This will likely be the highlight of your trip. The total distance from where you park to where you swim is about 1.6 miles. About 1.3 miles is a utility road. The incline is gentle and even. At the second water tank you turn right exactly 90 degrees. It is an obvious trail. After about 150 yards you run into the Wailuku River. But the pools and falls are on the Hookelekele Stream. Oddly, the Hookelekele stream will be the larger body of water.
Two important pieces of advice:
- Don’t go if there has been recent heavy rain. You need to cross the Wailuku River. You won’t be able to do that if it is too full. The dryer the better. It is pretty easy to die being washed away and that will certainly ruin your vacation.
- Wear lace up shoes that can get completely wet. You need to cross a river and rocks. You can’t do that safely in flip flops. Buy some throw-aways at Walmart if you prefer, but don’t ignore this advice.
- This is a watershed for Hilo. Treat it with the highest level of respect. Don’t leave trash. If you see any, bring it back with you.
These pools and falls go under a popular local name, which I have deleted in order to keep this article out of popular searches online. It is known among locals who do not wish to make it a tourist attraction. If you are renting one of my homes, this is for you – but keep is a secret!
- Parking near corner of Waianuenue Ave. and Akolea Road. There isn’t any parking closer than this.
2. Walking up Waianuenue Ave. for about 100 yards and turn left an an unnames street. There are a few houses on it but then it quickly becomes a utility road.
3. You will know it is a utility road when you see the double signs.
4. After a couple hundred yards you will pass a large water tank. Keep on going straight. About a mile after the first water tank.
5. After this mile you will arrive at the second water tank. At the end of the tank as the road wants to veer left you take a 90 degree right turn off the road. It is an obvious trail you could drive a car down. Below are pictures.
6. The trail is only about 150 yards to Wailuku River.
7. You will need to cross Wailuku River and go up Hookelekele Stream. It is pretty obvious and the Falls can be seen from Wailuku River so there is no getting lost. Here are some pictures. The first is the end of the trail when you arrive at Wailuku.
8. And here you are where the Falls form a nice pool. There is a drop off which required swimming in a small pool in front of this pool. Others hiked around the pool.