Rainbow Falls and Boiling Pots

These memorable photo-ops along the Wailuku River are prominent in Hawaiian lore

These two geologic attractions line the 18-mile Wailuku River, the state’s second longest tributary. Part of Wailuku River State Park, their free, scenic lookouts are open during daylight hours and offer parking and restrooms.

The Boiling Pots is about 1.5 miles upstream from Rainbow Falls and is a succession of eroded, hollowed out lava formations that fill with the flow of the river. When the river is engorged with storm runoff, the “pots” fill to the brim, become turbulent and appear to “boil.”  Access the Boiling Pots via Waianuenue Avenue to Peepee Falls Road. Pronounced peh-eh-peh-eh, Peepee Falls can also be seen from the Boiling Pots lookout.

Go in the morning to most likely spy a rainbow at Rainbow (Waianuenue) Falls. The 80-foot cascade is known for the colorful rainbows formed in its morning mist. After a rain, the waterfall is prettiest and a popular photo opp. According to Hawaiian legend, the large cave beneath the falls was the home of Hina, mother of the Demi-God Maui and a fearful dragon named Moo Kuna tried to block the gorge below the falls to drown her.  Access the falls via Waianuenue Avenue to Rainbow Drive.