Another mainlander has critically injured herself at Kipu Falls, reinforcing once more why tourists should not attempt to go to this waterfall. Sure, every guidebook tells you how to get there, making it sound so wonderful that it is impossible not to put it on your itinerary. However, so many tourists have been injured at this locally favored swimming hole that I decided not to include the falls in my book. Well, sort of. Rather, I included a zip line tour that takes you to the falls with a local who understands the water flow and moods of the falls. If you want to come here, sign on with the zip line adventure tour at Outfitters Kaua‘i (808-742-9667; www.outfitterkauai.com).
Here’s the issue: locals have been trekking on private property to get to the falls for years and it turned up in a particular blue covered guidebook (one that has locals reeling) and suddenly heaps of mainland tourists followed the worn path to the waterfall. Now, locals are mad because this was one of their favorite secret spots to escape the masses. But more than that, imagine if you were chilling at a waterfall with your family, drinking beer and lazing in the shade and suddenly some silly tourist jumped into the water below at the wrong spot, hitting his back on a jagged rock and totally wrecking your buzz. That happens about once a month at Kipu Falls.
Ultimately it is for your safety that no one, not locals, not the folks who own the property, and surely not little ole me, wants you to find this waterfall. There are so many great spots to swim on Kauai—Lydgate Park, Salt Pond Beach, Kee Beach, Hanalei Beach—and much lovelier waterfalls, so why chance a trip to the hospital?