll lead you to the trail and the falls. As OP said, there’s a stream you have to cross once you’re about 3/4 of the way there, so bring shoes you’re okay with getting wet. The falls are beautiful, about 15 ft tall, and the tide pools beneath it are pretty cool as well. Be careful though, if the surf is high that day don’t try and walk down to the tide pools - apparently three people have died in recent years after being swept away. Overall, I’d say the “hike” was less than a mile round-trip, but definitely worth it! Since it’s not really an all-day trip, I’d recommend checking out the nearby “Secret Beach” which you can access by driving to the end of Secret Beach Rd, which forks off to the right from the beginning of Kalihiwai Rd. From there, there’s a path you walk down which takes you down to the beach, which is pretty mellow and quiet. Hope this helps and enjoy!

about 2 months ago
about 2 months ago

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