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Manoa Falls Trail

EASY 1,331 reviews
#1 of 10 trails in

Manoa Falls Trail is a 1.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Honolulu, Hawaii that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
1.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
554 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

A short hike to the base of Manoa Falls in the Manoa Valley in Honolulu, Oahu, the Manoa Falls Trail winds through a lush Hawaiian tropical rainforest filled with movie scene locations from Jurassic Park and LOST. The trail can be quite muddy, so proper closed toe footwear is recommended. Unfortunately, swimming is not allowed in the pool at the base of the waterfall but the views alone justify this easy hike. This area receives significant rainfall so check the weather before going to avoid flash floods. The trailhead is a short drive from downtown Honolulu and can be accessed at the end of Manoa Road.There is a $5 fee to park. Visitors might also be interested in the nearby Lyon Arboretum and Botanical Garden which preserves endangered Hawaiian plant species.

hiking
22 hours ago

This was amazing. My don is 6 and it was his very first HIKE!!! It does get a bit muddy so wear comfortable gear you do not mind getting dirty. Trust me it can wash off. No jeans, no slides, n9 crocks and no sandals. It does have a lot of traffic through it but that means you can't get lost. The waterfall is beautiful. Wear sun screen and Bug spray very important.

hiking
4 days ago

The 'trail' to the upper Manoa Falls ( right above the state maintained fall) is directly above it. There should be a sign telling you not to go further. Walk past it and scramble up a bunch of rocks. You should also be able to see an old rusted fencing to your right. Soon, you will get to a huge banyan tree. Proceeed to climb up it via its rooting system. Then you will come to a ledge. From here, there will be another set of roots to climb. Once over these two humps, you will get onto another ledge veering to the right. Follow it and you will come to the second falls with a sizable swimming hole. Thread carefully. Search in the photo album and you should find some of my older second Manoa falls with pool photos and the steep climb to it. The first time I discovered this hidden pool was in 1991 with a bunch of local hikers.
Aihualama Trail- Once you veer left past the official Manoa falls trail, you should be on the official Aihualama Trail. Yes, its muddy and some parts are rocky and uneven. The trail takes you to Pauoa Flats via a series of switchbacks thru bamboo groves, old banyan trees and guava forest. At the end of Aihualama Trail, you come to a fork. Right takes you to a nice lookout point overlooking Nuuanu valley. Left takes you to other trails like Nuuanu, Kalawahine, Manoa Cliffs and Puu Ohia. Pauoa Flats Trail is getting an upgrade with a plank walk.
Do check out my personal website for more hiking
ideas.
https://paulcpeh.wixsite.com/mysite

4 days ago

The main trail is easy to follow. $5 parking fee (cash only) total for the 3 of us (1car). Highly trafficked when we went and it seemed people just wanted to stand where they shouldn’t (behind the signs AND doing nothing-not even a picture). So expect to wait a while for a clear picture. You will get muddy and must have bug repellant of some kind on. Many families and dogs on the main trail too.

We searched for the upper falls trail to find after “getting lost” the trail was destroyed by a rockslide. We stayed on a secondary trail for a good hour admiring the bamboo forest. I’m not sure the significance of that trail, as it lead to another trail loop totaling some ridiculous mileage, so we turned around (needed gps at that point). In total think we walked 6 miles.

Overall good experience. Close toed shoes are a must. You will get muddy and bit by bugs. The waterfall’s beautiful and the bamboo forest is something too.

hiking
5 days ago

http://www.dlnr.hawaii.gov/recreation/files/2013/09/Oahu-Hiking-Map_HonoluluMaukaTrailsSystem.pdf
If you don't have a car, you can always take The Bus #5 till the end of Manoa Road and walk into the park where the official trailhead is. You can also take #5 to the intersection of Manoa Road and Nehoa, and walk down Nehoa till you get to Makiki St. Walk up Makiki St till you get to an open grassy area. Follow Makiki-Heights Drive till you get to Makiki Nature Center at the hairpin turn. This is where the trailhead for Maunalaha and Kanealole begins. From here, you can take either route, and follow the interconnecting trails ( the link to the pdf file above) to different spots along the Tantalus Trail system. My favorite spots are the Pauoa Flats Lookout Point, Manoa Cliffs Trail with a bench, and Manoa Falls via Aihualama Trail.
Another alternative is take bus #4 to Nuuanu Pali and get off before Kimo Drive. Walk up the Nuuanu - Pali Drive till you get to the Judd Trailhead. From here you can do the Judd Loop or go straight to Nuuanu Trail, after crossing the stream. The Nuuanu Trail will end at Pauoa Flats Trail. From here, you can either go left to Aihulama Trail or Pauoa Flats Lookout or turn right to Puu Ohia Trail, Kalawahine Trail or Manoa Cliffs Trail.

hiking
6 days ago

Cool little hike near the University of Hawaii. It’s close to Waikiki so it’s a bit of a tourist trap but if you have kids it’s well worth it.

It’s muddy most of the time so dress appropriately.

hiking
7 days ago

Really short, muddy trail but great scenery. Pretty busy as this seems to be a tourist attraction.

10 days ago

great trail! really muddy (it's been rainy) but well worth it! make sure you bring bug spray or the bugs will eat you alive!

12 days ago

Its the second best trail on the island after lulumalu falls but the best scenery around a waterfall on the island for sure. The hordes of people and $5 for parking brings it down but he ease of it will be good for lazy and unfit individuals. Its five stars if you are a tourist but as an avid hiker/resident of Hawaii I give it 4 by comparison. If you are into doing epic hikes my email is justindavidsands@gmail.com

hiking
13 days ago

It’s no wonder this is one of the most crowded trails on the island. The falls and the scenery are beautiful and easy to get to from the city. I would suggest arriving early, when the lot opens, to be one of the first people on the trail. Don’t plan on getting a run in along the trail simply due to the hoards of people you’ll encounter. This trail is good for dogs and kids, as long as you’re ok with the mud they’ll get on them.

hiking
14 days ago

The sweeping views as you start the trail is awe inspiring. As you step on to the trail your are surrounded with beautiful flora and fauna. Just after the start, you come across a bridge where the views will stop you in your tracks. What a magnificent sight! The sound of the brook greets you as huge elephant ears take you aback. Walk a little further and the meadow area is covered in vines with flowers that sit at the trail edge. With the mountains in the background, the scene is surreal. And this was just the beginning of the trail. The beauty along the trail doesn’t disappoint. The downside is, this trail is EXTREMELY crowded. I brought my camera along to take in the sights but with the crowd behind you and coming towards you it is impossible to take your time to be creative along the narrow paths. I felt rushed to just take in the views let alone take photos. This trail was basically a rushed line of hikers to the top. Once you reach the falls, even that was difficult to enjoy. There was shoulder to shoulder crowd that surrounded the pool so we admired the falls, standing on rocks from afar. After just about 10 minutes we headed back down. Again in a line out of the forest.

Bring tennis/hiking shoes! The trail is muddy and slippery. The trail is easy, yes! Although this was classified as easy, there is a constant incline to get you to the falls. We saw parents with toddlers holding hands at the beginning of the trail. I can imagine either these parents ended up carrying the kids later on or turning around? We saw some older people struggle due to knee issues going back down.

hiking
14 days ago

super crowded, but thankfully got there really early.

nature trips
15 days ago

Beautiful trip alongside plants, birds, flowers, water and a lot of people. Busy road but definitely a beautiful one. Mosquitos will love you if you forget to spray some repellent.
Parking costs $5 or walk in from below.

hiking
16 days ago

Very busy. Very buggy. But very beautiful!

16 days ago

Poorly maintained, no free parking and lots of inexperience people on trail. BTW...falls are kinda Meh.

16 days ago

amazing and easy hike to a beautiful waterfall!

17 days ago

Nice trail with shade and educational materials along the way. The waterfall is definitely worth seeing! If it has rained, the trail will be very slick. Not recommended for seniors or small children as there are many roots.

hiking
17 days ago

The trail is like taking a walk in the Land of the Giants. It is the most popular hike in Oahu for a reason. Aside from the massive amount of people, the Falls themselves are beautiful (but cordoned off). It is worth the slippery trek.

20 days ago

I did this hike a few years ago. It was and is my favorite hike. So beautiful and it feels prehistoric.

20 days ago

Easy. Gorgeous. Falls at the end great for swimming.

22 days ago

extremely busy trail, with easy access

23 days ago

This is a great hike to do if you want to see a beautiful waterfall. It is very easy to complete but can get a bit slick on some of the rock surfaces while it is raining. I suggest going while it is raining so long as you don’t mind getting wet, the waterfall is very worth it if you do.

23 days ago

The waterfall is beautiful but also very busy. Great hike for the kids.

26 days ago

I felt like I was in Fern Gully!!! It was gorgeous, surreal, and a good hike! Can be a bit slippery so wear good shoes and be ready to be in awe!!!

hiking
27 days ago

It’s starts beautiful as there are amazing views of the rainforest and it’s fauna, but as the trail continues it gets tight with far too many people on this trail and the views never live up to the opening scene. We found our family standing and waiting 8-10 minutes due to traffic on the trail, yikes. I find the trails of Lyon Arboretum far more rewarding just above Manoa falls trailhead.

hiking
28 days ago

Left for the trail at about 11 AM right after it rained, then had to pay 5 dollars upfront to enter the trailhead and there was still plenty of parking space available. Because it had just recently rained there was lots of mud which made the rocks we were climbing on slippery. The hike itself was about an hour of steady hiking with a beautiful waterfall at the end.

28 days ago

Nice hike but way too many people on small trail.

28 days ago

Enjoyable, Easy, and worth it at the end!

hiking
30 days ago

Did this last week, great hike, awesome pictures.

1 month ago

way to many people!!!

1 month ago

Pretty easy hike with a waterfall at the end as a reward. Went early before the lot attendant arrived, but we still had to pay upon leaving. Go early as the parking lot was full by 9am.

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