At 442′ tall, ‘Akaka Falls is one of the tallest easy-to-visit waterfalls on the Big Island of Hawaii. There are a number of taller waterfalls to the north, but they require more effort.
Driving to the falls is a rather simple endeavor, though it is a slight but worthy detour. Parking at the falls is interesting, to say the least. You can park near the falls, and there is a $5 fee. There was an electronic kiosk, and standing near the kiosk was a young man collecting money…In one way, it seemed suspicious. At the same time, visitors seemed to want to ignore the entrance fee, even with the kiosk and signs! You can park outside of the main area. I think there is a $1 per-person entry fee in that case.
The falls are definitely worth visiting, though it can be a little bit difficult to photograph, depending on the angle. The sun could have caused more problems if it hadn’t been for the lucky clouds that lessened the intensity.
There are a number of other falls nearby. Kahuna Falls is downstream. There are one or two smaller falls that most might not notice, but I found them to be pretty enough.
1) From Hilo, head north on HI-19.
2) After a few miles, turn left onto HI-220. There is a sign indicating the turn.
3) Head down HI-220 to what is essentially the end of the road. You will veer right at one point. There aren’t many other options.
4) From the parking area, head to the falls. The loop trail is paved, but there are some stairs, if I remember correctly.
Accessibility: 9/10 (if you head directly the falls without going around the loop)
Where in the World is ‘Akaka Falls?: map