Explore The Waterfall Series - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

The Waterfall Series Map

If it's raining or wet, think twice about going around the crater ridge unless you have cleats and rope. Mildly treacherous mud climbing and sliding will ensue. A light amount of rain had all of the falls raging, making the third one impossible to cross the standard way, instead requiring dangerous and fun mountain goat gymnastics up both sides to make it to the top. At that point you can go left to find the exit route, or go right and try to hurt yourself. Results after 6 hours: bruised, cut, sore, mud covered, smiling.

As always, please continue leaving as much of your trash on the trail as possible, it gives me great satisfaction to collect it.

Holy cow this thing is hard, first and second waterfalls are what one normally expects, but third is almost rock climbing followed by a climb along a ridge with winds threatening to blow you off, do not attempt of its raining! All that said, beautiful trail, amazing sights, and the view from the peak! Definitely do this hike if you can handle it!

7 days ago

This is more of a moderate hike. Its definitely not that hard.


7 days ago

Thoughts upon completion: COUNTERCLOCKWISE! Do it counterclockwise. Not for comfort, but for safety. The counterclockwise route puts the hard, crazy incline, narrow track stuff mostly on your uphill, and then, with the exception of some slippy, narrow channel through mud stuff right after the summit, it's mostly accessible downhills, some stairs, mostly plodding. But, geeze, we were talking about what it would have been like to go down the stuff we went up, if we had gone clockwise, and folks, I think it would have been ridiculously unsafe at the least, impassable at most.

On the counterclockwise route, there's a sharp left turn out of a musclewood grove near the end, that's the one major left you can see on the route map. Easy to miss, and if you miss it you end up in the burbs in Hawaii-Loa. If you do this, you have to walk down the hill the highway, then back up the Niu valley to the car. Not sure how many miles that added to the trek, but it was a few.

Let's see...oh, spikes would have been nice. Bring spikes. Not impossible without, but there are some steep downhills on the ridge between peaks where it's like, mud, slide, dropoff to either side. Spikes would have been nice.

Beyond that, omfg, as the kids say. This hike is amazing. The views defy description, camera and memory. It is ILL to see half the island from a single point. Honolulu looks fake from the distance, like toys. Kokohead looks tiny. Super great hike. Tiring, bring more food than you want. Give yourself hours, we took 1:00-8:00. Although, as mentioned above, we tacked on 2-3 hours/miles at the end, and took our time on the ridge to avoid, well, death. (It's not that bad, you're just not gonna wanna jog up there.) But with 2 liters of water and a few kind bars, nuts, fruit things, we were solid.

If you got the feet, do this hike.

Best hike on the island - tons of mud and tons of fun - if you are old and slow and take lots of videos and it is rainy - plan on a 10 hour hike

Very easy, the whole walk is clearly marked and paved. Lovely scenery and such lush vegetation with botanical signage AND historic Hawaiian sites with bits of interesting history for those interested all along the walk to the falls. Bathrooms at the beginning and end, not very crowded in March.

The boar is gone now.
The hike was beautiful and absolutely would recommend. We have done it a few times now and love it every time. Be ready to climb some waterfalls and wear good shoes for slippery rocks.

Tough hike with all the mud. But cool waterfall, and good swimming hole.

9 days ago

Easy hike at 2.5 miles. My friend's 4 year old walked it. It has a couple of small streams and waterfalls, and through-the-trees views of the ocean.

10 days ago

muddy but super fun! those “stairs” are slight killers tho lol

on Waimea Valley Trail

12 days ago

It was a quick and easy hike. Any age can do it and they provide life jackets to use for swimming near the waterfall. Must pay $17 to enter.

Amazing hike and beautiful waterfall at the end. Super muddy but so much fun! I decided to wear water shoes...and it was a great idea! Definitely a long hike...so be prepared! We had plenty of snacks and lots of water! I would definitely do this hike again!

on Maunawili Falls Trail

13 days ago

The 4mi trail was VERY muddy today, which meant the exposed roots and branches were very slippery. This is a moderate hike because of the mud - not because of the length or elevation change. We only saw 4 other people going up (started around 9:30am) but counted 56 on our way down (we were back at the car by noon). Parking in the neighborhood wasn’t a problem, but do be mindful of driveways and mailboxes.

Be prepared with hiking boots and patience! The waterfall was pretty, but I’m not sure I’d do this hike again, and will stick to bringing visitors to Manoa Falls.

To start off, believe the reviews. We thought reviews were exaggerating that a 5 mile hike would take such a long time. THEY WERE RIGHT. After about 6 hours, covered head to toe in mud, this hike was definitely one to remember.

The start of the hike is right behind a set of mailboxes on the street Google Maps leads you to, easy to spot. You descend deep into the jungle-like forest and begin walking along a stream bed. Markers lead in both directions and I have yet to discover if they brought you along slightly different paths or if all ways led to Rome, but I'm going with the latter. We stuck to the right side since we read that that one contained the waterfalls. TIP: Remember this part of the trail. On the way back, we ran into a couple who had been lost for an hour trying to get out. Luckily my boyfriend has a great memory and led us all out, but it can get awful confusing since the markers are scattered.

After about an hour of going up/down, the gradient pretty flar, following a thick water pipe and its rusty, corroded predecessor (#tetanus), we reached the first waterfall. Climbing up it was fairly easy. I tend to avoid ropes as much as possible since you can't tell how long they've been up there, but the majority looked secure (safe for one highly sketchy orange one). The second waterfall came shortly after and it was even more beautiful. The third waterfall was a series of smaller falls that lead you up the mountain until you reach the crater opening. You use a series of ropes for 0.25 miles to walk up them.

Once you get to the crater, it resembles a typical ridgeline trail. Pine trees at the beginning, then quickly shifting to open area and lots of mud. LOTS. You'll continue to head upwards to the highest peak, and then loop back along the ridge. Beautiful view. Unfortunately for us, as soon as we reached the ridge, it began to rain, hard. We pushed on to get to the peak, but once at the peak, quickly turned back. The mud was extremely slippery and we did the majority of the open ridgeline sliding down on our butts / as low to the ground as possible. I wouldn't recommend doing this part of the hike in the rain to any unexperienced or nervous hikers. It was very nerve-wracking. We went slow and steady, sneakers slipping every few feet. There wasn't much to hold on to except the mud below us, hence the butt sliding. Once we reached the forest covering, we got to the waterfalls, and it took us just as long, if not longer, to get down, since the rocks were all super slippery from the rain. I read that the way down on the other side of the loop is easier.

Once done with the falls, we were ready to exit the hike, but still had another hour of mud to trek through. At this point, we walked straight through every stream and mud puddle, no longer slightly concerned by the mud on our faces and fact that it had soaked into our underwear. We brought enough water but definitely not enough food (only 2 Clif bars for 6 hours of strenuous hiking, silly mistake) so we were getting a little tired. By the time we finished, we were incredibly satisfied, but vowed not to look at mud for another 24 hours.

Then came figuring out how to get into the rental car with as little damage as possible.

All in all, great hike, pretty easy to follow, not overly strenuous on a sunny day but twice as hard (and dangerous) on a rainy one. Bring extra food and water, I promise you won't regret it,

Amazing trail with an even more amazing waterfall at the end. Ensure you wear good hiking shoes, as the trail forces you to cross water and mud.

It was good hike, it easy but gave you a sweat! And the end state of the hike is pretty.

Great views of the mountains. Little muddy so if it’s raining it’s probably not a good choice

Took this hike on Friday, February 23. Only a few other hikers were encountered. The falls were running strong. Highly recommend this hike for anyone looking for a 2 hour hike through some beautiful tropical forests.

Greatest hidden gem on the island. Also secluded and extremely lightly traveled. My fiancé and I were the first ones on the trail for the day and it had just turned noon when we started. So we definitely used the privacy for some “honeymoon” time when we got to the waterfall.
-Tarzan and Jane

Not able to go today as the trail is closed from being washed out after heavy rainfall. Patrol car handing out fines as they have had to rescue numerous

people in the last week

It is a sanctuary in the middle of the city. I have driven On Pali highway many years and would have never guessed that this existed. Thank you AllTrails

21 days ago

Very nice and relaxing hike. I will be doing this again soon. It was wet before I got there and it poured rain while hiking out but I still loved every bit of it!

Beautiful, yet difficult hike. Not recommended for children or the faint of heart. Doable for athletic teenagers and adults. Beautiful views and waterfalls, but steep ridges and lots of scrambling required. Bring bug spray and lots of water. Totally worth it!

I am in decent shape and this trail kicked my butt. Definitely not for the out of shape or faint of heart - although I personally do have a fear of heights but was still able to finish. Climbing up the third waterfall was great fun, not technically challenging but long and got strenuous by the end. The crater rim is steep and muddy and by far the most difficult and dangerous part of this hike. There are helpful ropes in many spots - but there are also several spots that could have used a rope but didn’t have one. Took about 6 hours round trip, including a couple short breaks.

I ran this trail in reverse, from Waimanalo to Pali Lookout. It had been raining for the past 2 days so it was quite slippery but otherwise it was a great time. It is definitely more challenging in reverse as it it goes up hill most of the way. It totaled out at just under 20 kilometers.

Amazing hike, but must be physically fit to take on. 3rd waterfall is a series of rope climbs and so by the time you make it to the crater your body is getting fatigued. Absolutely stunning stunning hike, really beautiful.

Went on 13th after the rain - the road was a bit muddy but fine. Great dive into the waterfall - don’t make my mistake and bring towel with you, you’ll want to do it!

PS- I lost Sony lens cover on a trail today, if anyone finds it - please DM me in Instagram @birdinthesea or FB @denis.astakhov — I’ll pick it up for a reward

It was a nice hike with lots of different terrain. It does get muddy in some spots and slick in others. We didn’t really encounter many fruit flies and they were pretty much for only 10 seconds at the most at a time. Plus, they were very small like gnats so nothing to worry about. Waterfall is small, there are a few biting mosquitoes when you get down there. All in all an interesting hike with nice views. The views weren’t breathtaking but beautiful with ocean in very far distance. It was an easy enough hike and the trailhead has a small rectangular sign so it is easily missed but is after a farm and has a gate to it. Enjoy the serenity!

not easy. once you get up the 3rd waterfall its dry crumbly rock or mud to the top of the crater. not in bad shape physically but i was not ready for the 5+ hours of complete physical activity this required. rock climbing was cool and the ropes helped but it you have to have faith in the rope.
bring snacks and no joke about the water friend had 2 lt. and she was out before we truly left the ridge. also bring bug spray, and sunblock. i got roasted on the ridge and that didnt help the water issue. if you have removable pant to shorts i recomend those as the ridge has lots of prickly and slicing plants. i got a few scrapes from the plant life not rocks. the veiw was amazing and while i question my sanity this was deffently an amazing hike. just not for the faint of heart.

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