If you find yourself around Honolulu, HI and want to find a quick waterfall, this is the adventure for you!
This is a hidden gem and one I was very surprised about! My girlfriends and I were on our way to do some other adventuring to various temples and historical spots when we thought we would add a quick waterfall (or two) to our day.
The hike to the Alapena and Kapena Falls is a 0.6 mile hike located near Waikiki.
It’s very short and only takes about 5 minutes from the parking lot to the falls. It is suitable for about every one and even doggies are welcomed (on a leash.)
You begin in the Nuuanu Memorial Park & Mortuary of all places! Park in the back parking lot and you will see a little grass trail which is what you will follow.
Immediately, you are taken out of “city life” and feel like you are on a jungle journey. Listen to the babbling waters as you walk along this beautiful trail. You may also hear some cars because it runs along the Pali Highway-but nothing too loud to ruin the experience.
Many locals enjoy swimming in the pools here and there is a great spot to cliff jump into the water below.
There is no law against swimming in these waters. However, as with ALL waterfalls in Hawaii, there is a risk of catching leptospirosis. The Department of Health claims this spot in particular is a hot spot for leptospirosis which causes flu-like symptoms and I hear can be quite dreadful.
Because of this, I suggest you just take in the view and save the swimming for another trail. Trust me, this short little trail is worth it in and of itself without the need for swimming!