Friday, March 30, 2012

Trip to Waimea Falls: A Review

Waimea Falls is one of my favorite places to visit on Oahu. Located on the North Shore in Waimea Valley, this beautiful park features a very wide well-paved path, botanical garden style labeled vegetation, port-a-potties, craft stations along the route, park benches and picnic tables, ample parking, and a visitors center which includes a small restaurant, a gift shop and clean restrooms. On busy days there is also a snack bar at the top of the trail with shaved ice and other goodies!

There is even a really cool archaeological spot displaying a living area of the ancient Hawaiians that once populated this gorgeous place. Please be respectful and stay on the trail, do not touch the rock walls, as these are part of the original layout. When in doubt, don't touch! :)

Aside from the beautiful plants, flowers and trees, there are also a plethora of birds that can easily be seen from the path. A bird guide is given to you at the entrance, so you can easily find the name of the cute little bird you're admiring.

The best part of this trail, though? The rewarding 45-foot high waterfall at the end of course! A lifeguard will be present and if conditions are good, swimming is allowed in the pool at the base of the waterfall! It doesn't get more idyllic than a hike through a floral jungle that ends at a waterfall. Life jackets are available, as well as changing rooms for those who need them.

The hike is 3/4 mile up to the falls, and 3/4 mile back down. Even though it is paved it does get a little steep in spots (although for the most part my 2 year old was able to walk it). For those who are in a hurry or would rather skip the hike, you can also pay to take a shuttle up to the waterfall and back down again. 

Check out Hawaii Web for more information about Waimea Valley Adventure Park.

Directions: From Waikiki take highway H1 West to H2. Take H2 North and get off at Exit 8 (Wahiawa). Merge onto Hwy 99 Kamehameha Hwy, continue onto 83E until you see Waimea Falls Park entrance on the right (it's directly after the Waimea Beach Park entrance on your left).

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