Wow! This trail lives up to everything in the reviews. Dirt, mud, rocks, bamboo, stream crossings (they aren't all gentle). Lots of elevation change in the first 2 miles. Beautiful coastline views too. We even saw whales are the trek back. Once you cross the stream and start towards the falls this trail turns nasty, but totally worth it. The waterfall is amazing!
One tip, definitely wear shoes with good grip that you're OK hiking in once they're wet, because they will be.
I am flying in from Oahu on June 22nd. I have a permit to camp on June 23rd and I will be walking back to the trailhead on the 24th. Since it is just me, I am looking for someone to share a shuttle ride. There is a service but, it is a two person minimum. If anyone is interested and the dates work, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
This really was a wonderful hike, and I loved the opportunity to go, but I don't think people realize how tough it is. I went with my wife and her sister and husband; we are all in fair shape and in our late twenties and early thirties. We are not avid hikers but we are good shape from running. This hike was challenging both for the elevation gains and the trail condition. It rained heavily during our hike and the trail was very muddy and slick. There were people in flip flops and with very elderly hikers, as well as young children with or without carriers. I do not recommend this hike if you don't have good shoes or if you're not in good shape unless you are guaranteed good conditions. We saw multiple people who had fallen, and me and the other guy in our group had to pull an obese man to safety after he fell in the stream crossing. The views are amazing and the hike was worth it if you're up to it, so I definitely recommend. We had to cut ours short (we had planned to go to the falls) due to the river rapidly rising and it was still worth it.
Great hike. For those who like a workout you get great inclines going in and going back. You have to cross the stream 4 or 5 times which makes for some fun frogger type action. Gorgeous views of the coast and the waterfall at the end is beautiful. You can even take a dip in the pool if you like. No doubt your shoes will get muddy so don't worry too much about keeping them clean at the beginning. Get there early for good parking and so you can enjoy the waterfall to your self.
Beautiful beach at the end of this hike! The real treat though was the view of the coastline just after the beginning of the hike. If you can't make it to the beach, at least go see that! It's absolutely breathtaking. The trail was a little more difficult than expected, but my girlfriend is (or was, before this!) a beginner hiker and she had no problems. Might be difficult if you have knee problems.
Difficult trail to rate. You start at the HI State park and I have been to parks in developing countries that have better facilities! The parking lot is very rough, as in if you have a car you will need a spotter so you don't high center on rocks and you will only be able to park in certain stalls. Did I mention this is the official parking for for the park! The Trail itself had wonderful scenery but was very, very busy. As a lot of tourists (non-hikers) do this trail I saw a lot of really bad trail etiquette. Radios blaring in backpacks, people passing on other on difficult sections, etc. I don't know if the views make up for this.
The difficulty of the trail itself really depends on the weather. Most of the trail is steep on mud. When dry it's fine, if there is rain it turns to grease. My tip is to arrive early, have walking sticks, take your time on the mud and bring a towel and beach shoes for the one large stream crossing at the end.