So Rainbow Falls is one of the Big Island’s popular waterfalls.
It’s about a 5-10 minute drive from the main part of Hilo town to Rainbow Falls.
So if you’re looking for things to do around Hilo, then these Big Island waterfalls can be something to consider.
And then if you’re looking for a waterfalls day on the Big Island, you can see both Akaka Falls and Rainbow Falls in one day. (And you’ll have time for more activities too.)
There’s no swimming at Rainbow Falls.
Things to do during your visit to Rainbow Falls
1. Go to the main waterfall lookout area
2. Notice the cave made from lava flows behind the waterfalls
3. See the river and waterfalls from above
4. Walk to the baynan trees
5. Enjoy the views of Rainbow Falls!!
Here's some info on Hawaii trip prep!
- Best shoes for hiking in Hawaii
- The perfect type of shirt for swimming in Hawaii
- Do you need water shoes for Hawaii?
- THE top things to pack for Hawaii
Save the Big Island video playlist to watch on youtube later!
The best of the Big Island:
- Big Island hikes with amazing views
- Where to see lava fields on the Big Island
- The big list of (mostly free) things to do on the Big Island
How to spend 20 minutes at Rainbow Falls
So Rainbow Falls is a part of the Wailuku River state park, so this is the sign you’ll look for when you’re driving once you get near.
There is no entry fee for this state park, so this it’s free to see Rainbow Falls. See updated entry fee info here.
The parking is actually rather limited, and there were some cars parked in the bus parking area.
But since this isn’t a state park that people stay for long, you can also wait it out to see if people will leave soon.
Once you park, the Rainbow Falls lookout is basically a short walk from the parking lot.
It’s nearly right there.
And this is the best spot to view Rainbow Falls!
According to Hawaii state parks:
The waters of Wailuku River drop 80 feet (24 meters) to create Waianuenue or Rainbow Falls.
On sunny days, a rainbow can be seen in the falls.
Then, once you’ve had your fill of viewing Rainbow Falls, you can then make your way up the small trail located on the left side of the lookout.
This will first take you up to an overlook spot where you can see Wailuku River at the top, along with Rainbow Falls from the top.
And you can also see the river down below too.
And then, you can continue on the trail onwards, and there will be a bunch of banyan trees!
So the walk up from the lookout near the parking lot can be a quick little thing to see the waterfalls from the top and the banyan trees.
Then you can return back to the parking lot.
How much time do you need at Rainbow Falls?
Drive up to the state park, and since the waterfalls overlook is right there, it will take little time to stop and see the waterfalls if you want to make this a quick stop.
After seeing the waterfalls from the main lookout area, you can walk up towards the left side and see the waterfalls from the top.
Then you can continue onwards for a quick walk around some banyan trees before making your way back to your car.
More things to do near Rainbow Falls
Then, after a visit to Rainbow Falls, if you want to stay somewhat near Hilo, give a look to:
- Akaka Falls (for a waterfall day)
- Kaumana Caves (to walk through lava tube caves)
- Carlsmith Beach Park (for a nice beach park with a chance to see turtles)
- Richardson Ocean Beach Park (for a black sand beach with a chance to see turtles)
HAPPY RAINBOW FALLS VISIT!
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 phoneYou 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!
Get your suitcase more organized!Packing cubes can make it so you're spending less time on your vacation looking for things! They are basically a form of drawers in your suitcase. Take a look at these packing cubes.
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.
Be sure to take a look at the reviews of this amazing tour on the Big Island:
- Kona's most popular tour: Swimming in the ocean at night with manta rays (likely to sell out)