Manoa Falls has to be one of the most fascinating waterfalls on Oahu to be seen! Cascading 150 feet down the mountainside, it will seem more like 1000 feet as you stare up at the endless water falling down the rocks. Not many Oahu waterfalls are easy to travel to, that can also deliver such an impressive show!
This Oahu hike is located on one of the better- maintained mountain Oahu trails which starts at the bottom of the old Paradise Park building at the top of Manoa Road.
This is where tourist buses used to bring visitors to eat lunch, as they bird watch through the rain forest below, and all the way across the canyon towards the Ko'olau Mountians.
You’ll quickly come upon a trail sign leading to a gate above an unattended facility parking lot. I would recommend parking in the residential area where it tends to be a little safer to leave your car, and walk up an extra quarter mile.
the Manoa Falls trail sign, you’ll start your journey across a bridge,
and slowly hike up along the sides of the deep rainforest valley.
The Oahu GO Card gives you your admission and discounts to multiple attractions & tours including Manoa Falls Park.
The views are breathtaking! As eager as you might be to reach the falls, be sure to take the time to enjoy the surroundings along the way! There are lots of interesting finds along the "jungle" trail on this Oahu hike.
The trail tends to be a bit muddy as it rains a lot in this region. In fact Manoa Valley receives the most rainfall on Oahu. You might want to consider bringing a light waterproof jacket or windbreaker along for the hike.
is a good amount of gravel for the first part of the trail, so
sure to wear the right shoes, and watch your footing on the slippery
You will also have to watch out for tree roots that have encroached on the trails. That being said, this is one of the better-maintained trails that has been terraced along the way and cleared of most debris.
The last 100 yards tend to be more of a challenge, as it will involve climbing up and over large boulders to finally reach Manoa Falls.
Although this involves extra effort, it is manageable, even for most
You’ll also find parts of the path canopied with guava, eucalyptus, banyan trees, and lots of tall bamboo. Hillside wildflowers can easily be spotted, along with large patches of beautiful ginger.
If you feel like you’re on a Jurassic Park trail, well that’s because you are. Some of the 1993 wild jungle scenes were shot right in this area. More recently, the TV series, Lost, also took advantage of filming in this mysterious tropical terrain.
This Oahu hike should take you about a half hour to reach the waterfall...if conditions are good, and it's not that muddy! This is a quick rewarding hike that rewards you with the most amazing waterfalls on Oahu!
Can you swim at
Back in the day you could…there was a nice pool that everyone
could play around and swim in at the base of the waterfall.
Unfortunately a large rock slide in 2002 littered the grounds with large rocks and boulders that now make it dangerous to enter the water and maneuver around in it.
A guided tour to Manoa Falls
is highly recommended if you don't want to worry about the logistics of
driving to the correct spot and finding the trail head, trying to make
sure you're at the right place to start your hike. With a guide,
there would be no stress in figuring
everything out yourself so you can just enjoy the hike up to
this beautiful waterfall.
Experienced guides also have great knowledge of the abundant variety of flora and fauna along the trail that they will share with you all throughout the hike. Guides often have great personalities and love what they do. They are not only entertaining, but will give you the peace of mind that you will not get lost and they are trained on safety. Most will come prepared with essential items such as bug spray, sunscreen, water, walking poles, and should be able to let you know how to prepare for the hike ahead of time.
Manoa Falls Guided Tour Information:
St out of Waikiki up to the H-1 Freeway
Take H-1 West towards the Airport
Take the Punahoe Exit
Follow Punahoe Rd up towards the mountains
Punahoe Rd turns into Manoa Rd
Follow Manoa Rd all the way up to the top
You might want to consider parking in the residential neighborhood, just below the old Paradise Park facility, and walking up to the gate where the road ends and the Na Ala Hele Manoa Falls trail begins.
Take the #5
Manoa Route Bus
from the Ala Moana Shopping Center (most Waikiki buses stop by this
center), to the last bus stop up Manoa Road. This is about
you would park your vehicle, and walk up the remaining road to the
trail starting point. Ask your bus driver to notify you where
Traveling back down Manoa Valley, you could literally drive
straight to the Ala
Moana Shopping Center,
where you could remain casual in your hiking gear, and grab a bite to
eat at the Makai Market. If you need something to warm you
check out Goma Tei for
the best bowl of ramen.
If you decide to head back to Waikiki through Kapahulu Ave, treat yourself to some of the best treats found on the island. Leonard’s Bakery is right off the freeway, and known for their fresh hot malasadas! Need something a little more refreshing on the chill side? How about a sweet snowcone from Waiola Shave Ice…!
Head to a beach just outside Waikiki! You’re already en route, so why not explore one of the neighboring local beaches such as Ala Moana Beach Park, or Diamond Head Beach. I couldn’t think of a better way to end a hike than changing into your swimming trunks and jumping into the refreshing ocean!