Rainbow Falls
Rainbow Falls
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Waterfalls located on the big island of Hawaii.
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  • SHIRLEY S
    40 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A beautiful waterfall on the Big Island
    The ONLY reason I give Rainbow Falls 4 stars is because of it's close proximity to the parking lot - otherwise I would have given it 5 stars. Somehow, hanging out by a beautiful Hawaiian waterfall loses some of it's aloha being so close to massive tour buses and taxi cabs constantly driving in and out, transporting people to this gem. Granted, I came on a bus myself... but there was no adventurous hike thru a rain forest to take you to this oasis - simply get off your bus and boom - there it is, right on the other side of a metal hand rail. If you can shut out all the people lining up to take selfies by the waterfall (like me) and ignore the busy parking lot, it is beautiful place to be.
    Visited January 2023
    Written May 10, 2023
  • Ravenito
    Charlotte, North Carolina494 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Definitely worth seeing while you're in Hilo
    Not much to say, it's a really beautiful waterfall that is easily accessible from the parking lot. There is a trail you can follow for a little bit further upriver to another water fall and other stuff but I didn't have time to do more than see Rainbow Falls. Thankfully it had been raining quite a lot recently so the falls really had quite a lot of water flowing down, making for a nice view. It's free, easy to get to, there's free parking, and it's right there in hilo, what else could you want?
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 13, 2023
  • Brian D
    Denver, Colorado2,393 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Gorgeous Waterfalls - Great Location - Easy Access - Fantastic Scenery
    If you are visiting the Hilo area, don't pass on this destination stop. Accessing the falls is very easy and doesn't require any real exercise or effort. The scenery around the falls is incredible and breathtaking. The falls themselves are worth the price of admission (which is, actually, free!). Parking is free, and the only issue might be finding a parking spot, as this is a popular destination. Patience pays off and don't forget what is waiting for you ounce you are parked. There is a path to a nice overlook to the falls. you can also take a staircase on the opposite side of the falls to get a closer look. If you enjoy taking pictures, this is a not-to-be-missed stop on your Hawaii sightseeing tour. These falls are part of the Wailuku River State Park and you'll find signage explaining the history of this area, and how it became a state park.
    Visited April 2023
    Written July 10, 2023
  • Melly Mel
    25 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A Must See
    Stopped by on the way to the volcano nat'l park. Easy to find. Parking is right in front. There are clean restrooms. The waterfall is gorgeous, but not swimmable. There is a beautiful banyan tree that is a must see as well. Great spot for some pics. It was drizzling, so we didn't get to see the rainbow.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 26, 2023
  • freutmich
    787 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful Waterfall; Jam-Packed Parking Lot
    Everyone I know who has ever been to Hilo included Rainbow Falls on their must-see list. Luckily, it's really close to downtown and it's easily accessible. When my family arrived, though, the parking lot was packed. I mean . . . there was a line out into the road. People were waiting, and as one car left someone new could pull in. Once we managed to park, we joined the crowd in looking at the falls. It really is a beautiful waterfall. There's also a stairway built into the landscape that takes you up above and behind the falls into an area filled with banyan trees. If you can stomach the crowds, Rainbow Falls is definitely worth a stop.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 2, 2023
  • County-Hunter
    Tacoma, Washington3,211 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Easy to visit.
    I'm an older guy and am starting to slow down so I'm not interested in hiking for miles through the jungle to spot a waterfall. Rainbow Falls makes it easy to visit. It is only a few miles away from downtown Hilo and there was plenty of parking when we visited although the lot could be full in the morning when the light hits the water droplets just right to Bri g out the rainbows. There was a short walk to a viewing platform and an easy climb with handrails up to the top of the Falls. And since we didn't have to hike, we had time to do more things in Hilo.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 21, 2023
  • TripFan045
    374 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Pretty waterfalls
    A good stop if you are in the Hilo area. I wish it had been sunnier when we went and I also wish that you could get a little closer to the falls but it is well fenced off. The vegetation and tree around it are cool and it is a pretty place.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written November 30, 2023
  • iowacityia
    1,850 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Sunday, December 3rd morning visit.
    My wife and I arrived around 11am as part of a Holland America Cruise shore excursion. This was 1 of several stops. Arriving via tour van, we were able to spend some time at the lookout, and climb the sketchy rocky steps to the top of the waterfalls. The waterfalls were fast with so much recent rain. It was very cool. We had a nice visit.
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written December 13, 2023
  • parrottdize
    Dyer, Indiana2,104 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Part of a cruise excursion.
    Have seen Rainbow Falls several times, but always from the public viewing area. This time we did the OK Farm excursion and the excursion included 2 waterfalls. The viewing point of Rainbow Falls is from their pavilion (which can't be seen from the public viewing area). It was so nice to get a different viewpoint of these falls.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written December 25, 2023
  • KatInCLE93
    Cleveland, Ohio14 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A nice little stop
    My husband and I were already exploring Hilo & Volcanos when we stopped at Rainbow Falls. It wouldn't be a place that I would say you have to go out of your way to see but if you are on this side of the island, it is definitely nice to stop by and take some pictures. It isn't a big hike so anyone can see it. It is right next to a homeless shelter so just be on the lookout for people when you are driving up this way. Overall it was pretty & glad we saw it. Don't need to see it again.
    Visited January 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written January 11, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles3,982 reviews
Excellent
1,673
Very good
1,507
Average
695
Poor
82
Terrible
26

kcchin
Honolulu, HI1,210 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Friends
Just a 10 minute drive from downtown Hilo. Good for a 15-20 minute visit. When the sun’s rays come at a correct angle and time, the mist from the waterfall creates a rainbow thus the name. Restrooms.
Written February 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Daydream246583
Big Bear Lake, CA29 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
Enjoyed viewing this WaterFall and it was so easy to get to. I expected it would be a long drive but it was in the Old Part of town. Really an amazing setting and the rainbow really happens from the way the water falls over a Lava Tube.
Written February 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ryan S
Keaau, HI391 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021
The falls are nice, we took a video to capture the sound as well. It is a 5-10 minute stop. Also suggest you go to Boiling Pots as long as you are here, just 5 minutes up the road.
Rainbow Falls is very similar to Akaka Falls. The surrounding tropical vegetation and nature walk/paved pathway through forest is what makes Akaka more interesting, but they are now charging BOTH to park and to go into Akaka Falls State Park. Given this, if you can get your "tropical foliage pathways walking" somewhere else, Rainbow Falls makes a nice free substitute.
If you are only in Hilo short time, or in the surrounding area, and wondering "should I spend my lmited time going to see Rainbow Falls?" - for me, having seen much of the area and only now on my perhaps 5th trip finding time to get here, I would answer, absolutely NOT to go to Rainbow Falls until you have run out of anything else in Hilo or nearby that you would want to do.
Written September 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

David V
Casper, WY245 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
Rainbow Falls is a short drive outside of Hilo and it's worth it. There is a small park right before the falls. It is accessible for most folks at the viewing area. To climb to the top of the falls is not an easy climb and should not be attempted by those with physical disabilities or the elderly. The river below is usually clam and the falls casts a rainbow at the bottom. Quite beautiful. If you are able, climb to the top of the falls and take a peek at the rocks and formations above the falls. Great day trip!
Written March 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

tutana
Tempe, AZ322 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
We visited the falls on January 12th when there was a lot of rain and flooding in Hilo. The falls were boiling and the water was falling from bank to bank. Plus it was raining like crazy but people still came to see them!
Written January 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Russell3939
Castle Rock, CO856 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023 • Family
I’m sure when it has just rained this waterfall really pumps. We found it underwhelming. They also have the access above the falls closed off. Make sure to go on a day after it rains or while it is raining. Wasn’t that impressed.
Written January 2, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Wendy F
Western Australia, Australia1,026 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
Hopped onto a shuttle bus at the pier after getting off the Pride of America cruise ship. The driver took us into Hilo (township) but also offered us a 2.5hr tour of Hilo for USD$30 pp. So we took him up on the offer and it was great. We visited The Macadamia Nut factory, Kamehameha statue, Lelewai Beach, Rainbow falls and every thing in between well worth the money compared to the price NCL wanted for the same type of tour. The driver/guide was fantastic and told us all about Hilo, the BIG Island and the volcano history. If you have the chance to do this it is recommended...
Written August 21, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

joemY3087XB
100 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
We were there a few weeks ago when it rained a tremendous amount and the waterfall was thundering. We were driving to Hilo after arriving on island and it was raining from the top of saddle road all the way into Hilo. We had been there before and was going to go the next day but after sitting on plane and in car for quite a few hours, we needed to walk around a bit. Glad we did as the the waterfall was amazing. We did not see a rainbow until we went up the steps at the side Andy looked from above and there it was. Akaka falls is much more impressive but this is also a great waterfall and one you don’t want to miss.
Written January 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ellesor826
Bradenton, FL1,560 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
I think this is something that ya kinda hafta do when visiting Hilo. We did this while on a bus tour from the cruise port. Lots n lots n lots of tour buses stop - so be aware of that. It's a quick scramble to hurry up and see the falls, no rainbow on our visit due to the weather, and then a "pit stop" before venturing on to the next "must see".
Glad we snapped a few photos, been there-done that, and glad to have the "pit stop"....but there are lines! LOL
Written April 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brown_Samantha
Kennewick, WA1,680 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022
We were staying in Hilo, so it made the trip very short and easy. Well marked. Large parking lot. Quick walk to the overlook area. Waterfall was roaring and with the beautiful sunny blue sky above, it was quite scenic. Someone even arranged a large split philodendron leave with 3 hibiscus flowers. Just so pretty.

Arrange along with Boiling Pots just a short drive from here as one trip out. Totally worth the time.
Written April 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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