Kipu Falls is a fairly small waterfall just outside of Lihue, in East Kauai, Hawaii. The falls, fed by the Hule'ia Stream on its way to the Nawiliwili Bay, is a popular tourist attraction in the island because of its beauty and accessibility.
The falls are surrounded by 20-foot rock walls lush with vegetation and features an inviting pool of crystal-clear water below. It is a favorite swimming hole among locals who have tied ropes to nearby trees which are used to swing and jump into the inviting pool.
However, extreme caution is advised when visiting the falls and plunging into its seemingly refreshing depths. Numerous accidents and deaths were reported on the site after visitors suffered serious injuries while using the rope swings or diving headfirst into the pool.
The site can also be dangerous during heavy rains because of flash floods so monitor weather conditions before venturing into the falls. Also be warned that the pool's water, like any freshwater pool in Hawaii, may not be safe for drinking due to the danger of leptospirosis bacteria.
If you decide to visit and witness the beauty of Kipu Falls, there is a 5-minute hike off a dirt sugar cane road down to the waterfalls. Take Highway 50 west from Lihue. One mile past Puhi, at Mile Marker #3, turn left on Kipu Road. At the 'Y', bear to the right. Turn left on the dirt road just before the bridge. Park your car by the gate and walk downstream approximately 5 minutes to the waterfall.