Lulumahu Falls

Lulumahu Falls stands tall and tucked away up the Pali Hwy.  The trick to seeing this beautiful Oahu waterfall is actually finding it!  The waterfall is located near the Kaniakapupu Ruins, King Kamehameha III’s summer home.  What makes Lulumahu Falls one of the best Oahu waterfalls, is its impressive height and adventure getting there.

Lulumahu Falls

Getting to the waterfall

Be warned, it’s no easy journey getting to Lulumahu Falls, and technically located on private government property. 

Nuuanu Resevoir

This unsanctioned Oahu hiking trail will take you on an adventure through old hunting grounds, a dense bamboo forest, up concrete steps in the middle of nowhere, along the Nu’uanu Reservoir, through a stream, across giant rocks, and alas an amazing 50 ft plus waterfall!

Lulumahu Falls Hike

The adventure starts at the end of the Old Pali Road, where the highway meets back up.

There are a couple entry points in this area.  The first entrance is walking through a big hole in the fence at the water supply board.  Make sure you read all trespassing signs and be warned, before preceding the hole on the side.  There is also an old hunting station that marks the start of this Oahu hike to the Lulumahu Falls, around the corner off the Pali Hwy.

The hunting trail narrows and winds until you reach the stairs.  The Honolulu Water Board Supply gate starts off on a road with lots of bamboo towering above.  The further you travel down the path the narrower it becomes.  You will notice the bamboo starting to close in as the trail narrows.

Lulumahu Falls Hike

About a 100 yards down the path, start looking for a path that branches off on the left hand side. 

Lulumahu Falls Steps

This will lead you to a set of mysterious stone steps.  Climb them and you see that they lead to an old reservoir.

Lulumahu Falls Hike

Follow the dirt trail on top towards the mountains.  Walk past the graffitied wall and around the fenced water pump, and look for a 2nd set of stone stairs.  Up top you will find another trail that will leads you forward towards Lulumahu Falls.

This part of the path will shortly end when it meets up with another section of the old water supply structure, where the stream meets up,  and water drops off 10 ft into a small pool.

Lulumahu Falls Hike

If there’s an easy part to this Oahu hiking trail…it’s over!  From here the journey continues up river, hoping rocks and trying to walk along thin pathways of dirt.

Lulumahu Falls Ribons

Look for ribbons tied to trees, which will help direct you to better position the side you’ll want to be on.  Be careful to not follow some ribbons that lead high into the hillside…stay closer to the stream.  The only way to get up to the waterfall is traveling slowly up stream.

If it’s raining or recently had heavy rainfall, do not attempt this hike this area, as the stream can turn into a rushing river, and can become very dangerous to travel through or alongside it.

The Waterfall

Lulumahu Waterfall

It takes about 15 minutes traveling up stream, until you reach the Hawaiian waterfall.
Make it up the stream, and you’ll have a grand 50 ft plus waiting for you tucked away in the middle of nowhere.

Lulumahu Waterfall

There are very few Oahu waterfalls that can hike to that deliver impressive heights…and Lulumahu Falls is quite impressive!

This Hawaiian waterfall has a beautiful presence, as it sits back in a narrow canyon with vines cascading down the walls, and narrow light shining from above.

It rains quite often in the Pali region, and the mountains are continuously soaked.  It seems that Lulumahu Falls are in endless supply of water cascading down the cliff.  That said, this waterfall only leaves a small pool of water behind.

Lulumahu Waterfall

Getting There from Waikiki

By car

Lulumahu Waterfall

From Waikiki, take the H-1 Freeway and headed west…
Take the Pali Hwy (Hwy 61)
Take the Old Pali Road exit (Nuuanu Pali Dr)
Follow the Old Pali Road until it loops back onto the Pali Hwy.
Park off to the side of the road
The Board of Water Supply gate is located in this area, while the hunters entrance gate is about 30 yards up the Pali Hwy.

By Oahu Bus

Take the number 20 bus from Waikiki to the Aloha Tower.  Transfer onto the 57 downtown (at Aloha Tower) towards Kailua.  Get off at the end of Nuuanu Pali Dr, where the Pali Hwy meets back up.

Look for the Board of Water Supply gate located on the south side of the road, or walk 30 yards up the side of the Pali Hwy, and look for the old hunting gate entrance.

Oahu Map

Oahu hiking recommendations and tips

    Lulumahu Waterfall Hike

  • Good hiking shoes
  • A light hooded rain jacket
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Camera
  • Water & snack
  • A buddy to travel with

Parking:  unfortunately there are a lot of car break-ins in this area (mainly at the Pali Lookout).  Thieves are looking for easy targets, and visible valuables.  Do not leave ANYTHING unattended in your vehicle!  I would also recommend visiting Lulumahu Falls earlier in the morning to help avoid any occurrences.

In the Area

Pali Lookout

Pali Lookout

Drive a little further up the highway and check out the famous Pali Lookout, where King Kamehameha fought one of his final battles in the tall cliffs.  Today you can visit the lookout and admire one of the most amazing views of the Windward Coast…that is if the whipping winds don’t blow you off the mountainside.

Kaniakapupu Ruins

Kaniakapupu Ruins;

Better known as King Kamehameha III summer home, these ruins are close to the Lulumahu Falls entrance. 
The Kaniakapupu Ruins are a nice bonus and an incredible find!  There’s not much left to the 1847 structure, but a strong presence where 10,000 Hawaiian once gathered.

Lanikai Beach

Lanikai Beach waters;

Continue your journey down the Pali Hwy, and explore the beautiful Windward Coast which you'll admire from lookout.  Lanikai Beach and Kailua Beach are two of the most beautiful Oahu beaches on the island!  It shouldn't take you more than 15 minutes to reach these amazing waters.

Aloha & Enjoy!!

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