Lulumahu Falls stands tall and
tucked away up the Pali Hwy. The trick
to seeing this beautiful Oahu waterfall is actually finding it! And that is only half your battle, as it's located on private property as well. 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
Be warned, it’s no easy journey getting to Lulumahu Falls, and technically located on private government property, and considered trespassing!
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!
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.
About a 100 yards down the path, start looking for a path
that branches off on the left hand side.
This will lead you to a
set of mysterious stone steps. Climb them and you see that they
lead to an old reservoir.
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
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.
If there’s an easy part to this
Oahu hiking trail…it’s over! From here
continues up river, hoping rocks and trying to walk along thin pathways
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
very dangerous to travel through or alongside it.
It takes about 15 minutes traveling up stream, until you reach the
Make it up the stream, and you’ll have a grand 50 ft plus waiting for you tucked away in the middle of nowhere.
There are very
few Oahu waterfalls that can hike to that deliver
heights…and Lulumahu Falls is quite
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.
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.
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.
Good hiking shoes
A light hooded rain jacket
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! You might also want to consider visiting Lulumahu Falls
earlier in the morning to help avoid any occurrences.
Drive a little further up the highway and check out the famous Pali
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.
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.
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