Makaua Falls Trail

MODERATE 65 reviews

Makaua Falls Trail is a 1.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Kaaawa, Hawaii that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
1.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
610 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

old growth

over grown

rocky

scramble

A short hike to a hidden waterfall at the back of Makaua Valley, Oahu. Best to go after a good downpour as the chute ( 250 feet) is always dry. There are 2-3 rope sections to get to the base of the tallest chute.

hiking
8 days ago

We loved it. Stopped so many times along the way to capture pics of the beauty. Met nice people going up and down. Highly recommend it. It is a bit muddy and you do have to climb a rope about 20 feet. Enjoy! Aloha!

11 days ago

Awesome Hike!!!

hiking
11 days ago

My family loved it!! Was definitely a challenging hike. Took two kids 12 and 9 but they did awesome. I didn’t continue past the ropes but my husband and kids did and got to see the waterfall. Although it was a trickle they loved loved the adventure. They said they felt like they were in Jurassic Park. They must have thanked us a million times for bringing them. This hike is absolutely one of the highlights of our trip so far. A few things to note. My kids are extremely adventurous and have climbing experience so may not be suitable for all children. The trailhead is a little tough to spot. It is to the right side of a house in a cul-de-sac. I was afraid it was part of someone’s yard at first. The trail comes to a y and there is a small memorial cross at this point. The falls are to the right. You would be best to pack bug spray! There are some areas that cleats and your own rope would be very useful! I had not read about the dangers of falling rocks until after we climbed. I am a little glad...as we really enjoyed our time there, although I have to admit I was horrified to read that it could be so dangerous from falling rocks. We certainly did not see or hear any while we were on the trail. pure bliss for us. The trail was dry when we climbed. I can see that if this was wet the level of complexity and risk would go up substantially!!!

1 month ago

Can be Very Dangerous.Hand and rope climbing involved.Wear hiking shoes.If wet out be EXTREMELY care full.Amazing Views.Jurassic Park type experience.

1 month ago

Must be in shape.Can be very dangerous.Wear hiking shoes.Hand and rope climbing involved.

hiking
1 month ago

Must be in superior shape, bring backpack, non slip water shoes with straps to repel up and down three 15’ waterfalls. Bring rope to replace old line if needed. Trail very overgrown, switchback a cross stream several times. No cell signal. Bout one hour up. Same down. The most rewarding 1000’ waterfall !!!

2 months ago

Someone just died here yesterday from falling rocks. Lots of Mana (energy) back there. I’ve had rocks come down while I was back there. Use extreme caution, and if you go don’t hang out under the waterfall.

2 months ago

A lady in her 30’s ( according to local news) was found unconscious in the valley due to rockfalls. Becareful when you hike here.

hiking
3 months ago

I absolutely loved this hike! Stream crossings, climbing waterfalls with ropes to get to the tallest and most beautiful waterfall I have seen on Oahu. Also, we were the only hikers on the trail so we had the whole place to ourselves!

I have heard that the "hidden" waterfall is usually only a trickle, but yesterday it was going off! I highly recommend doing this hike after it rains or you may be hiking to nothing.

Micro spikes are an absolutely necessity to climb the first major waterfall to get to the "hidden" waterfall. Becareful, take your time, use spikes and you'll be fine. I'm not a fan of heights and I thought it wasn't too bad.

Park at the beach across the street & be courteous to the neighborhood you're walking through.

If there is a flash flood watch or warning I would not attempt - there are some narrow areas that if you had a flash flood you would be in trouble.

Tip: spikes are a good idea after rain; mosquitoe spray AND always be considerate of the neighborhood you’re in.

3 months ago

Easy hike.

hiking
3 months ago

There are two main hikes that shares the same 'trailhead'. Not too far into the start, look for a junction marked by a 'memorial cross' on the ground. Turn left and ascend steeply to gain the ridge top. If you continue straight on the path at the junction, this takes you into the gulch and to the lower falls. Beware of weather conditions.
As for the ridge hike, the views are spectacular, and there is also a pillbox along the way. You can also hike to the top of Makaua upper falls if you do the ridge hike. This trail will eventually connects to the Pu'u Manamana Crouching Lion trail.

hiking
4 months ago

The boar is gone now.
The hike was beautiful and absolutely would recommend. We have done it a few times now and love it every time. Be ready to climb some waterfalls and wear good shoes for slippery rocks.

5 months ago

I have done this trail before and the waterfall is incredible. The boar is decomposing badly and maggots are washing down stream. The smell is horrible and will want to make you puke. We turned around as we got close to it because of bacteria in the water. Two other dead boars are floating nearby in the water. I would give this hike a few weeks before attempting.

hiking
5 months ago

A wild boar must have taken a wrong step and fallen off a cliff into the stream bed where the trail was. It was dead in the stream right before the first falls you have to scramble up with the ropes (don’t trust the red one, it’s pretty frayed at the top. Green one is good). It surprised a lot of the hikers that were on their way back when we were heading up. It blends in with the rocks and a few people said they almost stepped on it. Today we hiked it in the rain and the falls were a slight trickle. There are some narrow parts that made me a little concerned if we had to face a flash flood. I hiked the ridge hike that overlooks the falls and it was dry that time.

hiking
6 months ago

crowded cul de sac, no real hike entry point and Creek bed is completely dry, which means no waterfall.

hiking
6 months ago

Just completed this wonderful hike today...lot's of creek scenery. Today a group coming down the ropes at the last 1/4 mile had one snap and the poor guy almost fell in. One of the girl's in his group graciously climbed up and retied it (she had the proper climbing footwear and experience). She also gave me a bag for my phone, thanks if you are reading this! If anyone with rock climbing/rope setting experience can put a new set of ropes up, that would help prevent something like this happening again. Other than that, highly recommend the hike.

Some tips: All Trails directions gets you real close, but its a neighborhood cul de sac so park a little ways up from the Ka'aawa Fire Station. A little white sign in the middle of the cul de sac at the end of the road marks the trail. Plan on getting feet wet so bring dry bag for electronics!

8 months ago

Short hike but very slippery, especially after rainfall, be ready for a few short rope climbs as well.

hiking
Monday, July 10, 2017

Alright hike. Cool little river bottom. It is really about 2 miles to the rope ladder at the end by the falls. It was dry so no water fall. Bring your bug spray.

hiking
Tuesday, June 13, 2017

I love it for the views but would never recommend doing it, if it is too wet and or raining. It's a rather hard hike in that case. The waterfall was not worth the last part of it since it was wet.

hiking
Sunday, May 14, 2017

I went on a Saturday and it was perfect. It had rained about 2-3 days ago and there was still plenty of water coming down the mountain. This trail definitely isn't for beginners and it is for those who seek adventure. I can see how people have broken bones on this trail because climbing up the ropes is pretty difficult when all the rocks are slippery. Put bug spray on before you go and expect your shoes to get wet.

hiking
Thursday, May 11, 2017

Fun and relaxing hike. Stay close to the stream and you won't get lost.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Not my favorite but a nice little trek

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

there should be a sign at the fork. We went to do this hike but because we followed the pink marker flags, we ended up on the Pu'u Manamana trail. That was an awesome hike but one trail is expected to be wet while the other should not be done in poor conditions. When we went it was raining lightly and eventually had to turn around because it was getting unsafe. If we had landed on the Makaua trail, I think we would have been fine. Just know, don't follow the marker flags and you should end up on this trail.

hiking
Monday, January 16, 2017

We did not like this trail. It is very dry right now and a ton of bugs. I was told in order to see the falls we should try again in September or October.

hiking
Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Very slippery but a fun adventure, not crowded at all

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Great hike if your looking for something quick but beautiful!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

ghjn

hiking
Sunday, May 15, 2016

Awesome hike! The best part doesn't even begin until after the rope grotto.

We warmed up by taking the split in the trail at the cross which good up to the ridge and pillbox. The 30 minute up and back detour was definitely worth it, some of the best views for the difficulty.

Back on the trail to the falls, we decided to stay in the creek bed instead of following the trail since it zigzags quite a bit.

Please be careful, it is very slippery and isn't a good idea after heavy rainfall. Also, I had to treat someone for a concussion and dislocated shoulder after falling in the grotto.

The part after the rope is for experienced hikers only, but rewards those who make it with the best view of the hike.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Went a day after rainfall, figured it'd be more than trickle at least in the falls.. Got past all the lighter falls coming N down the sides, etc, then to the one that you need to rope up. But it was flowing way too hard to even try! If that falls can only be roped up when it's dry wouldn't that mean the large falls at the end would also be dry? I'm confused. Either way. It was a quick, pretty, secluded, fun, rock jumping trail. and I saw a wild boar!

hiking
Sunday, April 24, 2016

Beautiful hike! The views are amazing! We didn't see a waterfall but the views were absolutely stunning!

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