One of the many things I love about Hawaii is the abundance of beautiful waterfalls. Wailua Falls on Kauai and Akaka Falls on the Big Island are just a couple of my favorites. As magnificent as Hawaii’s waterfalls are, you need to be aware of some of the lurking dangers if you get too close.
Sadly, in recent days, two men seeking adventure at Boiling Pots and at Onomea died. This unfortunate news should be taken as a reminder that we all need to be careful around waterfalls and streams. Now, I don’t want you to be terrified to see a waterfall in Hawaii. That’s not the case at all! In fact I encourage you to see the waterfalls, but in a safe manner. It’s so easy to safely view many waterfalls without any danger whatsoever. Please bear these simple safety points in mind:
- At the risk of sounding like a mother hen, I’d like encourage you to simply admire waterfalls from designated viewing points or from a distance. Don’t venture past guar rails or climb around rocks by the stream.
- Please read and obey all signs posted around waterfalls and streams. The signs are there for a very good reason.
- Take extra care during rain. Streams can quickly flood making them extremely dangerous. The popular sight-seeing spot of Oheo Gulch (also known as the Seven Sacred Pools) along the Road to Hana is an example of a place that you need to pay attention to the potential for dangerous flash floods. This stream with its cascading waterfalls is part of the Haleakala National Park. Its website advises to “always check at the visitor center before entering the water and heed all posted warnings.”
Can you think of any additional safety points to add to our list? Please share them in the comments.