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
Oahu waterfalls are easy to travel to, that can also deliver such an
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 Mountains.
You’ll quickly come
upon a trail sign leading to a gate above an unattended facility
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 trail is just over 3/4 of a mile to reach the waterfall.
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
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
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 kids.
also find parts of the path canopied with guava, eucalyptus, banyan
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
well that’s because you are. Some of the 1993 wild jungle
were shot right in this area. More recently, the TV series,
also took advantage of filming in this mysterious tropical terrain. It almost reminds me of parts of Kualoa Ranch where lots of movie scenes were filmed.
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 this waterfall? Back in the day you could…there was a nice pool that everyone could play around and swim in at the base of water cascading down the wall.
Avoid scaling the walls or climbing to the top of this Oahu waterfall that is dangerous and can result in serious injury and or other consequences.
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.
Hiking Gear Picks including Compact Hiking Poles, Mosquito Repellent, and GPS Mapping Tracker
A guided tour to Manoa Falls is recommended if you don't want to worry about the logistics of finding the starting point and correct trail head.
With a guide, there would be no stress in navigation and figuring out hiking details 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.
St out of Waikiki up to the H-1 Freeway
Take H-1 West towards the
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
Good hiking shoes
A light hooded rain jacket
Bottled water and a light snack
Consider bringing up a light lunch or snacks
Camera with a waterproof case
A pair of shorts, shirt and flip flops to change into after your hike
A plastic bag to put wet or muddy clothes and shoes into after hike
Manoa Valley has a small town with some local shops and restaurants. Off The Hook is a hole-in-the-wall poke bowl spot that is very popular amongst the community and poke lovers.
They have some unique creations with delicious toppings that are satisfying, and just might have you returning for more.
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 in
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!