Aihualama and Nu'uanu Loop Trail

MODERATE 91 reviews
#5 of 10 trails in

Aihualama and Nu'uanu Loop Trail is a 5.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Honolulu, Hawaii that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

5.2 miles
1,633 feet

dogs on leash

kid friendly



nature trips




wild flowers




old growth


Directions from Honolulu: There are two ways to get there: 1. Via the Manoa Cliff Trail: From Round Top Drive, hike in on Manoa Cliff Trail to the Pauoa Flats junction (there is a system trail map here). Proceed on Pauoa Flats Trail past the Nuuanu Trailhead (which is on the left). The next trail (on the right) is Aihualama. 2. Via Manoa Falls Trail: Follow Manoa Road into the back of Manoa Valley. Manoa Road ends at Paradise Park. Continue up the road, through the parking lot, towards the entrance of Lyon Arboretum. At the sharp left bend in the road to Lyon, proceed straight ahead. This is the Manoa Falls parking area and trailhead. Hike 0.8 miles on Manoa Falls Trail. Approximately 150 feet from the base of the Falls, there is a marked trail that proceeds left. This is Aihualama Trail.

19 days ago

Fantastic Trail, the Manoa Falls part can be congested with non-hikers but avoid some frustration with an early start. 0700 was quiet. Trail passes though many small micro climates and foliage that are very cool and the hike on the Ridge loop is amazing, with views of Diamond Head and Waikiki. Best to complete counterclockwise as there is on steep sketchy area with frayed ropes that I would definitely not want to descend on but up isn’t an issue on a dry day. Otherwise completely passable for any sure footed hikers. Took approximately 2:30 with lots of photo breaks. Feel free to DM questions @corc19 on IG

1 month ago

Did this trail after the Moana waterfall. Didn't complete the loop, but hiked it just before it branch's off and had to turn around due to time. I would love to go back and complete it. It was raining heavily during the whole hike, so the use of bamboo sticks helped a lot on the way back, four of us left those bamboo sticks at the trail entrance for others to use.

1 month ago

This was very fun! The hike up to Manoa Falls is easy, with a beautiful waterfall, and then this side trail (there’s a sign to the left hand side if you’re hiking up to the falls) is so beautiful and peaceful! There’s a few switchbacks, but the elevation gain is pretty steady, there’s no sharp inclines. Then, when you get to the loop, it’ll say “Pauoa Flatts Trail” with an arrow going both ways. I would highly suggest going to the RIGHT and going counterclockwise unless you want to descend using a rope on the side of a mountain with a steep drop. Going up with the rope was much more pleasant than descending in that spot! Also, after turning right into the loop, it’ll only be about 10 minutes until you come to a spectacular view of the valley, and even a small part of Kaneohe Bay & Honolulu on clear days. The loop is very fun-it is a ridge trail, but it’s not super steep in any spot for a long time and is definitely manageable! We enjoyed this hike very much! The views are incredible and the rain forest is gorgeous. The loop took us about an hour and a half (with a lot of stopping to take pictures), the whole 5.2 mile hike took us about 4 hours, going a very comfortable pace.

1 month ago

Quiet trail away from the more populated Manoa falls trail with a beautiful view once you make it to the loop at the top. Would recommend old shoes because yours will get very muddy

3 months ago

Nice hike! Took about 2 hours total coming in from Manoa Falls. Nice to get away from all the tourists.

4 months ago

Came in from the Manoa Falls trail entrance. The trailhead for Aihaulama is marked by a small brown sign. There are no trail blazes anywhere along the trail that I saw, mainly we just followed the path better traveled looking. Wear good (old) shoes. Very muddy and slippery. The side of the trail is steep and eroded in some places. The views above the bamboo (about halfway up) and then out into the valley (at the top) are really great and it is a pretty quiet and secluded trail for being so close to a major tourist attraction (the falls).

8 months ago

We took this trail from the Manoa Falls side. I liked the idea of parking there. Seems more secure. i've done the trail back to the falls at least a dozen times. Its very pretty. If you've never been here you should do this section. Its a must. Once we branched off to the Aihualama the traffic dropped off. We saw probable about a dozen people from that point one. The trail is easy to follow for the most part. There was one branch about 1/4 of the way in. I opened the all trails app just to make sure I was on the right branch. We went left. Generally speaking the trail with the most traffic will be the right one. The Aihualama dead ends into the loop. I think it is also known as the Pauoa Flatt's trail. We went left up to the look out. Great spot for pictures. We didn't close the loop instead went back down the way we came. We didnt budget enough time. Happy hour was calling.

8 months ago

Awesome view at the top! Worth the hike!

8 months ago

So awesome

8 months ago

Very muddy but it is the rain forest. Once you get to the end of Aihualama make a right at Pauoa Flats to see an epic view, you can continue on just make sure you have enough water.

10 months ago

Randomly found this trail after seeing the water fall. 2 friends of mine and I started randomly, saw our Snapchat filter at 1000ft and decided to keep going. Well worth the view. Bring a bottle of water and a granola bar and you should be fine.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

trail is pretty nice but to really make it an epic experience make sure you go all the way along the ridge line loop. 7 miles for us, took us 3 hours as moderately experienced hikers

Friday, July 21, 2017

I hiked in along the Manoa Cliffs trail. There's a bamboo forest, wildflowers and nice views at several places out over the Manoa Valley. There's a fenced section at the top to keep feral pigs and inside the undergrowth is three times as dense. Inside is a juction where you keep right to stay on Manoa Cliffs trail. Then I turned right at the Pauoa Flats junction, then left at Nuuanu Trail to take the loop clockwise. This takes you first through a rooty Banyan forest and then a stand of very tall Cook pine. I found myself on a ridge trail heading toward downtown, and realized I'd missed the sharp right turn onto the top section of the loop. It looks innocent and fairly level on the countour map, but it's really a knife edge at the top of the ridge over the Pali highway and reservoir. The views from up there are fantastic! But there is a rope ascent (not too difficult) and a longer rope descent that was completely exposed over a 1000 foot drop. And very windy of course. After I got my heart rate back under control I continued down the ridge to the lookout which is where most hikers seem to stop when coming from the other direction. It looks like there's a faint trail continuing on from the lookout toward Lulumahu Falls. I turned right and closed the loop back on the Pauoa Flats trail.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Beautiful tropical jungle.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

As a heads up for my fellow hikers out there, this trail is only accessible at the end of the Manoa Falls Trail. Manoa Falls Trail is quite easy but heavily trafficked. The Aihualama Trail branches off to the left of the falls. Wear hiking shoes as the trail is very muddy and quite slick is places. The trail splits at the sign Paoua Trail. Both will take you to the Paoua Flats. I took the right-hand path which was about 10 minutes long. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Easy trail with many switchbacks as you gain elevation slowly from the back of Manoa valley to Pauoa Flats.From the end of Aihualama Trail, bear right on Pauoa Flats Trail to get to a nice lookout point with a bench. It was rainy today and I didnt get to use my dslr much.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Awesome trail!

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Was hoping for better views.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Great hike, did it with my 4yr old. She walked it on her own

Friday, November 11, 2016

Super muddy, be ready. Take bug spray or bust. Great hike, grab a bamboo to help navigate. When you think you are almost there go a little more then when you hit the trail head opposite of the falls bare right to the summit.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

My boyfriend and I connected to this trail from the Manoa Falls Trail and continued on to the Pauoa Flats Loop to the lookout point. The trail was pleasantly empty after the crowds we experienced at the falls. Make sure you wear appropriate footwear with good tread. The trail is muddy in some places and a tangle of roots in others. I would suggest caution if it has recently rained. We enjoyed the sections of bamboo forest, and old pieces of bamboo were easily repurposed into walking sticks. The views from the lookout made the muddy, uphill trek totally worthwhile.

Friday, September 02, 2016

Fun hike. Real shaded and awesome view when you get to the top

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Great hike

Friday, July 22, 2016

Boring no real awesome scenic points. Steady incline good work out only.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

this hike is very basic and almost therapeutic the way you just continue on through all the bamboo. definitely nice to get away from monoa falls cluster of hikers. I jogged some of the way because it was just flat and I knew I wanted to get up to where the trails converge and I take the trail going up to oversee the pali highway. my question is...can you get down from there to the pali highway parking to go into the water Reservoir? I tried one time to hike from the reservoir side to the monoa falls side and got lost half way up the mountain to my dismay. I know there is a small secret trail that goes up to the ridge and you have to use ropes to scale the trail going up. I had my dog with me when I stumbled upon this small trail and it was too difficult for her to stay with me as I used the ropes going up. well non the less the hike is fun and going down took me like only 1 hr. at most.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

really nice senery through a bamboo forest but beware, dont even try to keep your shoes relatively clean. youre better off accepting defeat and just stepping in the mud. fallen bamboo along the way makes great walking sticks for support and poking through the muddy parts. total hike from the parking l including manoa falls portion is 8 miles round trip. it was alot longer than i was expecting but the view at the top was worth it.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The hike was great and the view were amazing

Thursday, May 12, 2016

You have to take Manoa falls to get to this and once you do, it feels great because there is hardly anyone on it as opposed to how crowded manoa falls is.. and it leads you to Pauoa flats lookout about an hour up! And a bunch of other pretty neat trails hook up up there as well,

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

What a great trail run!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Pretty nice and quiet hike. A couple of areas were covered with roots and we loved the bamboo forest.

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