Joining me on the hike was Daniel Napoleon, Kristen Jones, Ryan Chang, Brian Bautista, and Keith Mahon. We parked at Pounders Beach Park and headed to the Koloa Gulch trailhead. I followed what I remembered in the pictures Alan sent me and soon found ourselves on private farm lands. It was a bit sketchy. At times we hiked directly on the trails through cropland, keeping an eye out for anyone who spotted us. Running through my mind was the scene from the movie "The Beach" where a group of friends run into a massive farm of weed, only to find out their presence is unwelcome. Sadly, they get shot at by the farm owners, and one or two of them die. I can't remember. Anyway, we didn't die; no one was around to shoot us when we passed through the croplands. Lucky us.
Blindly following a maze of dirt roads, we passed more farmland heading deeper into the mountains. We finally hit a well defined trail that paralleled a lively stream. A half hour of criss-crossing and rock hopping along the unmarked stream trail, and there it was: Wailele Falls. The photos I had seen on the internet does no justice. Wailele Falls is truly something to witness in person. Despite its low height, it is still an awesome sight, with a very lovely open area to just sit down, relax, and hear the rushing mountain water cascading eight feet into a large, deep mountain pool perfect for swimming. As the sun shined, the bluest color I had ever seen of a fresh water mountain pool radiated from the pool's surface, amplifying an already surreal landscape. We took a dip, snapped some photos, and headed back quickly along the stream trail to make sure we'd make it back in time for work.
The hike back was faster. We ended up following a road -- still passing farmlands -- all the way to Kamehameha Highway. I believe the dirt road we followed on our way back is the correct route; it only took us about fifty minutes to get back to our cars compared to the hour-and-a-half it took from the Koloa Gulch trailhead. Starting from the Koloa Gulch trailhead turns out be just a big mess.
Wailele Falls is definitely worth checking out again. In fact, I may be back there in several weeks to explore upstream. From what I saw, the trail keeps going deeper into the mountains. And from what I've heard, there's an even bigger waterfall about four miles in. We'll see. For now, I'm just glad I know where it is.
Following one of the roads, not knowing where it leads to. (photo: D. Napoleon)
Passing an open field.
Finally at the stream. (photo: B. Bautista)
Wailele Falls. (photo: B. Bautista)
Here's Daniel standing at the top of the waterfall. Gives a pretty good perspective of exactly how high the waterfall is. (photo: B. Bautista)