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Maunawili Falls Trail

HARD 1038 reviews

Maunawili Falls Trail is a 3.9 kilometer heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Kailua, Oahu, Hawaii that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
3.9 km
ELEVATION GAIN
307 m
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

over grown

rocky

This trail begins in a residential area. Please be mindful of residents, be quiet, and park legally. There are no bathrooms or other facilities at the trailhead. Please use the restroom before you come and pack out all trash. The rainforest in this area sees a lot of visitors, so it is important to minimize your impact in every way you can. A nice hike through the jungle to great view of Kailua, Maunawilli Falls, and a swimming hole. Maunawili Trail contours the base of the Koolau Mountain Range on the windward side. It begins off the Pali Highway and ends in Waimanalo. It offers spectacular views of the windward side of Oahu, Olomana, and the Koolaupoko watershed. Vegetation along the trail includes mountain apple, rose apple, ti, naupaka, mamake, lobelia, koa and ohia. Maunawili Trail is a good family trail. There are three access points for this trail. The Maunawilli Falls Trail is a great hike in Kailua along the river that eventually stops at a beautiful waterfall with a great swimming hole below. Many people like to jump from the waterfall into the pool below, and some with a bit more courage even climb higher to the side of the waterfall to jump further (try at your own risk). The trail is often muddy, especially after rains, and you will cross the river several times along the trail. About half way through the hike you will break out of the trees for some nice views of the surrounding mountains and views towards Kailua in the distance.

hiking
muddy
off trail
rocky
washed out
1 day ago

Awesome Awesome Awesome Hike. Quite slippery and Muddy. Wear good Tie or Strap on shoes. Do NOT recommend flip flops of slip Ons. Once you make it to the River “Y” take the Left upstream. It’s easiest to just navigate in the water. The waterfall is not far. If you go here you HAVE to take a dip. Very worth it. Watch your steps, take your time, Have a Blast.

hiking
bugs
muddy
over grown
rocky
3 days ago

This was a fun hike but I would not do again. Was very slippery and muddy with lots of obstacles. I would consider this hard not moderate.

recorded Maunawili Falls Trail

hiking
muddy
over grown
4 days ago

hiking
bugs
muddy
over grown
4 days ago

What a hike.. what a hike. I don’t think anyone could be prepared enough for this Trail, ESPECIALLY if you are not from a humid place. Not only is it extremely hot due to the humidity, but all the heat is just trapped in by the trees. They tell you “iTs MuDddy”, but they do not tell you how deep and slippery beyond what you could imagine. Skipping to the end of the Trail, the waterfall was not as big as I was expecting especially after hiking what felt like an eternity, and the rocks in the water to walk out to swim are very sharp. To top it off there are steps made of metal in some areas that I slipped on and fell, leaving a huge knot on my thigh. The scenery is beautiful, but I would not recommend. I also would highly suggest you to not take your kids on this hike, maybe if they are 13+ but at your own risk. Also if you do decide you do want to do this, be aware that there are hardly ANY trail markers, so very easy to get off Trail. Everything looks like a Trail on this. I wore water proof hiking boots, and I still don’t know if barefoot would be better for traction or not. Good luck, stay safe people!

hiking
bugs
muddy
6 days ago

8 days ago

Too slippery this mornin'. Maybe next time.

hiking
bugs
muddy
14 days ago

hiking
muddy
14 days ago

Super muddy, calf deep in many places. Slipped and slides the whole time. The waterfall was beautiful, pool was not clear—dark and cloudy water. It was also very crowded and difficult to enjoy swimming in the pool.

hiking
muddy
private property
rocky
washed out
17 days ago

We will do this one again if we are back in Oahu. The one part that I was not prepared for is crossing streams and the mud. I had packed hiking shoes and water but that was about it. Again, this was my fault but highly recommended doing this and being prepared when you do it. You start in a residential neighborhood and end up at a nice waterfall. It was busy though! But there were parts of the trail that were much harder then the rest and a one person walk way. I am not in shape at all so it may have taken longer but it was a good hike.

hiking
muddy
19 days ago

Favorite hike on Oahu. Very muddy after the rain but so worth it. We swam in the falls ... didn’t jump as others did! I would say it’s a moderate hike. Saw some kids doing just fine ...

24 days ago

most favorite hike I did while on Oahu. the waterfall at the end is

hiking
muddy
27 days ago

hiking
muddy
off trail
rocky
washed out
28 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

Not too much new info to share. Muddy, yes, slippery, yes, beautiful, yes. Difficult for those out of shape. I’m no hiker and survived. We had some older people in our group and everyone made it unscathed.

hiking
muddy
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

Great hike. Muddy and lots of roots to step over and around. Fun pool at the end. Water feels great for a quick dip. There is a second waterfall if you climb up the rocks to the left side of the lower one.

hiking
bugs
muddy
rocky
scramble
washed out
1 month ago

This was a fun yet challenging trail. You have to cross the stream in three different parts, and it can be a little challenging. Everyone in my party got muddy. There are some rocks to climb up and around, but it is shaded for most of the way. At the end there’s a waterfall and you can jump off the ledge to get in. Nobody in my group did though; we were wary of the leptospirosis signs.

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Super muddy! But so beautiful!! I was running through it!

hiking
bugs
muddy
rocky
washed out
1 month ago

hiking
bugs
muddy
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

This is one of my most favorite hikes. Every time I come to Oahu, I must do this hike to ground myself. I love the muddiness, the roots sticking up through the eroded path, the rocks, the flora, the sounds of the birds and the bugs. Be careful not to step on an explosive!

hiking
bugs
muddy
rocky
scramble
washed out
1 month ago

We took this hike with two children, a 4 year old and a 7 year old. It was very, very difficult. Yes, the forest is lovely but the mud makes this hike difficult and somewhat dangerous. The rocks are very slippery too. If you fall and break something, it would be extremely difficult to carry someone out because the trail is fairly narrow and very slippery. Perhaps during other times of year the trail is more family friendly, but after rains, this is not a good hike. The waterfall was nice, but frankly after such a difficult hike, we were expecting something more spectacular.

hiking
1 month ago

A must see! There’s a few challenging climbs that will get your heart rate up but you won’t even notice because of the stunning landscape. It’s always the best part of our Hawaii visit.

hiking
1 month ago

This is a fun one! Gets kinda slippery but not bad. People usually stop at the waterfall pot, but if you keep going up you’ll get an amazing view on a metal walkway path clear up above. Super steep to get up to so be careful!

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

Great hike through the jungle. Definitely the most technical hike I have ever done. The trail has really eroded over the years so there’s ALOT of roots and rocks to watch out for. Be sure of foot placement because it’s easy to slip. It was muddy but doable today. You also have to cross the creek a few times so wear shoes you can get wet.

hiking
1 month ago

Wasn’t too muddy. I wore my worst clothes expecting to ruin them lol unnecessary. Started at 10 got a little crowded but still had quality pictures

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

Challenging and The falls are definitely worth it. Be careful on the slippery wet rocks

hiking
bugs
muddy
off trail
1 month ago

This was an interesting hike. First off, I went with a “friend” and I use that term loosely, that said they had been before and knew where they were going. Lies!!! Maybe they had been there before but they did NOT know what they were doing. He had no sense of direction. I was pissed because I like to know what I’m doing or at least establish N,S,E and W before I start my hike. The conditions are MUDDY and I ended up with so many bites on my legs. I chose to wear Capri workout pants...never again. I’m not sure what the proper attire for this hike would be...maybe pants length swim tights?! Anyhow, I would recommend taking something with you to mark the tree at the point in which you cross the stream. Maybe a colored bandanna or scarf. This will help you on your way back. Wear proper shoes. Preferably swim shoes. There is a lot of mud and water so you will want sturdy shoes but maybe not hiking boots because they are too heavy once in that much mud. At once point we took a wrong turn in Albuquerque and there was mud up to our knees which sucked because all I could think of was that damn sign warning about leptospirosis. So I was pissed off lol! All an all the view midway through was beautiful. The waterfall wasn’t very impressive, but I have seen some pretty awesome waterfalls in my life (Yellowstone national park) not really any areas to stop an eat or whatever... food hike but I would have expected something more breath taking for all the slips and mud and bites etc...

hiking
bugs
muddy
1 month ago

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