Kalawahine Trail

MODERATE 10 reviews

Kalawahine Trail is a 5.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Honolulu, HI that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round.

5.7 miles 2420 feet Out & Back



nature trips




wild flowers


Directions from Honolulu: From Makiki Heights Drive, go uphill on Tantalus Drive. When you get close to the top, just after going over a narrow bridge, look for the trailhead on the left. It will be adjacent to a private road, going uphill. Park in the parking area on the right just past the trailhead.

trail running
1 month ago

Did some trail running, the Kalawahine trail by itself is only 1.3 miles long. What is being shown on the map is a combination of Kalawahine, half of Pauoa flats, and the climb to the top of K2. Be aware that i counted 4 downed trees on this trail yesterday, with 2 at a dangerous angle/could continue to slide down. Whenever the downed trees are taken care of, the trail should be considered easy with a caveat that it is frequently muddy and slippery most days.

1 month ago

Good views at the end and lots of trail connections.

1 month ago

Followed 2e's recommendations for the intersecting trails to Manoa Falls. The Puoua flats part of the hike was my favorite with all the bamboo! Plenty of tree cover to stay cool through out the hike. Took us about 4 hours total with a few brisk breaks & a quick lunch at the falls.

2 months ago

I've done this hike a few times. Very well kept due to it being a state trail. I would still rate it moderate because it is fairly long considering which trails you take. If you stay on the trail you'll get to the flats trail and there are many more trails but if you stay to the right you'll end up at Manoa falls. If you take the cliff trail and stay right you'll end up at the service road from the beginning of the hike. Definitely worth exploring all the trails back there. Also the flats hike is a loop. Sorry if this didn't make too much sense... Great hike for sure!

3 months ago

I wanted to go to Manoa Falls but was looking for a longer hike and stumbled upon Kalawahine (formerly known as Manoa Cliff Trails and is still referenced as such on the state's map). To start, there is a very small "parking lot" before you go over the bridge to get to the trail head if you're coming up Tantalus. If you Google map the trail, it may take you to Telephone Road which, as others have said, runs adjacent to the trail head. Do not go up Telephone Rd! I got a late start and by the time I arrived at 9:30 a.m. I had to make my own parking spot by parking somewhere on the road. There is no official parking lot (and no bathrooms). The drive up Tantalus was gorgeous but I wouldn't navigate it at night as there are very many sharp turns. On the trail, it was easy going. Mostly flat the entire way but muddy with loose rocks on some parts and tree roots on others. It's a narrow trail (single file) with vegetation on both sides and the lovely smell of ginger flowers. When there is a break in the vegetation is when you can get a glimpse of the view below. I'm a big fan of trees and plants so there was a lot to take in for me. There are many off shoot trails from Kalawahine so I am pretty sure the map on AllTrails is referring to Kalawahine + Pauoa Flats Trail. To get to Manoa Falls from Kalawahine, follow the trail until you get to the junction with Pauoa Flats, make a left here (Kalawahine ends here). If you go right, you end up going to Manoa Cliff. Follow Pauoa Flats until you get to the junction with Aihualama. If you continue on Pauoa Flats you will reach the summit where you can see the Nuuanu Reservoir. Take Aihualama Trail if you want to go to Manoa Falls. It's about 1.5 miles all downhill...which means when you turn around you will get that elevation gain you didn't get at the beginning of your hike. Fitbit told me I went 79 floors from Manoa Falls back to the Aihualama/Pauoa Flats junction. On Pauoa and Aihualama you pass through a bamboo forest. Be prepared for rain and lots of mud. My absolute favorite part of the trail was about 15 minutes from Manoa Falls you see three very large banyan trees and you can hear them creak with the wind. At first I thought it was a bird making the noise. This review encompasses things I wish I knew before I made the trek as I am very new to Hawaii and hiking. I idiotically thought Kalawahine would take me straight to Manoa Falls and after wandering in the wrong direction twice, I ended up hiking 7 miles...which is more than I intended. I had a blast the entire way though and would go back on this trail to explore some more.

4 months ago

Great views!

5 months ago

decent hike over all. it was pretty muddy and there is lots of roots which I don't like. bamboo forests were awesome. several forks for dofferent trails, we went to manoa falls

7 months ago

It was great but no fuckin guava

1 year ago

I like this trail as the access point to the trail system that goes up to K2 and K1... Trail picks up off of Tantalus drive right after the one lane bridge, you can see the trailhead sign on the left and then park along the road on the left side as well as you drive up from town.

1 year ago

I accidentally did this trail, having been unsuccessful at finding the Puu Ohia Trail after a day of hiking from Manoa Falls (via Aihualama and Pauoa Flats), and I am so glad I did. It is not difficult, it calmly snakes along hugging the sides of the valley. Very near to the beginning/end, Tantalus Dr, there is a bench overlooking the valley and you can see the city and ocean in the distance. It is close enough to the trailhead that it makes for a spectacular sunset spot and can easily get to the road before it actually gets dark. I would recommend having a car to get down though, as I wound up walking the ~3miles down Tantalus Dr in the dark. But that view of the sunset was entirely worth it.