Day 46 – Na’ili’ili-haele Falls & bonding with a rock wall

OOUCH!


If unable to view, click HERE to go directly to YouTube version.

Overlooking the bamboo forest - the falls are down there somewhere.

Overlooking the bamboo forest – the falls are down there somewhere.

About an hour after posting last week’s blog, the sun appeared, and it has been beautiful ever since. Summer has officially arrived to Haiku 🙂

Steven and I have been trying to  hike to the four Na’ili’ili-haele Waterfalls for some time, but due to the rain we kept putting it off (62 inches since January). Even though it was a sunny day, as you could see in the video, parts of the trails were quite muddy.

We headed out early to avoid the crowds. When we arrived there were three other cars; when we left, passing by the second pool there was a small crowd of people and probably 30+ cars parked up on the highway.

Fortunately when we started, we got lost and were able to enjoy the reservoir and to see a fifth falls, which is not accessible.

Now this is what I call a waterfall!  Falls #5 - not accessible - yippee for getting lost.

Now this is what I call a waterfall!
Falls #5 – not accessible – yippee for getting lost.

 

 

Even taking the picture of it was a bit precarious; Steven was holding my hand as I leaned over the cliff.

As you can see in the photo, of all the falls, it is the best one; though I was told there are possibly another 3 falls that are inaccessible.

Hikers we met from Vancouver. Yes, I know it's hard to see them, but it's the only photo I have of the four of them

Hikers we met from Vancouver. Yes, I know it’s hard to see them, but it’s the only photo I have of the four of them

 

 

 

 

Four other hikers, visiting from Vancouver, got lost with us, so from time to time, we ended up hiking together.

 

We connected mostly with Michelle; she was one of the most gung-ho trailblazers I’ve ever met. On the video, she is the one that jumped from 20feet+- into the water at the fourth falls.

Michelle (L) and Wray

Michelle (L) and Wray

 

OKAY, so everything I’ve read said the first two falls are fairly easy to access; which is true…as long as you don’t get lost. Though when you first start down the trail from Hana Hwy there are some steep, slippery areas.

 

Also I have read that what separates the novice hikers from the adventurers is the journey to the second two waterfalls. And that is also true. From the second falls you use a rope to guide yourself up the cliff. Unfortunately the rocks are very slippery and you have to return the same way. (Steven makes it look so easy.) If you watched the video you understand why I posted OOUCH at the beginning of this blog.

After you get up the cliff you hike through mud, over rocks, somewhere in there you climb up a ladder (thank you to whomever took the time to carry it all the way out there and fasten it to the rocks), and then you get in the water to swim to the third falls—by the way, you are so hot and muddy, the water feels great.SteveWater

 

If you aren’t too tired yet, you climb up the rocks next to a small waterfall (no rope to help you here), then hike over more rocks, around a bend and you come to the fourth falls.

THE END.

Fourth waterfall - YAHOO!

Fourth waterfall – YAHOO!

 

You cannot & should not scale the 35-foot rock face to get to the fifth falls.

And hopefully you’ll have the energy to retrace your steps back to the highway.

If you decided to do this hike make sure you start at the NO PARKING sign—which I can guarantee cars will be parked in front of—across from the Cook Island Pine trees & the 6 mile marker sign. We cut into the bamboo a ways beyond the sign and had an additional 20 minutes of walking before we finally found the right trail.

If you come across this wood plank, you know you are on the right trail. Good thing is that even all of the wrong trails should eventually lead you to a something worth seeing...this is only my assumption.

If you come across this wood plank, you know you are on the right trail. Good thing is that even all of the wrong trails should eventually lead you to a something worth seeing…this is only my assumption.

 

Believe it or not, we both loved this hike. So much so that Steven hopes to take his daughter when she comes to visit. Did you catch that…I said Steven is going to take his daughter. I’ll stay home. In spite of the fact that I enjoyed the challenge of the hike, right now I can’t muster the enthusiasm to do it again.

For us, it was fun as well as exhausting. Not to mention my ribs are still sore from bonding with that rock wall.

For more info about Na’ili’ili-haele Falls click HERE – the site includes a map. But there are lots of other postings about the hike to check out online.

Until next week ~ Aloha Nui Loa