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Maunawili Falls Trail

MODERATE 1491 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 moderate. 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
13 hours ago

I saw reviews that this trail was muddy, but that is an understatement. This trail was an almost unrelenting quagmire of shoe-sucking soul-draining slop. When it wasn't sticky it was slippery. I was wearing old trail runners that I didn't mind getting muddy, or wading through the river crossings in, but much of the mud still required slow navigating to avoid being ankle deep and losing a shoe. Very little enjoyable hiking along the entire length. As a regular hiker I hate to see trails like this, where the trail just keeps creeping wider as people trample vegetation to get around the worst spots. Waterfall was pretty, not spectacular. Limited viewing angle which is tough when a large group of 20-somethings are taking endless glamor selfies. We weren't up for the wet rock climb to see the second cascade. If you have patience for two hours of slogging and a pair of sturdy shoes you don't care about, or if the trail ever dries out, go for it!

hiking
muddy
4 days ago

Awesome hike. Plenty of street parking just be considerate as it’s in a neighborhood. Really easy to get lost with all the different trails that split off. Couple stream/river crossings so you will get wet feet. Super muddy so wear shoes you can destroy. Still one of my favorite hikes on island! Three spots to jump into the falls from. Jumped off the highest point to the left (about 60ft) and it’s just deep enough where I touch the bottom when I jump so be very careful if you are bigger/taller or don’t have experience cliff jumping. Nice hike when it’s been sunny but If you can handle the excessive mud when it has been raining, the waterfalls will get pumping. Super cool to see either way.

hiking
muddy
5 days ago

hiking
5 days ago

Beautiful hike to the waterfall. Muddy, so I would have some nice hiking shoes on. Once you get to the falls and finish take the trail to the left and bring yourself above the canopy. Beautiful!

hiking
bugs
muddy
6 days ago

Do not suggest doing this home during the rainy season. Even though it hadn’t rained in a couple days the first mile of the trail was SO MUDDY. Worth it at the end though. Beautiful waterfall & swimming hole. Took us 2 hours total.

hiking
muddy
7 days ago

Parking for this trail is in a neighborhood. Muddy trail in mid January. A couple of times my shoes wanted to get stuck in the mud. Find a stick to help you navigate. When hiking this trail stay by the creek. I accidentally followed a footpath to the left, away from creek, and it took me to an old paved road with abandoned/old houses, and a path to a private property. A truck was headed to the property as I was walking attempting to cut across back to the path, but I was told to turn back around which I respectfully did. Finally found the correct path to the muddy trail. After a certain point you’ll approach some stairs indicating you’re almost to the waterfall! Once the stairs end going downward you have to get into the creek to reach the pool and waterfall. People swam across the pool to climb the rocks and jump off the waterfall. There’s a second pool and waterfall above that can be accessed by climbing. Beautiful relaxing area.

hiking
bugs
muddy
rocky
7 days ago

This was super difficult with all the recent rain. It was like mud sliding the entire way up and down. I also got eaten alive by mosquitos (over 40 bites total) despite bug spray so I would bring extra and wear long clothes you don’t mind getting wet and muddy!

hiking
muddy
9 days ago

hiking
muddy
rocky
10 days ago

Don’t go when it’s super rainy. It gets SUPER muddy. Wear shoes you don’t care about. Not sandals though it’s super hard to not slip all over. Back to the rainy thing right? There’s some parts that are easier without the shoes but take that as you will. Follow the colors you’ll be good. You might cross the river a few times. And don’t worry if you get lost from the colors. Follow the train of socks and shoes that couldn’t live up to the intensity of the hike.... socks that got wet and gross. Some shoes are in trees as markers. Best of luck!

hiking
muddy
rocky
10 days ago

Well worth the difficulty of trying to get to it.

hiking
muddy
12 days ago

Could've been a great hike. but way too much mud. take great care

hiking
flooded
muddy
off trail
private property
rocky
washed out
12 days ago

To muddy and difficult to navigate. I've been on many trails here but never one so slippery and potentially dangerous. The falls at the end were beautiful.

over grown
13 days ago

love this hike so much. I have a adventure Photography comapany where I give guided hikes and take porfessinal grade photos. if any of yall are interested come check me out at @hike.oahu on Instagram :)

hiking
15 days ago

Der Weg war äußerst matschig und dadurch etwas beschwerlich zu laufen. Wir haben viele Leute getroffen. Tipp: an dem wasserfall angekommen, kann man diesen hoch laufen und dort weiter hiken. Hier kommt man an eine wasserrutsche aus natürlichen Felsen. Viel Spaß beim hiken

muddy
over grown
rocky
17 days ago

I couldn't give this hike any better than a three - although I wanted to. The area is nice and the falls look good - they even have a nice pool for a swim under the falls. The issue is that the trail is completely punched out. Yes, we hiked it in the winter season and after a fairly rainy couple of weeks (our bad), but the trail is so beat up that even when it dries, it will be an ankle-breaker... The grade isn't too bad, the creek crossings are fine, the one view point is nice, and as mentioned the falls were pretty (not majestic). Save it for a very dry time or try another.

hiking
bugs
muddy
21 days ago

muddy
21 days ago

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