Hoopii Falls or Ho'opi'i Falls: Before flowing into the ocean at Kealia Beach on the east side of Kauai, meandering Kapaa Stream flows through Kealia Forest Reserve where it cascades over a couple of waterfalls known as upper and lower Hoopii Falls. Each of these are 15 to 20 feet tall. Like all waterways in Kauai, waterfalls change dramatically depending on how much it's been raining. Upper Hoopii Falls is popular with locals and becomes a fun swimming hole during normal water flow but can be big and dangerous after heavy rains.
Upper Hoopii Falls is a Popular Swimming Hole
Obviously, school was out when I took the above picture of the upper falls. Dozens of local kids took turns jumping in the pool below from either side of the stream. It took 15 or 20 minutes to walk downstream to the lower falls which was deserted.
Lower Hoopii Falls
Kapaa Stream above upper Hoopii Falls
Directions to Hoopii Falls: From Highway 56 in Kapaa, turn onto Kawaihau Road near mile marker 9 (just past the north end of the Kapaa Bypass). Follow Kawaihau Road a little over 2 miles and turn right onto Kapahi Road. In about 1500 feet, look for a trailhead immediately past the last house on the left. There are usually several cars parked along the trail side of the road. Please be respectful and courteous to the neighbors as you park here.
Hoopii Falls Trail actually starts out as an old overgrown public dirt road but turns into a trail. Follow it downstream until you come to the first waterfall. If school is out, expect to see a lot of local kids jumping into the pool at the bottom of the falls. (It seems to be the thing to do on the way home from school). To get to the lower Hoopii Falls, continue hiking the trail downstream. Stay close to the side of the stream to keep on state land. The round trip will take about an hour, longer if you plan to swim or linger at the falls. Bring plenty of mosquito repellant.
Nearby Vacation Rentals in Kapaa include, Waipouli Beach Resort and other vacation rentals on Kauai's east coast.
Pictures and Comments By Doug Porter