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Can You Swim in Wailua Falls In 2023? (Read This First!)

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Wailua Falls is a popular hotspot for tourists and people who love to visit Hawaii yearly. Swimming or entering the pool at the bottom of Wailua falls is not legally permitted. The only thing legal is to enjoy the view from the road, as there are penalties if caught in the pool, per the Department of Land & Natural Resources, Hawaii.

You may read, watch, or hear stories about people hiking and swimming in Wailua falls Kauai, but today I will show why you should not enter the closed area. Yet you’ll get to know the recreational activities available near the falls.

Swimming in Wailua Falls

Is It Safe To Swim In Wailua Falls?

First of all, according to Mahalo from DLNR Communications Office, Hawaii, there are signs indicating that it is a closed area. Hence, there’s no way you don’t notice it if you are planning to enter the falls from the legal access points from roads, including the makeshift trail leading down.

It is a petty misdemeanor, and violators can face fines or jail time. Yet, if you want to enter the pool knowing all the odds, after reading the rest of the article, you may like to skip your idea.

For your safety, the Hawaiian government deployed the rules due to the dangers at the bottom of the pool. If you enter the pool, you must avoid swimming under the waterfall when there is heavy rain since this causes sudden floods that can crash down on you without any notice. As the falls are about 85 feet (25.9m) tall so, even on regular days, if you swim directly under the waterfall, then regardless of how expert a swimmer you are, there’s a possibility of sinking as Wailua waterfalls tend to create strong whirlpools as the pool is over 30 feet deep.

The other risk is rock falling directly onto your head which is very likely due to fast-flowing water.

Read Also: Can You Swim In Crater Lake, Oregon?

Swimming Activities To Do In Wailua Falls?

Forget about legal and permitted swimming activities because the area is forever closed per the Hawaii State Parks, which implies there’s never been a legal access point to access the pool from the road.

It is quite possible to reach the Wailua Falls, but the slopes are very steep, and also, rocks are brittle and slippery due to water, clay[source], and maybe algae, so you should not rely on these rocks for climbing support as you can slip off.

On a side note, don’t miss to visit Havasu Falls if you ever see Arizona, USA, because there’s so much to enjoy and the beautiful view of it will sink your soul in it full of joy.

Are There Any Sharks Or Fish In The Wailua river?

Yes, you can find different types of fish in the Wailua River that are popular among the fisherman of this area. Every time you visit the river, you can find species like the Bluefin Trevally, Kariba tilapia, Crevalle jack, and more.

Sometimes people can spot sharks in the water. However, they seldom attack people and rarely show up after it rains since they look for the fish that gets dragged by the ocean into the river.

If you want to minimize the risk, you can travel with a tour guide who knows how to avoid potential encounters with sharks and prevent accidents during your trip.

Here are all the sharks who have been swimming in the Wailua River over the years.

  • Tiger Shark.
  • Gray Shark.
  • Whitetip Shark.
  • Blacktip Reef Shark.

Potential Future Of Wailua Falls As A Water Sports Destination?

The possibility of becoming Wailua Falls a water sports destination is very remote because the DLNR Hawaii closed this area due to the dangers it poses at the bottom of falls for hikers like slippery terrain, whirlpools, and other menaces.

Nevertheless, if you visit Hawaii, you can gaze at the beauty of Wailua Falls from the road as it is entirely legal and safe. Yet, the future is bright for other destinations in Wailua like the Wailua river and Kauai sightseeing.

Can You Kayak To Wailua River?

Yes, you can kayak by navigating through the Wailua River State Park any day of the week during the working hours of 7:00 am to 6:45 pm.

All you need to do is rent a kayak for the day and decide whether you want to make the trip yourself with only a map or travel with a certified guide who knows this area and can give you a private tour of the place.

After getting close to Wailua Falls, you will need to park your kayak on the ground and walk on foot for 30 minutes until you reach your destination.

Where Can I Kayak On Wailua River?

There are several put-in and take-out locations in the Wailua River where you can use your kayak to navigate any place you want, including the Wailua Falls.

Among the best kayak places in the Wailua river are the Wailua River Marina, the Kamokila Hawaiian Village, and the Wailua River State Park boat ramp.

Can You Hike In Wailua Falls?

No, you can not hike in Wailua falls as it is against the laws, and you can go to jail and pay fines for this act. Even if it were legal, I would not recommend hiking because the trail is so slippery and gets worse in the rainy season.

However, the local authorities advise against the hike in risky areas since people not used to these activities can get injured and fined if they are not careful.

In the list of recent accidents, a 67-year-old California man fell from Wailua falls hiking trail 25 feet down in 202; the county said he suffered multiple head injuries[source]. The main reason for his fall off is a bit slippery trail, so it is strongly advised not to hike in corners or go off the path to take some pics.

In Conclusion

The Wailua Falls is an excellent place for people that love to gaze and are soaked in its beauty, but it is illegal to enter the falls because there’s never been legal access point to enter the trail to reach the bottom of the falls.

Yet, there’s nothing to regret as there are so many leisures and beautiful places to visit and enjoy water sports in Wailua and nearby areas like the Wailua river and sightseeing the natural and local destinations.

For this and many other reasons, everybody should travel to Wailua Falls and enjoy everything this place offers. If you find this article useful, share it with other people that want to travel to Hawaii in the future.

Read Also: Can You Swim In The Salton Sea, California?



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