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11 Best And Easy Waterfall Hikes In Oahu For A Perfect Summer Getaway

Travelers posing in front of a beautiful waterfall in Oahu, Hawaii
Source : alltrails

Best and easy waterfall hikes in Oahu are 1. Manoa Falls 2. Waimea Falls 3. Lulumahu Falls 4. Waimano Falls and more. Enjoy your summer in these cool spots.

Hawaii boasts several amazing waterfalls and downhill streams. Oahu is known for sports like horseback riding, and hiking along with natural beauty. It features some of the most famous waterfall trekking routes.

In this article, we have presented a list of the 11 best waterfall hikes in Oahu for a perfect summer getaway.

1. Manoa Falls Trail

Waterfall hikes in Oahu Manoa Falls Trail is an out-and-back hiking path near Honolulu. The path leads to the famous 150-foot Manoa Fall.

The scenic waterfall is only accessible via a hike through the rainforest. It is a 1.5-mile round trip that takes roughly an hour or two from the trailhead.

The place boasts excellent photography spots. These have been featured in Hollywood movies like Jurrasic Park and Lost.

Cool off at the pool at the base of the fall, and grab a bite of your snacks and refreshing smoothies.

Manoa Falls Hawaii is one of the most celebrated hiking areas amid tropical vegetation and arboretum.

Hikers in front of the beautiful Manoa Falls in Honolulu
Source : co

Hawaii Running Tours offers Manoa Waterfalls Hike with Local Guide for $40 per person. 

  • Departure Address: 3737 Manoa Rd, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
  • Total Duration: 2 hours
  • Age Limit: Above 8 years
  • No. of People: 20 per group
  • Phone: 855 275-5071
  • Stop At: Manoa Valley and Manoa Falls

2. Waimea Falls

Waterfall hike in Oahu Waimea Falls is a well-known hiking area. It is located within the Waimea Valley featuring cultural and archaeological sites.

Waimea Falls is a 45-foot-tall waterfall located on the Northern Shore of Oahu. The stream water is regularly monitored so you can cool off and swim without much worry.

The famous Waimea Falls locate on the Waimea Valley, Oahu
Source : istockphoto

It is accessible via a paved path or a shuttle through the scenic botanical garden. The opening hours of the Waimea Valley Site are 9 am to 5 pm daily.

Travelers can reach the location via an easy 1.5 miles hike along the Waimea River. A visit to the place is also very much a cultural experience.

You are required to get a ticket to enter the location and wearing a life jacket is mandatory.

3. Lulumahu Falls

Waterfall hikes on Oahu Lulumahu Falls is an unsanctioned hiking route with unmarked trails. It will take you on an adventure through a dense bamboo forest.

The path ultimately leads to the 50-foot-tall Lulumahu waterfall. It lies in a preserved area overseen by Honolulu Forest Reserve.

A reservation and permit are required to hike this trail in Nu'uanu Valley. Travelers are expected to carry their permit at all times.

A traveler poses by the wonderful Lulumahu Falls, picture by @nadia_blogs
Source : facebook

The trail is rated easy to moderate so, it is fit for hiking with the whole family. The hike begins at an Old Pali road in the Nu'uanu Valley and follows down a muddy trail.

  • Total length: 1.5 miles (2.4 km)
  • Estimated time: 1 hour to 2 hours
  • Parking is available near the entrance on Nuuanu Pali Dr.

4. Waimano Falls Trail

Waterfall hike Oahu Waimano Falls Trial in Honolulu is 2.9 miles or 4.7 km long. It is a natural out-and-back route near Pearl City in Oahu.

This path is open year-round and accessible at any time of the year. Waimano Falls is one of the major tourist attractions in Honolulu County, Hawaii. 

The trail is steep, enjoyable, and a little challenging. The adventure will take you to a beautiful waterfall and swimming hole.

The Waimano Falls Trail passing through the woods in Honolulu
Source : tripadvisor

To start your trip, reach the top of Komo Mai Drive and park along the road. You will begin the journey from the Manana/Waimano Ridge Trail and pass the Waimano Falls Spur.

  • Address: O‘ahu Hawaii, USA, Pearl City, HI 96782
  • Pet dogs are allowed

5. Likeke Falls

Oahu waterfall hikes Likeke Falls is a famous hiking area in Honolulu County. This two-tiered cascade pool is popular for photos shoot. 

The downstream is accessible by hiking through a dense jungle. It sits right below the Pali Lookout. 

The stunning stream is also referred to as the Old Pali Highways Falls. It is one of the easily accessible places in Oahu to enjoy water activities

Travelers enjoying and cooling off at Likeke Falls
Source : tripadvisor

There are two ways to reach Likeke Falls: First one is, hiking down the Old Pali Highway from the Pali Lookout. This will take about an hour and a half. 

Secondly, a much shorter route starts from the bottom of the Ko'olau Golf Club. Walking up for approximately 15 minutes, you will reach the fall.

  • Address: O‘ahu, Kaneohe, HI 96744
  • Open 24 hours daily (Sun-Sat)
  • Distance: 1-mile round-trip
  • Total Time to complete the hike: 26 minutes on average

6. Laie Falls Trail

Best hikes in Oahu Laie Falls Trail is a forested ridge path that leads to a small waterfall and a pool. It lies on private property.

This popular hiking area in Honolulu also offers a distant ocean view. It is a well-traveled route about three miles in length.

Travelers interested in hiking the privately owned Laie Falls need to apply for a 'hiking permit' at least three days prior at Hawaii Reserves Inc. (HRI). 

The Laie Falls Trail passing through the hilly terrain
Source : tripadvisor

Travelers are advised to keep a copy of the Permit and maps of the area with them at all times. There are no rangers on duty so you will be hiking at your own risk.

  • Address: 55-261 Poohaili St, Laie, HI 96762
  • Phone: 808 293-9201
  • A hiking Permit is mandatory
  • Parking is available at Laie Park

7. Koloa Gulch Trail

Koloa Gulch Trail is a hiking route that lies on privately owned property. It starts at Aakahi Gulch Road and leads all the way to Koloa Falls.

Koloa Gulch is one of the hidden waterfall hikes in Oahu. In general, the trail is an 8-mile roundtrip.

Park at Kokololio Beach parking and walk back towards Laie.  The trail begins at Akahi Gulch Rd. and walking down a short way you will come across a sign for the Koloa Gulch trail.

The Left and Right Forks of the Lower Koloa Falls and Pool
Source : flickr

The route can be rugged, so it is wise to wear comfortable footwear. Other than that, travelers will have an unforgettable experience through rock hopping at Koloa Stream.

  • Total Distance: 8 miles
  • Time Duration: 7 to 8 hours (approx.)
  • Route Type: Out-and-Back
  • Hiking and Camping Permit is compulsory

8. Kaipapau Falls Trail

Kaipapau Falls Trail is a hiking route that lies in the Kaipapau Forest Reserve in Honolulu. It leads to the end of a 90-foot Kaipapau Waterfall. 

The trail is 8-miles-long which makes for an amazing hiking experience. The best time to start your journey is in the morning. 

A natural route of the Kaipapau Falls Trail with a magnificient ocean view
Source : alltrails

You will travel through a lush and beautiful forest and see some interesting abandoned bunkers sights. 

The trail is long and strenuous so, it is wise for travelers to bring plenty of water and snacks with them on this journey. 

  • Address: Laie, HI 96762
  • Elevation: 3,287 feet

9. Kapena Falls

Best waterfalls in Oahu Kapena Falls is a famous site in Honolulu known for testing cliff jumping. It is an easy stroll path extending over half a mile.

The journey begins at Nuuanu Memorial Park & Mortuary. First, head down the hill to the trailhead near the rock wall and then follow the path.

You will arrive at the waterfall after a 10 minutes walk. Be cautious before you jump in the pool.

The lush and beautiful setting of the Kapena Falls and Alapena Pool
Source : reddit

The Kapena Falls cliff jump is about 35 foot tall if you are in for some cliff jumping.

  • Address: Alpena Pool, Honolulu, HI 96817
  • Opening Hours: 7 am to 6 pm (Sun-Sat)
  • Parking is available at Nuuanu Memorial Park & Mortuary

10. Judd Trial And Jackass Ginger Pool

Best waterfall in Oahu The Judd Trial is a one-mile nature walk located in the jungle Nuuanu area. This place was established in memory of the Judd family from the early 1800s.

The Judd Trial passes through eye-catching Norkfolk Pines, a bamboo forest and ends at the Jackass Ginger Pool & Falls.

This path is not too far from the old Pali Road. It is one of the well-traveled and easiest areas to visit in Oahu. 

Travelers taking a dip in the cool water at Jackass Ginger Pool
Source : flickr

The path leads to an impressive 6-foot-tall waterfall. In the fall, you can enjoy a natural rock slide to take a plunge into the water.

The natural pool is surrounded by large boulders that form a rock wall. There, the water cascades over a few sections.

  • Duration: 30 minutes (approx.)
  • Starting Location: Old Pali Road in Nuuanu

Things to bring on the hiking:

  • Quality hiking boots
  • A fully charged phone
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Plenty of water and snacks

11. Ka’au Crater Trail

Ka’au Crater Trail is a steep jungle path circling around a crater that passes through three waterfalls. Travelers will enjoy a good view of Honolulu and the ocean. 

It is a long, stretched hiking route with a rewarding experience. Travelers will pass three waterfalls and a hidden crater on the way. 

The hike begins a decline into the Palolo Valley and down the river. If you are a beginner, reach the first downstream and return. 

A hiker walking the Kaau Crater Trail with an amazing view in sight
Source : alltrails

For a more experienced and adventurous hiker, keep going down the second fall and climb up the third one. At the top of the ridge, there is an open area with an amazing view.

  • Address: 3000 10th Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816
  • Opening Hours: 6 am - 6 pm daily
  • Total Distance: 5.1 miles
  • Duration: 6 hours (approx.)
  • Parking at Waiomao Rd., Palolo Valley