In a nutshell: Lower Puohokamoa Falls is a tall, cascading waterfall that the vast majority of people will, at most, view from a distance. Extreme hikers can take a treacherous hike to a spectacular views and pool at the base.
Minuses: Access to view and hike may be on private land. Hike itself is only for experts.
Sound-bite: “Most folks just drive, unknown, right past this spectacular waterfall.”
Lower Puohokamoa Falls flow can fluctuate dramatically. When the flow is low, there is a wonderful pool at the base of the falls that experienced hikers can access. The trail is treacherous and steep – with a wrong move potentially ending in catastrophic consequences – so if you are not an expert-level hiker in this type of terrain, it is strongly advised not to attempt the hike down to the pool.
Most folks can, however, handle a mini-hike at the start of the trail, which is far less extreme. It will treat you to a view approaching the one in the photograph. For a full view like the photo (or better) you will need to begin descending steeper and steeper terrain and if it is raining, footing will be compromised for all but the well prepared. (If it is raining upstream, the stream is swollen (or even if it isn’t yet) swimming will not be safe.)
Last there is word that “a private landowner” has placed private property signs at the entry of the path (which I did see last time I was there.) Not exactly sure who put these there, because my research of the tax plat maps shows the property rights were granted to EMI a long time ago (see our EMI page) and otherwise the majority of land all appears to be reserve land belonging to the State of Hawaii. As always, final decision lies with you and there are no promises as to the legalities of hiking here.
Landmarks: Ocean side of road, there is a telephone pole at a dirt area to park a few cars.
View Lower Puohokamoa Falls in a larger map