Tip: This small town opened Hawaii's first sugar mill in 1835.

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Boiling Pots of Wailuku

The Wailuku River is an 18-mile path of churning, bubbling, cascading water that is particularly fearsome during heavy rains. Too many people have perished in these waters that conceal long lava tubes, which suck up surface water and spit it out at the other end.

About 2 miles upstream

from Rainbow Falls is a spot aptly named Boiling Pots. During the rainy season, which can be anytime, the river churns through a succession of "pots," resembling a steaming Jacuzzi. Some of the river water flows beneath a level of old lava, then suddenly bubbles up as if it were boiling. The "pots" are visible from the parking area, but if you hike down the trail to the water's edge, it's more exciting. (Just don't enter the water.) To the left is Pe'e Pe'e Falls, a beautiful, five-spouted waterfall. The Boiling Pots are about two miles past the Hilo Medical Center, on Wai'anuenue Drive. Watch for the Pe'e Pe'e Falls sign, which leads to the parking area above the river.

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