Explore the most popular Bird Watching trails in Honolulu Watershed Forest Reserve with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

I’ve climbed this trail twice now. Once in January 2018 when we got caught in a rainstorm along the way and the trail was a waterfall and today when it was fairly dry and with overcast skies. It ended up being perfect conditions for the hike. I much preferred dry and overcast. Nevertheless it’s a grinder of a ridge trail with lots of ups and downs and ups and downs then downs and ups along the way. Great sweeping vistas of Honolulu, Diamond Head and Ka’au Crater and the Windward Side once you reach the Ko’olau Summit Trail. All in all a good mix of exercise, scenery, and wildlife along the way.

I recommend this trail for anyone looking for a great hike with no crowds. It is easy to follow, very clear at the moment, and aside from being long not too hard. The first mile is up a paved road, the next two miles are a gradual incline with a few ups and downs and the last mile is where it gets steeper but nothing too challenging. From the top you can go over to stairway or head right towards bowman. All in all, great trail.

hiking
18 days ago

This is a skill level adjusted course. 1st mile is 13 foot wide black asphalt path for beginners; 2d mile is maintained single file path with sporadic tangle root; 3rd mile started out with mudslicked drastic downhill path... which I decided against doing at this time :-( whole route has beautiful scenery and very little traffic...

Check out the DLNR link for more info.
Apparently, some idiots carved a large heart into a stone wall of the ruins sometime around Valentine's Day 2019. This is the 2d time something like this has happened.
Yes, the ruins are a fascinating, tactile glimpse into early post-contact Polynesia, but they're also fragile and are located on off-limits "private" Watershed property. Despite this, locals have always found their way there and although I believe that most visitors act maturely and respectfully, there seem now to be an increasing number of fools who thoughtlessly or deliberately destroy or remove priceless artifacts. Even stones. What to do?
The DLNR has come up with what could be a good solution. Rather than erect a chainlink fence around the ruins, which would keep out some Native Hawaiians who want to respectfully commune with this "sacred" site, but probably would not keep out the most fervent pranksters and vandals, they're building pathways from log+plantings barriers -- intended to be visually and spiritually compatible with the surroundings -- along with educational signs. The idea here is that when the inevitable curious trespassers find their way in, they'll learn enough about what they're looking at to understand that staying on the paths is the best way to avoid further damage to delicate, crumbling, and unreplaceable structures.
Some have expressed the opinion that the prohibition is just an example of the resentment and provincial racism many locals harbor toward "haole" tourists. OK, that may make sense from one perspective, but I urge you to think of the DLNR's solution as more of an effort to preserve delicate, priceless historical artifacts that, after hundreds of years, are now suddenly threatened by rapidly increasing social-media fueled tourism.
The barrier system should be in place later in 2019, and if you decide that you still want to visit for whatever reason, please be mindful that you're technically an uninvited trespasser in an area that has enormous cultural significance to the people of Hawaii. Educate yourself beforehand about what you're looking at and act accordingly -- or decide that a better idea is to enjoy the ruins remotely on the Web. You can turn a potentially negative experience into an opportunity for learning about the Hawaiian culture and one of the most important Polynesian artifacts in the world.

Kudos to the DLNR for a creative soluton for protecting the ruins that seeks to understand and respect the viewpoints of all parties. Aloha, friends.

good for running

hiking
25 days ago

Night job. Overdue hikers.

To see the waterfall, you have to take the state Kulana’ahane Trail ( about 2.5 miles into this hike) and cross the stream 30 ( at least) more times. Then climb up a steep section towards the saddle and you will see the waterfall. Or you can follow the stream at the last crossing and get to the waterfall itself. If you just do the Kamananui Road till the end, you wont see the fall. The road is just the start of an adventure. Check out Kulana’ahane Trail for more info. This Kamananui Valley trail is popular among senior hikers. To complete the Kulana’ahane Trail, you need to add another 4-5 miles on top of this. Dont mistaken this stream crossing with the 7 bridge crossings from the Kamananui Valley Road. ( There are about 17 crossings on the Kamananui Valley Road of which 7 have bridges). There will be 30 more stream crossing once you get onto the state trail. The road is just the warm up section. The real hike starts after that. Thats a total of over 47 crossings if you go all the way to the saddle. Give yourself 6-7 hours.

https://paulcpeh.wixsite.com/mysite/blog/moanalua-valley-oahu-hawaii

When we did the trail today there were just a few muddy spots but mostly dry. We ran into a guy who has done this trail before and he mentioned that usually it’s wetter on the trail so you can expect to cross many little streams of water. There are a lot of informational signs in the beginning of the trail similar to Manoa Falls so if you’re looking for an educational walk in the valley this is the hike for you! Very flat. Lots of shade. Not many views. Did not find/see the waterfall. Access to backside of Stairway to Heaven and Tripler Trail on this trail. Not congested with many visitors. AllTrails mileage at 6.3 correct. Great for cardio work out.

hiking
muddy
over grown
private property
1 month ago

Great hike to some ruins and, further on, to a large waterfall. We hiked down to the bottom of the falls and found a spot to sit in the falls and rinse off. It felt great after a muddy hike. Careful though, part of the bottom portion of the falls is private property. It’s well marked but hard to stay out of. Overall a hike I’ll do again.

hiking
1 month ago

I didn’t bring enough water and didn’t charge my
Phone. Those aspects sucked. I did go off trail once and although I sort of suffered. It’s not a “hard” hike per say. It is long. No doubt the length is tiring but the trail itself is pretty well kept and nothing Crazy!

Park to the side of the road where the trail goes into the woods. “Y” shaped trail, the Left one leads to the ruins of a king and the Right leads to the top of a pretty waterfall. Pretty but unmaintained trail. Dog friendly.

I ranked this trail 3 stars only because of how overgrown it is. You walk through tall grass and tons of ferns that slice your legs up. Definitely recommend wearing pants on this one. I couldn’t finish the hike because of time constraints, but I did a total of 6 1/2 miles in about 3 1/2 hours, including stopping for lunch at one of the peaks. This trail is good cardio. Starts on a paved path, uphill and then progresses through several peaks along the way. Lots of up and down, but gorgeous views and different terrain to admire.

hiking
1 month ago

It’s actually 17 miles. Makes sure you swing a left when you get to the two big tree stumps under the big tree. Check alltrails as you go to make sure you’re on the right track because you can easily go straight at the stumps and go the wrong way. Bring a rain jacket if you don’t want to get soaked. Pretty cold at the top. The view is amazing. You might have to wait awhile for the clouds to clear for the view tho. Bring snacks, it’s a long hike. The trail is still in good condition. It won’t need maintenance for awhile. Watch your step tho! Lots of opportunity to trip and fall to your death if you’re not careful. Take the hike seriously, but enjoy the ride!

hiking
blowdown
bugs
muddy
off trail
over grown
private property
rocky
scramble
washed out
1 month ago

hiking
over grown
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

Exactly 6.4 miles. Crosses stream about 20 times, so make sure it hasn't rained for a while before you go. I went after a rain before and the stream was at least 15 feet across, raging, after 1.5 miles. Relatively flat. Lots of gravel, which I don't prefer. Nothing at the end of the trail. Would be great for trail running, I think. Compared to other magnificent hikes in Oahu, this was just okay.

hiking
bugs
off trail
private property
1 month ago

Enjoyed it. Falls was muddy from weather.

hiking
bugs
over grown
private property
1 month ago

It was a beautiful trail! Tricky to find the right path to take and the waterfall was brown and muddy from the rain, but it would be beautiful on a clear day.

Difficult trail. I wore tennis shoes and slipped several times. There are many areas where the drop offs at the cliff edges are extreme! Wear hiking boats! I went down the stairway to heaven on the other side but got accosted by the police. He said it was shut down and that white people were supposed to be able to read English. After getting oddly racist he let me go.

hiking
muddy
off trail
over grown
2 months ago

This Waimano Ridge Tra was fun to explore with lots of vegetation, lots of trees, and a nice view of the valley below from a couple viewpoints. There is an upper and lower trail to choose from. I chose the upper trail, which runs along the fence enclosing the Hawaii Department of Health campus.

The upper trail also passes by a small cemetery and two large fuel drums that are enclosed with fencing and barbed wire. Once you pass the fuel drums, the trail goes on for a mile or two. However, the trail becomes very overgrown after the first mile so I recommend wearing long pants and long sleeves if you plan to go bushwhacking.

I ended up stopping at the last scenic spot before the trail starts disappearing with the overgrowth.

I recommend the Waimano Ridge Trail if you are looking for a nice workout in the Aiea area, but expect to navigate lots of vegetation and be prepared to turn around if you don’t want to sift through overgrown trails.

it was hard to find the right path, but easy once you find it. awesome, easy and short hike

Tripler is a military hospital/ base you have to be military to hike this trail or be sponsored. My friend and I tried to hike this trail and they would not give us a guest pass to hike because the trail head is on base.

Short easy hike. Some tree roots. Ruins were cool to explore.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail after the pavement ends, goes on forever, with excellent views and no people. Loved it, not super difficult at all, taxing, but nothing crazy

hiking
2 months ago

I'm not reviewing this trail. I hate that you're making me rate it. That's not my thing.

hiking
blowdown
bugs
muddy
over grown
2 months ago

hiking
muddy
scramble
2 months ago

This was a really fun trail! We took our time and it took about 7.5 hours to get up to the saddle and back. Most of it was an easy walk through the forest, with lots of river crossings. Be ready to get wet and muddy! It gets a bit more challenging when you break off at the fork to the Kulana'ahane trail. The last climb after the "end of maintained trail" sign is a scramble, and worth it! I wouldn't want to do it in the rain.

Not very well marked. Not super muddy but muddy in places. The mosquitoes will eat you so wear protection. There’s no view platform to see the falls, or at least there wasn’t one today. It’s been raining yesterday and the two days before. It was drizzling this morning and cleared up this afternoon. Easy hike. The ruins was cool. When you get to the ruins, follow the trail to the right, then take a left until you hear the sound of water. Wear shoes. Oo, and keep your eyes peeled; we found an arrow in the bamboo forest.

I only went to the first peak. Amazing view, not too muddy. I could barely walk the next day, but it was so worth it.

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