Makaleha Hike

HARD 14 reviews

Makaleha Hike is a 2.6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Kapaa, Hawaii that features a waterfall. The trail is only recommended for very experienced adventurers and primarily used for hiking.

2.6 miles 488 feet Out & Back





wild flowers




old growth

over grown


A must do trail for advanced hikers. This trail ends with 3 waterfalls and if you want to continue for another 1/2 mile, you will end at another waterfall. The trail begins at the end of Kahuna Road north of Kapaa. Lush green forest, cool stream and after 1 1/2 miles you will see the first 3 waterfalls. You will climb over boulders in the stream, on top of branches of fallen trees. The hike will be slow, but with patience, you will get there. Optionally, you can continue on another 1/2 mile to the waterfall on the right. Jump in the ice cold water for a nice swim.

15 days ago

Difficult. A natural jungle gym. Must have good sense of direction and a willingness to adopt the spirit of your ancestors (apes). An amazing challenge in wayfinding, but not unachievable. Tara an would be proud. Where grippy shoes.

1 month ago

1 month ago

Awesome trail! It's not an easy hike, so prepare yourself for climbing over trees, walking through mud and streams and climbing up and over rocks. There's a fork in the stream about 1.5 miles in, take the right stream, it'll bring you to the big waterfall. The waterfall is absolutely breathtaking and worth the crazy hike. Water shoes will definitely help. Preferably ones with good grip for the slippery mud.

1 month ago

2 months ago

Rough going but worth the trouble!

4 months ago

This is an awesome hike, due both to the absolute beauty of the surroundings and the fact that so few people attempt it. I'll let others describe the hike, but one important thing to note is that the unmarked trail head is straight ahead at the end on Kahuna Road. After parking, proceed up the unpaved road keeping the large water tank on your left. Any other route will put you into the middle of nowhere. Many thanks to my Barefoot Kauai guides, Trev and Cody for a great day.

5 months ago

this is a fantastic, but very challenging hike. very muddy, and wet, as you constantly cross over the stream. the waterfalls aren't large, however, they are nice. there is also an incredible bamboo forest along the trail.

10 months ago

1 year ago

This hike is tough. Be sure to wear Tabis (can buy at Walmart in Lihue), as you will be crossing the creek repeatedly and it is very slippery. Hiking poles are also useful. You will get quite a workout climbing over the horizontal trees, it is like a jungle gym, especially at the end. Take this trail to experience what Kauai is really like.

3 years ago

4 years ago

This is the first 5 star rating I've given on any hike. I've hiked many trails on Kauai and I will put this one at the top. I've read that this hike is only for advanced hikers and I am not advanced. After doing this one, I can see why. It's only 2 miles if you go to the very end. The hike took us 5 hours and 40 minutes round trip. It's challenging from the start to the end. You will climb boulders, walk on top of trees, wander off course because the trail is not maintained. At the end of the 1 1/2, before your very eyes will be 3 waterfalls. Do not turn around, continue for another 1/2 mile to your right and you will come to another waterfall. Stunning! After 2 miles of hiking, it's very rewarding. Use your judgement on whether you should go or not. It's dangerous because of the large boulders and you will need to cross the stream several times. If you fall and break something, you're in trouble. There are no medical facilities, population, nothing! You will not get help immediately. We did not see anyone on this trail and it was a sunny day with no rain. Keep in mind that this part of country gets a lot of rain. The county has closed trails because folks have been injured on the trails, file lawsuits and I would hate to see it happen to this trail.