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Oloupena Falls

United States
Type of Location
Water Fall
About Location

The fourth-highest waterfall in the world, Olo'upena Falls, is located in the United States, but you'd have to go out of your way to visit it -- it's located on the remote Hawaiian island of Molokai, known and celebrated as the "most Hawaiian island" because of its history of relative isolation.

Many people have never seen or heard of the Olo'upena Falls, and most waterfall enthusiasts who have gathered information about the falls have only done so through aerial photographs. Surrounded by huge mountains on either side, the waterfall doesn't have much water running through it -- its volume is extremely thin compared to the other falls on this list -- but it makes up for a lack of water with its massive height. At 2,953 feet (900 meters), the falls stand high above most other waterfalls in the United States; the closest ones are Pu'uka'oku Falls (2,756 feet/840 meters) and Waihilau Falls (2,600 feet/792 meters), both of which are also located in Hawaii.


How to Reach

By Air

There are three ways to get to Molokai: a 25-minute flight on a local air carrier from Oahu’s Honolulu International Airport Commuter Terminal (HNL), Maui's Kahului Airport (OGG) to Molokai Airport (MKK), or the daily inter-island ferry from neighboring Maui.

By Ferry

Ferry service on the Molokai Princess crosses the Kalohi channel twice a day between Lahaina Harbor and Kaunakakai Harbor, once in the morning, once in the late afternoon. Expect to be treated to spectacular sunsets during the afternoon ferry and whale sightings during the winter months.

By Road

The island is easy to navigate with only one two-lane highway stretching across it. However, some excursions require the use of a 4-wheel drive vehicle. Quantities are limited so make reservations in advance. Remember to ease off the gas pedal here. As the sign says on your way out of the airport: “Slow down, you’re in Molokai.”

Key places to visit
Pu'uka'oku Falls, Waihilau Falls, Waimanu Valley


Places to Visit

Pu'uka'oku Falls

The 8th largest waterfall in the world, Pu'uka'oku Falls checks in at 2756 feet tall, and is located on the Hawaiian island of Molokai. The north cliffs of this island have the tallest sea cliffs in the world. Any stream that drops over these cliffs will fall thousands of feet into the sea.

Waihilau Falls

Waihilau Falls is a waterfall in the Waimanu Valley, Hawaii. It is the third tallest waterfall in Hawaii[1] and the thirteenth highest in the world at 2,600 feet (790 m) in height

Waimanu Valley

One of seven amphitheater valleys carved from the extinct Kohala Volcano along the northern shore of the Big Island, Waimanu Valley is something of a Holy Grail to Hawaii hikers. Abandoned in the late 1940s, it's one of the few valleys in Hawaii where humans have not altered the watershed, save the ancient Hawaiians who built their rice and taro farms on streambeds and largely let nature do its thing (there is a small state-maintained campground and the remants of buildings but nothing major). Waimanu is raw, untouched Hawaii ats its pristine best. These photos from Flickr give you a taste). Getting to Waimanu, however, is no small feat.

Right Time to Visit

November - April


September - September -> 28(°C) - Summer
February - April -> 15(°C) - Spring


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