Makaleha Hike

HARD 35 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, walking, and nature trips. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
2.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
436 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

river

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

over grown

rocky

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.

1 month ago

Very hard. I lost the trail several times and never got to the waterfall. Trail is not marked. Very difficult to see where to cross stream. And very difficult to pick it back up once you cross. It is VERY HARD. Prepare to fall on your butt at least once. Rocks are very slippery, trail is very overgrown. BRING WATER!!!

1 month ago

It’s dangerous. Lots of climbing over and under things. Crossing the river several times...yer going to get wet. Totally worth it.

1 month ago

This trail is full of surprises and is not for your typical hikers. We started our hike on a cloudy day where it had rained the night before. The trail was muddy, wet and slippery. The maps on all trails show loops where those who plotted the trial circled to find the route.

I would not attempt this trail with flip flops or any type of sandals. If you have sturdy water shoes (think of fly fishing boots) they would be best. If not just plan on walking in the water several times with your shoes on.

Anyone hiking this trail should be nimble and agile on their feet. You will sometimes be climbing over trees, and sometimes choosing to climb from tree to tree instead of trying to scurry under them. On our return it started to downpour rain. The water in the stream definitely rose quickly... not flash flood like but definitely noticeable in making our final crossing sketchy. Be aware of the water levels if it is raining or cloudy above.

This definitely is as marked: for advanced and experienced hikers.

Once you reach the point where you can see the water falls you will appreciate the hike.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

This trail is breath taking! Wear long pants & long shirt. Lots of bugs and bush. Follow trail even into the stream. Sadly I was not experienced enough to finish, since it it pretty extreme, I did get to see one waterfall & it was amazing. Be safe!!

4 months ago

No signage or trail markings whatsoever. Trail is a single track meandering up a river valley, crossing the river a number of times. rocks very slippery and hard to navigate. Trail probably too dangerous if the river is higher. Pretty sights near the end, but not worth the effort compared to others on the island. GPS track very helpful to find trail on the way back. Wear water shoes, you will get wet.

hiking
4 months ago

4 months ago

Absolutely beautiful and I will remember this hike as one of my lifetime favorites. The trail was difficult to navigate and there were quite a few forks in the road, but it was doable. It wasn't necessarily tiring, but an athletic body is helpful in order to squeeze under and over tree branches. The hike is definitely muddy. I were regular running shoes, though hiking shoes with good grip would have been welcome! I had the falls all to myself and it was well worth the trek!

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

6 months ago

6 months ago

Nice little jungle adventure

7 months ago

pretty awesome hike but hard. hard to keep a track of where the trail is at.at the first river split Y, keep to the right side river path but the path is located in the land between the two rivers.
take right side at the 2nd Y.
recommend: good shoes, long pants + mosquito repellent+ download a trail.

hiking
7 months ago

Other comments describe the walk accurately - definitely a scramble and need to have you wits with path finding and boulder hopping footwear. Well worth it for the falls and the rewarding swim in the pool.

7 months ago

7 months ago

This trail has many challenges. The hard rating is not for the length now the elevation but for the obstacles. Ensure you are in decent health. This trail is not only physically challenging but mentally as well. The hidden falls are about another 700ft past the end of the trail. Take a right where the river splits into a Y and you will eventually be rewarded with an amazing view and great swimming hole.

hiking
8 months ago

This is one of the coolest hikes I've ever done. Hands down. Utterly awesome.

That said, it's a mission. Tough scramble that you need to be highly mobile to handle. It's hard, but not impossible and, as long as it's not raining, not dangerous (aside from maybe twisting an ankle). If it's raining, stay clear as flash floods can happen.

The trail is not well marked, but, as long as you follow the stream - on either side, or just rock hop through the middle - you'll get there. Hang right as you come to the two valleys (maybe 1/2 mile from the end) and get ready for this unreal pool fed by a gorgeous waterfall.

If you're brave, scale the waterfall 20' up to enjoy the second level pool. This place is so rad. Honestly.

8 months ago