The Big Island’s Rainbow Falls in Hilo


When you are in Hilo, don’t miss seeing Rainbow Falls. The river flows over the arch shaped rock. The rock has a cave embedded in it. Legend says that King Kamehameha buried the bones of his father in this cave.

This waterfall is easy to access just off Waianuenue Avenue on the northwest side of Hilo. See this link to Google Maps with Rainbow Falls identified. You can generate directions from that link.

Rainbow Falls is a popular spot for sightseers in Hawaii. So if it seems crowded and a tour bus is there, just wait for a few minutes for folks to clear out.

Take note that the amount of recent rainfall makes a big difference on the water flow at Rainbow Falls. See this post showing photos based on varying rainfall levels.

Please enjoy this brief video of Rainbow Falls.

Further up the road from Rainbow Falls, you’ll find Pe’epe’e Falls and Boiling Pots.

See this link for other great recommendations for things to see and do on Hawaii’s Big Island.

  1. Pe’e Pe’e Falls (though some of the street signs omit the ‘!) are really accessible, we stayed at the Shipman House and were able to get to the falls in about three minutes. Boiling Pots was nice good but it was so dry there when we went that nothing was “boiling.” I guess it means we’ll have to go back!

  2. Hi Jim – We noticed the street signs for Pe’epe’e Falls, too. We couldn’t help but snicker. I posted about those falls today. We’ve seen some extremes – from almost no flow to too much water flow. I guess we’ll both have to keep going back until we find just the right amount. 🙂

  3. We were juvenile (which means we were being ourselves) and snapped some pictures haha 🙂

  4. LOL Jim! We did, too. (Though we don’t have a digital version of it.) One of these days, Andy and I will grow up. 🙂

    1. Jacquie – I’ve never seen anyone swimming there. I don’t know for certain if swimming is prohibited or not. So, check park signage when you visit. It would be pretty tricky to get down the steep hill to the waterhole.

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