It’s unlikely that you’ll find anybody that is solely trying to find Kolekole Falls. It’s not particularly tall or wide, or extremely amazing. Unless you cross the creek, which was flowing very well, you will be viewing the falls from the other side. So why did I end up at Kolekole Falls?
Well, obviously it was a waterfall. But the better reason is that it is not that far from the much larger ‘Akaka Falls. It’s only about a mile further down the main road. I was impressed with the park. The waterfall was nice, but it was also very cool to see the bridge far above that crosses this gulch. And as an even further bonus, you are only a few hundred feet from the ocean. This particular park was very quiet when we visited, with only one other pair of people. You’ll likely have most of the beach view to yourself. It’s really worth it if you’re in the vicinity.
- From Hilo, head north on HI-19.
- After a few miles, you will see a sign for HI-220. This will lead to ‘Akaka Falls. Pass HI-220.
- Shortly (maybe a mile or so) after passing the turn for HI-220, you will see another sign for Kolekole Beach Park. The road to the park will be on your left if you’re coming from Hilo. (If you pass this road, you will cross the bridge over the river.)
- Turn left, and then proceed cautiously down the very narrow road.
- It’s not a very long drive, but at the halfway point, you will turn sharply right. Slow down before attempting this! Don’t continue straight/left, as it seems to be an older bridge.
- At the parking area, you should see the bridge above, the beach, and the waterfall. It’s a spectacular combo.
Length of Hike: negligible
Kolekole Falls in March 2013
Where in the World is Kolekole Falls?
‘Akaka Falls in March 2013
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.
- From Hilo, head north on HI-19.
- After a few miles, turn left onto HI-220. There is a sign indicating the turn.
- 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.
- 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 (easy, if you head directly the falls without going around the loop)
Length of Hike: 0.4 miles if you do the loop
A small waterfall along the trail to ‘Akaka Falls
Where in the World is ‘Akaka Falls?