Waimea Valley Botanical Gardens and Waterfalls

It is an easy 1.9 miles hike (back and forth, about 45 mins to an hour) with an with elevation gain of 275 ft.

The hike allowed me to explore the Botanical Collection of Waimea Valley. Over 150 acres of gardens filled with more than 5,000 types of tropical and sub-tropical plants, many of which are native or endangered.

Known to ancient Hawaiians as "The Valley of the Priests," Waimea Valley was given its name over a thousand years ago in 1090 when Kamapua’a, the ruler of Oahu bequeathed the land to the high priest Lono-a-wohi.

For hundreds of years, the descendants of the kahuna nui (high priests) lived and cared for the land while creating large heiau (temples) and numerous fishing shrines along the edges of the entrance to the valley. They even carved out burial caves within the steep cliffs of the surrounding valley walls.

The priests and their descendants were stewards of this lush paradise until Western explorers, whalers and missionaries made contact with the islands and overthrew the indigenous Hawaiian religion in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Eventually the last remaining descendant of the kahuna nui fell heavily into debt and had to mortgage the land. Upon her death in 1886, Waimea Valley was foreclosed.

Waimea Falls

Nestled deep in Waimea Valley is the Waimea Falls .

The waterfall at Waimea Valley is about 45 feet high. The waterfall is delightful!

Waterfalls are very much affected by the weather. The more rain the island gets, the more the waterfall will flow. Unfortunately (or fortunately) it has been a lovely week. If you want see a powerful waterfall, try going the day after it has rained.

Waimea Falls is a very popular in Oahu, and the pool can get pretty crowded during the middle of the day.

If case you are wondering... the National Audubon Society has been awarded the lease to the land and went back to the area's roots to showcase the valley as an ecological and cultural center.


Join us for #wednesdaywalk of @tattoodjay. It is so much fun. It is in collaboration with @elizacheng's #makemesmile challenge.

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All photos, gif, and video were taken by me with my iPhone, unless specified.

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