Rainbow Falls Hawaii: Easy to See, Easy to Love

Rainbow Falls Hawaii
Hawaii Aloha Travel > Blog > Rainbow Falls Hawaii: Easy to See, Easy to Love

You probably dream of seeing a rainbow in Hawaii, but Rainbow Falls in Hilo is unlike any other rainbow you’ll see. Here, the morning sun reflects the waterfall’s mist and casts a pastel rainbow across the rushing Wailuku River. 

Best of all? This is one of the easiest waterfalls to see in Hawaii. No hike, no big drive, and no parking hassle. 

Here’s everything you need to know to see this colorful wonder. 

Where is Rainbow Falls? 

Rainbow Falls is located right in Hilo on the Island of Hawaii (The Big Island). In fact, it’s just a mile from Downtown Hilo, making this one of Hawaii’s handiest waterfalls. Just drive up Wainuenue Avenue and then turn right onto Rainbow Drive. You’ll see the parking lot on your right. 

Waterfall Information

Rainbow Falls Hawaii (Waianuenue) is 80 feet tall and typically very wide. Water here plunges into a deep pool below and continues downstream along the Wailuku River until it reaches the Pacific Ocean. 

Frequent Hilo rain nourishes the lush forest surrounding the Wailuku River, which is the state’s longest river at 28 miles long. 

Planning Your Visit

Rainbow Falls is free and easy to visit. There is plenty of parking, and you don’t have to hike at all to see the falls. But even though it’s easy to see, you should still do a little planning to make sure you get the most out of your time here. 

Our top tip is to visit in the morning, as this is when you’ll have the best chance of seeing the prismatic glow over the water. But even if you miss ideal rainbow hours, the waterfall is still a sight to behold. 

And, if you’re able, walk a little further to the upper viewing area. You’ll get a different vantage of Rainbow Falls and you’ll see an ancient banyan tree. This path recently opened back up, though you should obey all signs during your visit in case it’s closed back down. 

You’ll likely spend less than 30 minutes enjoying the scenery at Rainbow Falls.

Other Nearby Waterfalls

Rainbow Falls Hawaii is one of two waterfalls within Wailuku River State Park. Once you’ve seen this pretty spot, continue up the road to Peʻepeʻe Falls and Boiling Pots, named because of how the water rushes through lava tubes and appears to be bubbling. 

Waterfall Safety

Swimming isn’t allowed at Rainbow Falls or Peʻepeʻe Falls. You also should stay on marked trails only. This keeps everyone safe and preserves the beauty of the park. 

Rainbow Falls Hawaii on a cloudy day
Rainbow Falls is beautiful even on a cloudy afternoon

More Reasons to Love Rainbow Falls Hawaii

Wailuku River State Park, home to Rainbow Falls, is just a short drive from Hilo Town. This means you can enjoy this historic place’s great food, scenery, and culture while you come out for your waterfall adventure. With its easy access, convenience to town, and colorful spectacle, you’re sure to love your visit to Rainbow Falls Hawaii. 

RAINBOW FALLS • 967 Waianuenue Ave., Hilo, HI 96720 • Open daily during daylight hours • Free admission & parking