Wailua Falls, Kauai
Just about everyone who goes to Kaua`i manages to drive up "mauka" to see Wailua Falls. It's one of the easiest waterfalls on the island to see, albeit you only get to experience its beauty from a distance.
So why is this tip in the "Off the Beaten Path" section? Because an adventure awaits at this spot.
If you've read the "Revealed" guidebook, you'll know that there is more to see and do here than just gaze at a beautiful waterfall from behind a fence.
In October 2006, I did the hike down to the bottom of the falls mentioned in the book. Just look at all my photos. It was easy! BUT, the tough part is coming back up. The elevation change is dramatic. Get ready to huff and puff.
Here's my video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZC0Kg9UxUC8
It was worth it, though.
On my way down, I ran into a couple who was returning from a failed attempt. They made it to the "wall" and thought they had to cross the river but could not find a way.
The "wall" is a section of the embankment that is almost verticle and a little intimidating. But if you fall, it's no major deal because you are at water level (Just make sure you do NOT have your camera inhand if you do).
Look at the "wall" and find the worn areas on the rocks. Find the tree roots hanging from the wall and be sure to test them before putting all your weight on them. It will become apparent how to traverse this area to make the entire trip feet-dry WITHOUT crossing the river. I did.
Warning: If you go down here during flash-flood advisories, you are risking your life. While I was down there, the debris line from previous floods was very high and would make a trip down here very troublesome. Be cautious.