ALOHA!

 

So you’re headed to Akaka Falls to see one of the best waterfalls on the Big Island! These waterfalls are near Hilo.

I made a visit to Akaka Falls state park in September 2019 and this is how it was. Parking situations can change!

 

Where to get free parking at Akaka Falls state park. Big Island, Hawaii travel blog

Parking at Akaka Falls Hawaii state park. Where is free parking. Best waterfalls on Big Island, Hawaii travel blog

Parking at Akaka Falls Hawaii state park. Where is free parking for no parking fee. Best waterfalls on Big Island, Hawaii travel blog

 

 

There are basically 2 options for parking:

  • Free parking on the side of the road leading up to the state park
  • $5 parking fee at the parking lot

 

More below on the free parking at Akaka Falls State Park!

 

 

🌴

 

And for more waterfalls on the Big Island, also check out Rainbow Falls that’s pretty near Akaka Falls. See more Hawaii state parks too.

 

 

So…

Where is the free parking at Akaka Falls state park?

So once you get close to Akaka Falls, you’ll start to see signs for the waterfalls.

 

Driving to Akaka Falls state park parking lot. How to get to Akaka Falls. Big Island, Hawaii travel blog

 

You’ll then basically just drive to the end of the road.

 

Road to Akaka Falls state park parking lot. How to get to Akaka Falls. Big Island, Hawaii travel blog

Road to Akaka Falls state park parking lot. How to get to Akaka Falls. Big Island, Hawaii travel blog

Road to Akaka Falls state park parking lot. How to get to Akaka Falls. Big Island, Hawaii travel blog

 

Then if you’re arriving at a time where there are a bunch of people there, then you’ll see cars parked on the side of the road before you even see the entrance to the state park.

 

Free parking at Akaka Falls state park. Hawaii travel blog

 

And it’s around here that you’ll park to get the free parking!

So you’ll be parking on the shoulder.

Or, if you don’t mind a $5 parking fee, you can keep driving to see if there are parking spots at the official Akaka Falls parking lot.

 

Where to get free parking at Akaka Falls state park. Big Island, Hawaii travel blog

Parking lot at Akaka Falls state park. Big Island, Hawaii travel blog

Parking lot at Akaka Falls state park. Big Island, Hawaii travel blog

 

But just know that the difference between paying for parking and not paying for parking is determined by which side of the yellow gate you park on!

 

Where to get free parking at Akaka Falls state park. Big Island, Hawaii travel blog

 

If you go past the yellow gates, you’ll enter the paid parking area.

When I was there, there were no signs indicating the paid parking area and free parking area.

 

 

How to pay the parking fee at Akaka Falls

So if a $5 parking fee is no big deal to you, then you can drive all the way into the main state park area to try to find a parking spot.

Although, the parking lot here is small so parking is limited, and you might have to park in the free parking area anyway!

But if you do find a parking spot at the official Akaka Falls State Park parking lot…

Right at the Akaka Falls trail start is an attendant.

 

Entry fee at near Akaka Falls parking lot. Big Island, Hawaii travel blog

 

This is where you’ll pay the $1 Akaka Falls entry fee per person no matter where you park.

The attendant will ask you where you parked.

If you tell him you parked in the state park parking lot, you’ll be charged the $5 parking fee. (Yes, it’s based on an honor system!)

You can pay by credit card here, even for a $1 entry fee.

 

Entry fee at near Akaka Falls parking lot. Big Island, Hawaii travel blog

 

 

And that’s a bit about parking at Akaka Falls!

 

 

How to enjoy Akaka Falls State Park

You can get a glimpse of the waterfalls from the parking lot without paying anything.

 

Waterfalls lookout from Akaka Falls parking lot. Big Island, Hawaii travel blog

 

But it’s worth paying the $1 entry fee to get a closer view of it!

Once you’re on the Akaka Falls Trail, there are basically 2 ways you can get to Akaka Falls.

The first way is the direct way.

If you’re short on time and just want to see the waterfalls, then you can go directly for a 5 to 10 minute walk.

But if you have 30 minutes or more to spare, take your time by taking the Akaka Falls trail via the circle route!

This will be a longer nature trail, and you’ll get a more dramatic approach to the waterfalls.

Plus, you can walk through banyan trees by taking the circle route!

 

Akaka Falls parking lot to waterfalls loop trail hike how much time. Big Island, Hawaii travel blog

Akaka Falls parking lot to waterfalls loop trail hike through banyan trees how much time. Big Island, Hawaii travel blog

Akaka Falls parking lot to waterfalls loop trail hike how much time. Big Island, Hawaii travel blog

Akaka Falls parking lot to waterfalls how much time. Big Island, Hawaii travel blog

Akaka Falls parking lot to waterfalls how much time. Big Island, Hawaii travel blog

Akaka Falls parking lot to waterfalls lookout how much time. Big Island, Hawaii travel blog

 

See more of the Akaka Falls loop trail.

And more Big Island waterfalls that are easy to visit.

Plus more of the best Hawaii state parks on the Big Island!

 

HAPPY VISIT TO AKAKA FALLS STATE PARK!

 

Parking at Akaka Falls Hawaii state park. Where is free parking. Best waterfalls on Big Island, Hawaii travel blog

 

 

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Top things to pack for your Hawaii vacation!

The ultimate beach towel for travel?!
Turkish towels are considered to be more absorbent and lightweight than your average beach towel. Be sure to check out turkish towels like these!
The cheapo way to waterproof your phone
You can take underwater pictures with a simple waterproof phone case like this. Touch screen may not work well underwater - try the volume button to snap the pic instead!
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Wear less sunscreen by wearing a UPF swim shirt!
Wearing a swim shirt means less skin that's exposed to the sun which means less sunscreen you need to apply! See about wearing swim shirts with UV protection like these when you're snorkeling.

PLUS...
Be sure to take a look at the reviews of this amazing tour on the Big Island:


Watch the videos to see the Big Island in action!

Find more amazing things to do on the Big Island: Watch my Big Island videos on youtube
If you see an activity you like, look in the description below the youtube video for the individual blog post about that specific activity!

ALOHA!