Kalauao Falls Loop Trail

HARD 8 reviews
#1 of 1 trails in

Kalauao Falls Loop Trail is a 5.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Honolulu, HI that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round.

5.4 miles 1512 feet Loop



nature trips




wild flowers






no dogs

Lessor known trail that starts from Keaiwa Heiau State Park off the more commonly known Aiea Loop Trail down into Kalauao Valley to visit Kalauao Falls and Pu'u Uau. This trail was originally created in 1930 and later modified in 1965 by HTMC. This trail is an intermediate level trail with some steep climbs and descents into the valley. It is best done after a good rain, though not immediately so as it will create some pretty high brown waters. Its best after a couple of days as the water settles into a clear blue hue. The trail is generally well marked with orange ribbons and a few pink bottle caps. There is one short section above the waterfalls (if doing this loop clockwise), where there are several parallel trails that makes it a little confusing. Lookout for the ridge trail after the 14th crossing. Once on the ridge, there are lots of really tall Ti plants. Its not much of a switchback - more like straight up. Watch out for muddy sections with loose footing. The ridge is a beautiful place that connects up to Pu'u Uau. This hill is where the junction from Aiea Ridge and Aiea Loop meets. Return back to the start along Aiea Loop Trail.

14 days ago

My husband and I hiked this today; we backpacked our two daughters (4 and 19 months). This trail is rated hard and I agree it is hard but not extreme. We are both in excellent shape (I am a fitness instructor/trainer and he is a triathlete). Today the trail was about as perfect as it was going to get. It was muddy, in spots, but that is par for the course with waterfall hikes. The descent down is steep but manageable and was the best part (in my opinion). The waterfall was flowing and the water was a clear blue and beyond amazing! Waterfall is absolutely worth it, we all went for a swim:).

My suggestion would be to google this trail and read blogs or watch a U-Tube videos so that you DO NOT MISS the 2 major junctions that lead to the falls. One is at the very beginning of the Aiea Loop and the second is about 20-30 min from that point. When we go back I plan to take my 12 year old daughter. This trail is NOT for young children and unless you are in excellent shape I would NOT backpack young kids. If you are, then GO FOR IT, just make sure you have a spotter to help guide you through the sticky areas on the way up and down. It took us 2 hours IN and 1.5 OUT. We LOVED this hike and it's my favorite waterfall to date on Oahu.

2 months ago

Secluded waterfall. Out of the 20 times I've hiked it I've only seen others on the trail four times. Be prepared for a workout on the way back up.

3 months ago

A great hike that leads to a secluded waterfall below the popular Aiea Loop Trail (we reached the falls before 10:00 on a beautiful Sunday and had ten minutes to ourselves in the gorgeous pool before other groups started arriving). The trail is poorly maintained, requiring some minor acrobatics on the treacherous 600 foot descent into the valley, but is fairly easy to navigate.

8 months ago

Moderately hard contouring into and out of the valley, but well worth the effort and time.

1 year ago

A really awesome hike, not the most maintained trail, slippery, technical, and a brutal climb back out…but a beautiful little waterfall and some incredible isolation in a wonderful piece of nature. Make sure to wear water friendly shoes that you're comfortable with on slick surfaces. This trail is the burlier version of the Aiea Loop.... And shares the same starting point. It's best to follow someone else's track for the entry points, as I did find them very difficult to find.

1 year ago

water fall area closed which is why we picked this trail. the views were pretty but it was a more difficult trail then expected lots of climbing over trees or ducking under trees.

2 years ago

2 years ago

Great hike on a rainy day! It turned out to be more challenging that we expected with the steep descent and climb back out to Pu'u Uau. The falls were really nice with clear blue water.