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Hiking Likeke Waterfalls

Likeke Falls

Likeke Falls is a neat two tiered waterfall that sits below the Pali Lookout.  Sometimes referred to as the Old Pali Highway Falls, this Oahu waterfall can be one of the easiest to access!  But without a map or some directions, you might never find it…or wind up lost!

Two-Tiered Likeke Falls

You can reach the Likeke Falls by hiking down the old Pali Highway from the lookout, which will take you about an hour and a half to hike down to, or start from the bottom of the Ko’olau Golf Club and walk up, which will take you only 15 minutes to reach this Oahu waterfall destination.

With the water constantly collecting in the high Ko’olau mountain range, you find beautiful waterfalls scattered throughout, including this stunning two tiered waterfall.

The Hike

Likeke Falls Path

There are 2 ways to get to Likeke Falls.  You could like down from the Pali Lookout for over an hour, or take a quick 10 to 15 minute hike from the Ko’olau Golf Course parking lot.

Hiking down from the Pali Lookout requires traveling along the old Pali road below the lookout, cutting through some thick brush, under the freeway, onto Auloa Road, connecting onto the Likeke trail, and travel down the hill to the waterfall. Just remember that when you’re finished, the hike is all back uphill!

Koolau Golf Club Parking Lot

I prefer to keep this hike simple and start from the Ko’olau Golf Course parking lot.  Park away from the club house and closer to the mountain side right as you enter the parking lot.

Walk up to the chain linked gate past the stop sign on the mountainside and precede towards the water tower.

Likeke Falls Water Tower
Likeke Falls Trail

The trail starts off with an easy well maintained path that leads up with lush tropical plants boarding the sides.

Don’t make the mistake that I did by walking to the back of the tower and follow another trail up to a utility structure that dead ends.  It’s steep and only gets confusing and you'll end up lost if you precede forward. 

Likeke Falls Arrow

So take the first trail on the left hand side, which will lead to stone pathway.  Follow this trail for about 5 minutes or so, until you see a smaller trail that forks on the right hand side into the brush.  Look for an arrow sign that’s carved into a tree at the T-intersection.  Miss it and you’ll continue climbing up towards the old Pali road!

Likeke Falls Trail

Once you make the right turn, the trail becomes a bit narrower, and tends to be muddy with lots of branch roots and rocks that cover the ground.  Take your time and walk carefully through this section.  In no time you’ll reach the Likeke Waterfall.

The Waterfall

Likeke Falls

Likeke falls is a beautiful 2 tiered waterfall that cascades down about 20 ft.  You’ll be amazed once the trail opens up with a stream bed that runs right up to the waterfall.

The first 8 ft section runs down the rocks into a small pool below.  On occasion you’ll see folks climb up to the second pool.  I can’t recommend it as the rocks are covered with moss and tend to be slippery.

Likeke Falls

And unlike Maunawili Falls, there’s no jumping back down into this bottom pool, as it’s too shallow.  A quick peek and photo opp are what you’ll get from the second level.

Likeke Falls is a wonderful discovery worth hiking up to…or down for that matter, depending where you start from. 

Directions to Likeke Falls

Likeke Falls Ginger Flowers

There are two starting points to this Oahu Waterfall.  Here are both driving directions:

Starting from the Pali Lookout:

  • From Waikiki, take the H-1 Hwy north Merge onto the Pali Hwy Hwy 61 
  • Take the 2nd Old Pali Road/Nuuanu Pali Dr Exit to the Pali Lookout (there should be a Pali Lookout sign 
  • Park in the Pali Lookout parking lot and preceded to the Old Pali Hwy located on the right hand side of the lookout.

Starting from the Koolau Golf Club

  • From Waikiki, take the H-1 Hwy north
  • Merge onto the Pali Hwy Hwy 61 and pass through the tunnels at the top onto the Windward side (15 min)
  • Take a left onto Hwy 83 towards Kaneohe for about 5 min
  • Turn left into the Ko’olau Golf Club

Directions from the Oahu Bus

Start off from Waikiki, and travel on the number 20 Oahu Bus up to the Aloha Tower bus stop.  Take a paper transfer and hop onto bus number 57 to the Pali Lookout.  Your hiking start point starts here.

Hiking Tips

Likeke Falls Hike

Parking – if you decide to start from the Pali Lookout, be mindful to not leave anything in your car.  This area unfortunately happens to be one of the highest tourist car theft areas.  Thieves look for easy targets, including unattended handbags, cameras, backpacks, and electronics that are left visible in cars.

Start early and don’t hike alone – The Ko’olau Mountain area is dense and can be confusing with multiple trails to navigate.  Don’t hike alone and let others know where you’re hiking to.

Stay hydrated – bring sufficient water and snacks.

Bring hiking shoes – certain parts of the trail tend to be muddy and slippery.  Also consider keeping a plastic bag with you to put muddy shoes in once you’re done.

Mosquito Repellent – anytime you head into the brush, you’ll be thankful to have some mosquito repellent with you.

In the Area

Pali Lookout

Pali Lookout

Whichever starting point you decide to hike from, the Pali Lookout is a must see!  The Windward views from this scenic point are incredibly beautiful and worth a couple pictures.  And it happens to be a significant point in history where King Kamehameha defeated his enemies and reunited the Hawaiian Islands.

Downtown Kailua

Downtown Kailua

Just 10 minutes down the road is a cute quaint town worth dropping into.  There are some really good restaurants, shops, a neat bookstore called Bookends, and a new Lanikai Brewery where you can enjoy some tastings.  Starbucks fans will be happy to discover a high-end Kona Coffee being sold at their Kailua location!

Lanikai Beach

Lanikai Beach

If you're looking for a little beach time after your hike, why not stay on the Windward side of the island and experience the most beautiful beaches on the island, including both Lanikai Beach and Kailua Beach!  These paradise beaches are located about 15 minutes away...

Aloha & Enjoy!!