Kalauao Falls Loop Trail

HARD 40 reviews
#1 of 1 trails in

Kalauao Falls Loop Trail is a 5.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Honolulu, Hawaii that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round.

5.4 miles
1847 feet



nature trips




wild flowers






no dogs

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.

21 minutes ago

got lost coming back up, we couldn't find the turn to go back uphill. It takes some strength and endurance to get back up once you do find your way back.

The waterfall was on the small side, but not a lot of people are there to crowd it.

2 days ago

I am not even sure why this is rated difficult. I was very disappointed.

3 days ago

24 days ago

25 days ago

2 months ago

2 months ago

I love this trail. People get lost because they don't know where to turn. About 20 min into Aiea Loop, there is a trail to the left. If you get to the big power lines you have gone too far. Follow the side trail down the ridge for about 30 min. Check this app periodically for the next turn - it's on the right by a big mango tree. Then you'll go straight down the cliff to the river. Once at the river turn right going upstream. It seems like a long way but is worth it. Go after a big rain. Lastly, leave the way you came. The rest of the loop is not maintained and is not pleasant at all.

3 months ago

Your going to get lost.

3 months ago

You get lost easily

3 months ago

Once we found the first junction it was a pretty easy trail to follow. Very hard to miss the second junction at the Mango Tree. Be prepared for a workout on the way back up.

3 months ago

Absolutely miserable hike. Would not recommend. The descent down was muddy and slippery. It was just plain dangerous. You have to cross the river 8+ times and each time you're risking falling in. The rocks are slippery and there is no safe way across. Don't bring any valuable electronics (such as non water proof cell phones or camera gear) with you! The waterfall is underwhelming at best. For anyone brave enough to go past the waterfall, you're in for a bad time. There's no clear path whatsoever and no cell service to help you find your way. You're going to get lost and wish you hadn't gone! So many bugs and my legs have so many scratches on them. Even heard some wild boars. Wear long pants if you must do this part of the hike and be prepared to be grabbing onto every available branch and tree to help you up the cliff. We got so lost that we just slid down the hill (after the ascent and after walking along the ridge) to meet up with the regular SAFE path.

Extreme hikers ONLY! Turn around at the waterfall if you value your life/sanity!!!!!!!! We did the full loop and it took almost 7 hours.

3 months ago

Great hike! Missed the mango tree but back tracked and found it. Best to do after it rains the water fall was a small trickle but worth the hike to see in my opinion. Would not recommend for children under 5.

4 months ago

4 months ago

4 months ago

Not a loop. Didnt track distance but i wouldnt rate as hard but took a lil heart going back up the hill for my wife. I will do again my wife never will. It was her first hike in HI.

4 months ago

5 months ago

Yea it's not a loop hike it's best out and back to the waterfall but beautiful two pugs handled it like champions there not your average dogs though!

6 months ago


6 months ago

Started off awesome on the Aiea Trail Loop. Missed the ascent down to the falls, had to double back. A little mud on the way down to the falls, it had just rained the night before.

The falls were cool and peaceful. Tier 1 approx 8 feet high. Tier 2 / top of falls approx 22-25 feet high. We didnt jump in, but felt around the bottom with a big stick. Prob can jump, think it's 5-8 feet deep.

Should have turned around at the falls and headed out the same way we came in. Trail and ridge past the falls was VERY overgrown, VERY muddy, and we got lost several times costing us at least an hour. REC you DO NOT try to climb up the ridge past the falls. If you do, wear pants, long sleeves, and plan to grab everything and anything to get up the ridge. Plan enough time to get lost several times if you go past the falls.

Did 6M in 5.5hrs. Would hike to the falls again, will NOT do complete loop past the falls again.

Read 2 e review too. Spot on. Follow Amber Levi's recorded track. Mahalo.

7 months ago