To go or not to go, that is the question.


Hawai‘i is loaded with spectacular hikes, including numerous waterfalls and breathtaking vistas. With all this beauty, you probably won’t spend much time researching the safety of some of these places. After all, you’re on vacation, and you’ve got to soak up as much as you can. That’s our job, and we want you to enjoy your time here as much as possible, and we want you to be safe. You may hear about places and search our books and apps for them, only to find nothing. Does that mean we don’t know about them? No, that’s probably not the case. It might mean we’ve already checked them out and determined that you can’t—or shouldn’t—go there. For instance, some bloggers have detailed directions and suggest going to places such as Sacred Falls on O‘ahu. Sure enough, it’s probably one of the most gorgeous falls on the Island. But we give scant mention. The reason? It’s been closed for years and is not safe.

On mother’s day 1999 the side of the 1500’ canyon collapsed, injuring over 50 people and killing 8. Ever since that fateful day, the park has been closed and heavy fines have been handed out to discourage people from entering (they even made a video explaining why, you can see it here). The park is simply not safe. Police patrol the area giving heavy fines to those that trespass. They aren’t trying to be killjoys. They have been told by the experts that more rock falls will occur and they don’t want to expose their ‘okole to danger rescuing people who get into trouble at the falls.

Another tragedy recently took place on Maui at an infamous place referred to as “Chutes and Ladders.” A young girl was swept into the ocean and her friend jumped in to rescue her. Both died. Yes, we knew about the place. And no, it’s not in our book. It’s dangerous and on private property. ‘Nuff said.

There are many places on the islands that we know about, but do not publish. The reason is usually safety. We spend countless hours exploring all the nooks and crannies of the Hawaiian Islands, and if we feel a place is unsafe, we will not write about it. It’s just not worth the risk sometimes. If a place has been closed by any state agency, we remove it from our books and apps. Unfortunately, once ink has been put on paper, it is impossible for us to go back and change. As a consequence we have often been accused of encouraging trespassing, and unsafe behavior. This is just untrue, and we take pride in bringing you the latest information available. But there’s a reason we make new editions. Things change, and unfortunately our time machine is in the shop, so we have no way to go back and change those already printed books.

Also, some places are safe during calm times and dangerous during rough times. We’ll always try to tell you when it’s good and when it’s not. Queen’s Bath on Kauai and Olivine Pools on Maui are such examples. Please read our descriptions carefully and don’t push it when it’s not right, even if you had your heart set on it.

Remember, we love adventure and we won’t baby our readers. We hate the recording at the airports that says over and over, “Caution: The walkway is ending.” Yeah, I can SEE that. That’s not us. So we ask you to consider that if you hear about something on the Internet, it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. You pay us for our advice when you purchase our books and apps. The Internet is free. Remember, you get what you pay for.

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