East Oahu Hiking Trails
Best Hiking Trails on Oahu
Maunawili Falls Trail
Maunawili Falls is in the Maunawili Valley at the foot of the Pali Cliffs. It’s about 40 minutes from Waikiki. Follow Maunawili Road until you reach the residential neighborhood where a small sign marks the trail. The only parking is on the neighborhood streets. It is a two-mile hike but takes a good two hours or so to reach the waterfall.
Maunawili Falls Trail to close for two years
Beginning July 2021, according to the local news and the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), the Maunawili Falls Trail will be closed for two years for a long-term improvement project.
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From the sign marking the trail, walk a short distance to the hillside. The trail can be quite muddy and is an upward climb that is rather adventurous. There are some steps along the trail, and by the time you follow the stream, you’ll find the ground becomes a little less challenging. You’ll have to hop some rocks to cross streams that can be a bit of a balancing act.
When you reach the plateau, you can admire the view of the valley and jungle before the path heads downwards to the falls. The steps here are large and should be taken slowly. You’ll reach the cascading falls where you’ll navigate across another stream and some boulders to reach the cool natural pool at the bottom of the 20 ft waterfall. It can be tricky to dive or swim in the area, but people do take the risk. As well, the water can be contaminated with leptospirosis bacterial disease that could make you very sick.
From here, you can follow the trail to reach the top of the falls, although many people choose to swim to the falls and then climb the side. At the top of the trail, you will discover a second waterfall to enjoy before you head back.