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Kipu Falls, Kauai

Kipu Falls makes up in fun for what it lacks in height. The waterfall is extremely popular with locals and tourists in the know.

A 20-foot rock wall surrounds most of the falls and the pool below is clear and refreshing. Multiple rope swings of varying heights are tied to nearby trees and there are jumping off (not diving!) points from the rocks. The scene is reminiscent of an old-fashioned swimming hole.

The falls are fed by the Huleia Stream on its way to Nawiliwili Bay. The falls are reached via a 5-minute hike off a dirt sugar cane road. On a hot summer day the area can become quite crowded, but the wide stream is roomy enough for everyone and the flat rocks are just right for a picnic lunch. Reef shoes are a good idea, as the rocks are slippery. Use common sense and caution so your swim stays safe.

Take Highway 50 west from Lihue. One mile past Puhi, at Mile Marker #3, turn left on Kipu Road. At the Y, bear to the right. Turn left on the dirt road just before the bridge. Park your car by the gate and, as always, do not leave valuables in the car.

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