Big Island Sights

Wailuku River State Park (Rainbow Falls)

  • Rainbow Dr. Map It
  • Hilo
  • Body Of Water/Waterfall

Published 01/10/2017

Fodor's Review

After a hard rain, these impressive falls thunder into the Wailuku River gorge, often creating magical rainbows in the mist. Rainbow Falls, sometimes known as the "Hilo Town Falls," are located just above downtown Hilo. Take Waianuenue Avenue west for a mile; when the road forks, stay right and look for the Hawaiian warrior sign. They remain open daylight hours.

At another point inside the park along the Wailuku River, four separate streams fall into a series of circular pools, forming the Peepee Falls. The resulting turbulent action—best seen after a good rain—has earned this scenic stretch of the river the nickname Boiling Pots. There's no swimming allowed at Peepee Falls or anywhere in the Wailuku River, due to extremely dangerous currents and undertows. It may look calm and inviting, and you may be tempted as you watch others ignore signs and climb over guard rails to jump in, but we urge you not to. More than a few fatalities have occurred here. The falls are 3 miles northwest of Hilo off Waianuenue Avenue; keep to the right when the road splits and look for the sign. The gate opens at 7 am and closes at 6 pm.

Sight Information


Rainbow Dr., Hilo, Hawaii, 96720, USA

Map It

Published 01/10/2017


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