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Waianuenue Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 400'
Location: 19.71936, -155.11059 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 174
Administrators: 20 kN, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: DesertDan on Oct 25, 2016
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Waianunue. I spoke with some Hawaiians that have j...


Waianuenue (Rainbow Falls in Haole speak) on the Wailuku River is an excellent place to visit and explore, not a lot of climbing but a lot of awesomeness. This was the scene of an ancient epic battle between Maui and Mo'o Kuna that resulted in the creation of Pe'epe'e Falls (the Boiling Pots) upstream. Today the only epic battles going on are over attention between electronics and Mother Nature with many folk experiencing the falls pleasantly buffered by their phone screen.

The climbing here, like the rest of this island it seems, involves swimming. Above Waianuenue, the river is wide and tame for a few hundred feet before it reaches the next falls. There are several outcroppings (and pits if they're not filled with water) that have worthy climbing up to about 15' tall. The climbing tends to be easy or hard with not much in between on polished slick holds. Most of the climbs are accessed from the water, which is usually deep enough to fall into safely. The largest and tallest outcrop is popular with locals for cliff jumping and has the most climbs. The river level fluctuates and the water is dark so be certain about where you're jumping.

A note of caution. All of the streams in Hawaii have Leptospira, a bacteria found in animal urine that causes Leptospirosis. This is a very serious disease that can can cause lifelong debilitation and even...death!... if left untreated. You can get it from drinking untreated water and also directly into the bloodstream from open wounds. Hawaiians, Locals, and guidebooks alike will advise you not to go in the water if you have scabs or open wounds of any kind.

Getting There 

From Hwy 19 on the coast in downtown Hilo go west on Waianuenue Ave for just over a mile and turn right on Rainbow Dr. The parking lot is a few hundred feet up on the right. Take the stairs to the upper viewing patio and continue into the trees along the top before the unofficial trail drops down to the river. If you find yourself under the huge strangler fig, the trail through the notch on the north side goes straight to the climbing.

Climbing Season

For the All Locations area.

Weather station 1.7 miles from here

Featured Route For Waianuenue
Photos of Waianuenue Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Cliff jumping at Waianuenue.
Cliff jumping at Waianuenue.
Rock Climbing Photo: The final approach to the cliff jumping and climbi...
The final approach to the cliff jumping and climbi...
Rock Climbing Photo: Above Rainbow Falls.
Above Rainbow Falls.

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