Tropical Grandeur-Opaekaa Falls in Kauai, Hawaii

The Mahaleha Mountains emerge from rain clouds behind Opaekaa Falls dropping into a lush valley in Kauai, Hawaii.
The Mahaleha Mountains emerge from rain clouds behind Opaekaa Falls dropping into a lush valley in Kauai, Hawaii.

Kauai has hundreds of waterfalls dotting its tropical landscape. The mountains in the center of the island get more rain than anywhere else in the world and that water has to drop a couple of thousand feet to reach the ocean. The challenge for a photographer is how to get to them. Many are only accessible via a helicopter since they are deep in the rainforest.

That is not the case with Opaeka’a Falls. They were just a short distance from the hotel I was staying at in Kaapa and after shooting sunrise at Lydgate State Park, I made it a point to check them out. I am always a sucker for waterfalls! It would be pretty hard to miss the viewpoint for the falls along Kuamoo Road. There is a large parking area complete with restrooms. Fortunately, it was raining when I arrived and was the only car in the lot. A railing runs all the along the top of the cliff limiting the shooting possibilities and the vegetation on the other side didn’t look to provide any sort of sure footing. I had read about trails that would lead down into the valley, but had also read the accounts of people falling to their deaths. I wasn’t feeling that adventurous that day so I picked out my spot and waited for the rain to let up. The clouds shortly began to break and I zoomed in for a variety of compositions. It is kind of a tourist shot, but better safe than dead. That sure would have ruined my trip!

Click on the image to view a larger version in the galleries.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *