Kalauao Falls Loop Trail is a 4.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round.

Length4.2 miElevation gain1,361 ftRoute typeLoop
HikingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingRiverViewsWaterfallWildflowersWildlifeBugsMuddyOver grownRockyScrambleOff trailNo dogs
Description
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Getting There

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.

Lots of free state park parking. There are picnic tables and bathroom facilities in the park grounds.

Take H1 West and exit to Halawa. Go straight past 3 traffic lights - where at the third take the right fork to get you onto Aiea Heights Road. Follow it all the way to the end at Keaiwa Heiau State Park. Go past the entrance and drive up to the top to park opposite the Aiea Loop Trail head.

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Reviews (275)
Photos (1,236)
Activities (224)
Completed (602)
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Brandi Johnson Manning
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Hiking

Wear pants, bring gloves, and go clockwise. This hike reminded me of the subway hike in Zion. Follow the river. Lots of back and forth across the river.

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Cin Cor
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 4, 2021
Hiking

Steep climb back up. Wear hiking shoes or any shoes with good traction. It can be slippery on the rocks when crossing the stream. Follow the ribbons!

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Aaron Myrick
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 3, 2021
Hiking

Going counter clockwise was tough, if you just want to hit the waterfall go left then back track to where you started.

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Memorie Ah quin
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Hiking
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Cass Turenne
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Hiking

I did counter clock wise and was tough u need u want spiked so u don’t keep sliding I fell a few times and the ridge part is sharp it cut up my legs wear pants or bring a machete wasn’t marked well I got lost a few times as u can see on my recording lol watch ur steps didnt see or smell a dead pig did pass by a bone tho

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Robert Wilson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMarch 20, 2021
Hiking

Was planning on doing the whole Loop but conditions were terrible so I did an extra 2 miles, LOL. Got stuck on a Steep incline and decided to turn around. Dont use new shoes on this hike the unbalanced Terrain will damage your shoes.

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Rudy Perez
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Hiking
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Alena Eaton
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Hiking

Missed the trail a couple of times, the previously mentioned pig was not super smelly but it is now on the trail so watch your step!

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Nikkole Qualls
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 7, 2021
HikingBugsGreat!MuddyOver grown

So first off I'd like to say this took us about 3 and half hours and we ended with over 5 miles....I dont think we went that far off course but def don't think the length may be right. The waterfall was rushing!! It was more than deep enough to jump from the rocks on the left but would only if it's roaring super loud and deep. Overall the hike was hard and probably the hardest one we've done so far. Those ridges are no joke, but the fall was well worth it. Would never go unless there was a heavy rain though. Recommend spikes, LONG PANTS, bug spray and lots of water and snacks. We went clockwise and if we hadn't I dont think we could have found our way up the way we went down. It's not marked well at all and we just used the all trails map the best we could. The end for going clockwise was very well marked with pink and orange markers. The pig is still there. We didn't smell it till we got to the top of the falls to leave and it was...bad. luckily I think the rushing water drowned the smell out at the bottom.

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Jonathan Ford
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 2, 2021
HikingOver grownScramble

Fun trail, pretty waterfall. I did the loop clockwise and after the falls there were several times I lost the trail and had to search to find it again. Unfortunately the pig carcass, mentioned by another reviewer from the day before, is still in the tree above the waterfall - so that could have smelled better. We did see a live boar later on in the trail too. I would say this is on the easy side of "hard" rated trails on Alltrails, but compared to Aiea Loop, which is rated as moderate, I can understand why it is rated as it is. This trail presents many challenges the Aiea Loop does not. I did it with my pup, she had no issues. They may want to reconsider the "No Dogs" tag.

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Teresa Tang
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 2, 2021
HikingGreat!MuddyOver grownRocky

One of my favorite waterfalls! Never anyone else there but us. Went up from Aiea ridge and ended up bush whacking for a bit. So gorgeous to go after the rainy weekend, with the gushing waterfall. Unfortunately it smelled like rotting carcass since hunters skinned a pig and left the remains in a tree at the top of the waterfall. Other than the rotting smell, it was a perfect waterfall adventure!

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Ann Bowen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 15, 2021
HikingGreat!

Beautiful scenery. Clean creek and waterfall mixed in with a nice short cardio killer. thanks to previous poster with tip about going clockwise. We went clockwise to fall and back. not sure where people are getting lost/losing trail. Reading other posts I was on high alert, but followed the blue tape down, then the orange and yellow to the falls. There is a trail that will take u to the falls, which is about 90% in woods vs slippery creek rocks. My daughter wore my spikes and I managed with just Salomons, but would have had easier time with spikes. Gloves are a must have, if you don't want gross fingernails post hike.

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Zachary DiIonno
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 14, 2021
Hiking

If you find the “real” trail, it’s challenging even for the experienced biker. Very overgrown and not easily discernible to the novice hiker.

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Mark Turner
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Hiking
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Carissa T
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Hiking
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Alexandria Bolduc
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Hiking

We didn’t actually do the loop but we explored some of the other trails branching off of this one & it was beautiful! We will definitely be back to complete the loop!

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Luke Simmons
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HikingOver grown

Pretty easy from the trailhead until you get to the place it separated from the Aiea loop trail. then it became pretty overgrown and marginally marked until the falls. Follow your map on All Trails, you might lose the trail like we did! Beautiful falls and stream, and the hike back up to the loop is hard but well marked. Rating 4/5 for marking and overgrowth.

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Brandy Peerey
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HikingGreat!Scramble

Hiked this trail 2/6/2021. This was a beautiful hike and really glad I did it. I only went clockwise to the waterfall and turned around and came back. Did not do the whole loop. I rate this route on the harder side of moderate. It was about 4.5 total miles this route. The waterfall was flowing and beautiful! One major recommendation I have is that when you are going down into the valley on the steep slope, there will be a trail that veers off on the right. TAKE this trail! I didn’t even notice it so I went straight down and ran into some rock face cliffs which were too sketchy for me to go down, not knowing if I could make my way back up. I turned around and on my way back up the hill, I saw the correct trail. I’ve posted a picture of what tree and ribbon to look for when you branch off. This will take you a safe and much easier way down to the creek!

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Heidi Mooney
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Hiking

Tough hike

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Katie Lockington
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It seems like this hike has a low rating because of the difficulty and challenges you would encounter on the trail and people are getting lost easy but I find these inconveniences part of the adventure. I have hiked most of the trails in the island and I actually love this one. Yes, it can be tough for a beginner hiker but the reward for a secluded waterfall is so worth it. If you have any questions, feel free to DM me in IG @petitesizebigappetite.

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Anthony Dees
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 23, 2021
Hiking

The trail isn’t well marked coming off the ridge. So trying to get down the mountain is a pain. We did great the the first time because it was dry. This time with the wind and rain it was a different situation. Then you add in the over growth and it’s a recipe for letting your human instincts come out. I appreciate the Calorie Burn. But glad it’s over, lol! Maybe next time I’ll go in reverse and mark the trail along the way....

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Brandi Marlowe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 23, 2021
Hiking

We got lost a bit after the falls and ended up on another trail that took us in the center of the loop and way up the mountain. I'm not sure if we were actually on the right trail or not. Looked like there was a flash flood or something and the trail seemed pretty washed out. it was muddy in places and you have to keep lookout for trail markers because the trail isn't very clearly marked. It was a fun and beautiful hike in the end though.

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