Hawaii Islands have their own Grand Canyon – Waimea Canyon. Contrary to the real Grand Canyon, Waimea Canyon is adorned with an enormous waterfall – the 244 m tall Waipoo Falls.

Waimea Canyon

Geological history of the western part of Kaua’i Island is very complex, but in short – the island has been shaped by massive volcanic eruptions since more than 5 million years ago. The central part of Kaua’i now receives lots of rain – it is one of the wettest places in the world. All this amount of water flows and the streams throughout the millions of years have shaped great canyons in the hard basalt.

The most impressive is Waimea Canyon to the west from Mount Wai’ale’ale. Mark Twain once nicknamed it the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. This canyon is some 16 km long and up to 900 m deep and has a characteristic orange-brown color of weathered basalt.


In many places Waimea Canyon is well accessible to tourists. From the Highway 550, which goes along the western rim of canyon, opens a grand view over the canyon and its prime landmark – Waipoo Falls. This is beneficial difference from many other great waterfalls in Hawaii, which are very hard to access and see.

Waipoo Falls are blown sideways, Hawaii
Waipoo Falls are blown sideways / Robert Linsdell, Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Most of the great waterfalls in Hawaii are surrounded by eternally green rainforest and mist. Waipoo Falls though are different: Waimea Canyon has comparatively dry climate with lucid air and the orange-brown rock contrasts with the lush green forest and white strip of falling water.

Amount of water in the falls is changing throughout the year and sometimes it is even dry.

Waterfall has got two main drops: the upper one is smaller, in between is steep, some 100 m long run and then follows the main, 183 m tall drop. Sometimes the wind blows the lower falls sideways.

Waipoo Falls are included in the following list:

Map of top 10 waterfalls of Hawaiian Islands
Top 10 waterfalls of Hawaiian Islands


  1. Waipoo Falls. World Waterfall Database. Accessed on September 5, 2016
Waipoo Falls on the map
Travelers' Map is loading...
If you see this after your page is loaded completely, leafletJS files are missing.
Location, GPS coordinates: 22.1046 N 159.6614 W
Categories: Waterfalls
Values: Geology, Visual
Rating: 4 out of 10 stars
Where is located? Oceania, United States, Hawaii, western part of Kaua’i, in Waimea Canyon, Kokee State Park
Alternate names: Waipo Falls, Waipo’o Falls
Height: 244 m (?)
Drops: 2 (major drops, smaller ones not included)
Highest drop: 183 m
Stream: Kokee Stream

Landmarks of Hawaii

Eruption of Kīlauea volcano, 1954
Eruption of Kīlauea volcano, 1954 / USGS, public domain
The Hawaiian Islands belong to the most remote islands in the world. Hawaii are characterised by tropical climate, mountainous relief, volcanism and isolation. If compared to most islands in Pacific, several Hawaiian Islands have comparatively large landmass. All these factors have led to the development of numerous impressive and unique natural attractions and some impressive monuments of culture.

Waterfalls and rapids

Virginia Falls, Canada
Virginia Falls / Paul Gierszewski, Wikimedia Commons / public domain
Some of the most fascinating and awe inspiring natural monuments are waterfalls, or locations where a river abruptly changes its elevation.

Recommended books

Lonely Planet Best of Hawaii

Ancient Sites of Maui, Molokai and Lanai

This informative and easy-to-follow guidebook makes the ancient sites of Maui, Molokai and Lanai available to the general public for the first time. Grouping th sites by location, the book characterizes the cultural background of five main types of sites: heiau (temples), pohaku (sacred stones), petroglyphs, caves and fishponds.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments