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Danger: Moderate

Excite Factor: High

White Road Hike

Difficulty: Intermediate

Status: Illegal

Finding the Secret Water Slide in Hawaii

My friend Shay came up to me at work one day and showed me a picture of an ..."illegal water slide in Hawaii."  Obviously upon hearing those words I immediately decided I was going to go find this thing.

First things first, where is it, and where do you start?

One of those questions could be answered, it's on the big island of Hawaii.  After that, there was virtually no information anywhere on the internet as to where exactly this thing was located or how to find it.

Fun Fact:  Shay was with me when we first blazed the trail to the 'Stairway to Heaven' on Oahu.   (A guide for that mission is also here on 1Lifeonearth).

After scouring imagery and clues on the internet for days I eventually formulated a plan.  Now I just had to wait for an opportunity to go to Hawaii, and rally an adventure-crew for the mission.

Almost a year later, we had our crew assembled and our discount airfare to Hawaii.

This "illegal, secret, hidden water slide" only consisted of one day in our packed itinerary.  We had a road-trip planned around the entire island, and a mission to do every difficult hike we could think of.

This hike is definitely along the same lines as the 'Stairway to Heaven' hike in that it's exciting, beautiful, mysterious, and illegal.

If you decide to do this hike, please help to conserve this amazing area by leaving no trace that you were ever there.  Please be respectful and kind to any wildlife or people you may or may not see.

The Crew: Me, Michael, Tyler.

How to get to the Secret Hawaii Water Slide

First things first, we filmed a video of our hike to the water slide, so check it out to get a good idea of everything I'm talking about.  Our approach to the trail was very atypical.  We went through some really thick jungle to avoid the government road... (the most insane jungle I've ever seen, I couldn't even film during it because it was too intense, it looked like the movie 'Avatar').

The hike skirts the massive Waipio valley which meanders out to the ocean five miles to the North

Side Note:
I'm not going to be as detailed and specific as I could be in these directions to the secret water slide.  I still want there to be some level of mystery and adventure during your journey and I think many will appreciate that 'going into the unknown' aspect when they are on the trail.

Step 1

Getting to White Road. 

The hike is called, "The White Road Hike" for a reason.  It starts at the end of a road named, "White Road."
At the end of White road, there is a closed gate and fence with many 'no trespassing' and various other 'do not enter' -type signs.   One could easily climb this fence and start the trek here.  I decided against it, because I was responsible for the well-being of my brother Michael and my cousin Tyler, and I didn't want them to hold me accountable for getting them arrested or slapped with a big fine.  This entrance area at the end of white road is what I would refer-to as a 'fatal funnel.'  All the police would have to do is watch this point in the road from any vantage point and pull up in their squad-cars and trap anyone in the area.

Anyway, because I didn't wanna risk getting cited or arrested, I/we decided we would enter from the West.  We walked a few miles through the jungle from the West just to avoid this entrance point.  Was that over-kill?  Maybe, but we didn't get fined, so there's that.

The route marked in blue is the easier route, where a person is more susceptible to being caught by the cops.

The route marked in green is the route we took, we came in from the West, through the jungle.

Where both routes merge, the main trail to the 'Secret Hawaii Water Slide' begins.

From this merger point you will head roughly Northwest for about a mile.

Step 2

Continue Walking

Once you've gone about a mile down the trail, it will start to meander West.  You will have to walk through several gates and fences.  Please leave them shut after you go through.  I think they are for wildlife or something.

After a couple thousand feet of walking, the jungle opens up into one of the most beautiful valleys on Earth.  Over 2,000 feet tall and strikingly green, a massive waterfall cascades on the opposite side as all the water in the area routes itself down into the ocean in the North.  For us, we lucked out in that this part of our hike was super sunny and we could see the Waipio valley in all its glory.  I've heard tales of people hiking this route in the fog and not being able to see 20 feet in front of them... and they would have no idea the cliff drops thousands of feet right next to where they're stepping.

Michael looking at the foggy forest

Step 3

Climb across

After walking Southwest for another few thousand feet you're going to come to a cool aqueduct thing.  Climb across this to get to the other side.  Once you're at the other side, you have a choice... keep going on the trail that leads to somewhere, or pull up your trousers and jump into the hole.  If you're like us, you prepared for this and brought lamps like these: https://amzn.to/2CMqTmh

Step 4

Go into the darkness

From here on out, follow your instincts.  You will be spelunking beneath massive mountains, through river caverns like a creature in Lord of the Rings, seeking your precious water slide.

Me inside the tunnel looking out at Michael

Step 5

Slide to glory. 

Once you make your way through all the under-ground tunnels, eventually the caves will open up into sunlight.  The water-slide will be seen, rising above into the surrounding Hawaiian jungle.


The tunnel opening into the jungle

Final Thoughts

The hike to the Hawaiian water slide was super epic and we are all really glad we did it.  Surprisingly this was only a small part of our trip.  During the course of this week we filmed all of the most epic places on the island.  We traveled everywhere.  From cliff jumping in the South, to climbing the active volcano in the East.  Hiking the mountain valleys in the North to climbing the dormant volcano in the middle of the Island.  Here is the other video we made that encapsulates our entire Big Island experience, with some guest appearances from the Hawaii Water slide 🙂
Here is the YouTube VIDEO Link.

White Road Hike FAQ

  • Where is the White Road Hike / secret illegal water slide?
    It's on the big island of Hawaii
  • Is the White Road / secret water slide dangerous?
    No, not really.  There are several spots where you are 2,000 feet in the air standing and walking along cliff edges but as long as you don't slip off, you'll be ok.  On the slide if you hit your head on something, this could cause some major problems, but the general physics of the slide don't really promote much danger.  If you stand up or go head-first down the thing, that'd be a different story.  If you bush-wack through the jungle you might run into some danger, we ran into a family of giant wild boars...
  • How long does the Hawaii water slide hike take?
    If you do it as fast as physically possible and know exactly what you're doing and where you're going, it wouldn't take that long.  But if you're going on this hike for fun and going to hang-out and explore along the way and do the slide a few times, it'll take at least 3 - 6 hours.
  • Is there elevation-gain on the hike?
    No not really.
  • What is this hike called?
    It doesn't really have an official name.  The name that seems to be most common is "The White Road Hike"  or some variation of "Hawaii Waterslide" with the words, illegal, secret, or hidden mixed in.
  • How "illegal" is this hike?
    It's definitely illegal, in that it's trespassing on government property.  Is that mala en se or mala prohibitum? ...  (I'd say mala prohibitum.) ..  It's definitely "less illegal" than the Stairway to Heaven.  If you are caught at the Stairway to Heaven, you are guaranteed to be given a one-thousand dollar fine.  Here at the Hawaii Water Slide, I'm not quite sure what the fine is.  Though, I was reading something about how they do security sweeps randomly and give citations with mandatory court appearances.  Enter at your own risk.
  • How to get to and find the secret, illegal waterslide known as white road hike in Hawaii?
    Follow steps 1 through 5!
  • How many wild boars did you see on the hike when you were in the jungle?
    Three, and they were huge!  I saw another one when I was in the valley below camping a few days prior.
  • Are wild boars dangerous? 
    according to a fiction book I read in high-school, yes they are.
  • Is it completely dark when you go into the mountain tunnels?
    Yes, it is.
  • Where should I park?
    somewhere far away that isn't so conspicuous.
  • Should I treat this area with respect?
    Yes, please do not litter or create any garbage of any kind. Please do not post stickers anywhere or write your name on anything.  Leave this place looking like the jungle it is and help its beauty last long into the future.
  • Is Hawaii warm?
    Yes, it almost always is warm.  We were climbing Mauna Kea the other day however, and we found some snow up there.
  • Can you hike and camp at the bottom of Waipio or Waimanu valley?  
    Yes you can, it's an extreme hike to get to and camp in Waimanu valley, we almost got swept away by flooding so check back soon for the post on how to do that.
  • How much fun was the White Road Hike?
    It was extremely fun.  From the beautiful valleys to the epic, under-mountain tunnels, to the water slide itself, everything about this hike was fun.
  • Did you have pay the "Troll Toll?" 
    No, we didn't have to pay the Troll Toll, thankfully.
  • Should I follow your Instagram for all the latest photos and insane adventure ideas?
    Yes I think you should!    @1Lifeonearth