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Kayak the Wailua and Hike to Secret (Uluwehi) Falls

Kapaa, Hawaii

based on 4 reviews



1.5 miles

Route Type



Added by Christin Healey

Kayak on the scenic Wailua River, then hike to a picture perfect 150ft waterfall in Kauai for a refreshing swim. It's pretty much the perfect Kauai day!

First, you need kayaks to get on the river. I bring my Oru Kayak with me everywhere, but we did have to rent one additional, and there are rentals everywhere - a quick Google search will get you tons of options. You can launch your boat from directly across the Wailua River Marina where you see the small cement ramp, plenty of parking and bathrooms (if you are renting a kayak, they will point you in the right direction as well).

It's two miles each way for the kayaking part of the trip. Going there, be sure to stay on the right, or north, side of the river (left is for larger boats if they come through), and paddle until you come to a fork in the river where you will turn right. If you go left, the river will end shortly so pretty hard to get lost here. From the fork in the river, it's only about 5-10 minutes more of paddling until you reach the area where you dock your kayak. It you are going during the middle of the day, there will be plenty of other kayaks there, but if you are early or late, just look for the clearing on the right where it looks very easy to pull in (this is a very obvious turn out).

The hike begins right from the bank, and is very well marked. It's 1.5 miles round trip, and very easy with no elevation gain. The waterfall is gorgeous, but don't be fooled by the "Secret" name. This is a very popular spot, so be sure to go earlier or later in the day if you want the spot to yourself. Once you are back on the kayak, just backtrack, staying on the left side of the river this time, to the car and you are done! This is a pretty easy day, and a perfect mix a few different quintessential Hawaii adventures!

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Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Swimming Hole

Kayak the Wailua and Hike to Secret (Uluwehi) Falls Reviews

Great history surrounding this hike too!

Amazing falls and fun to swim in. The hike here can be very muddy after rain. There are little pools of water around the main pool as well

It gets real muddy. And chances are, it'll be muddy when you go too since Kauai gets so much rain. However, the mud is not bad. Step directly into it, instead of trying to skirt around it because avoiding it is how you slip. The kayaking portion was relaxing, and the hike is not too hard. There is a fun little river crossing, and swimming in the falls is amazing.

I definitely recommend this adventure. It might get a little crowded at the falls, but not that many people swim in the pool under the falls. I highly recommend getting in the water here. Swimming under this waterfall was one of the coolest experiences and fondest memories from my trip.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


Hike to the nose of Sleeping Giant

Wailua Falls

Hike to Ho'opi'i Falls

Take A Helicopter Ride Over Kauai

Hike the Kuilau Ridge Trail

Swim in the Waikoko Stream & Waterfall