Maunawili Falls Trail

MODERATE 798 reviews

Maunawili Falls Trail is a 3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Kailua, Hawaii that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
3.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,210 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

forest

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

over grown

rocky

This trail begins in a residential area. Please be mindful of residents, be quiet, and park legally. There are no bathrooms or other facilities at the trailhead. Please use the restroom before you come and pack out all trash. The rainforest in this area sees a lot of visitors, so it is important to minimize your impact in every way you can. A nice hike through the jungle to great view of Kailua, Maunawilli Falls, and a swimming hole. Maunawili Trail contours the base of the Koolau Mountain Range on the windward side. It begins off the Pali Highway and ends in Waimanalo. It offers spectacular views of the windward side of Oahu, Olomana, and the Koolaupoko watershed. Vegetation along the trail includes mountain apple, rose apple, ti, naupaka, mamake, lobelia, koa and ohia. Maunawili Trail is a good family trail. There are three access points for this trail. The Maunawilli Falls Trail is a great hike in Kailua along the river that eventually stops at a beautiful waterfall with a great swimming hole below. Many people like to jump from the waterfall into the pool below, and some with a bit more courage even climb higher to the side of the waterfall to jump further (try at your own risk). The trail is often muddy, especially after rains, and you will cross the river several times along the trail. About half way through the hike you will break out of the trees for some nice views of the surrounding mountains and views towards Kailua in the distance.

A moderately easy trail with an awesome waterfall and swimming hole at the end.

3 days ago

Make sure you bring bug spray and panchos. Its really muddy

hiking
10 days ago

Muddy trail most days. Pools of mud if it has recently rained- but then falls are great! Prepare to mess hiking shoes big time. Barefoot may be way to go! Saw many morons with flip flops on. Lots of roots along most of trail. Hiking stick helpful due to mud. You have to cross over large stream a few times. Enjoyed this trail especially after a heavy rain- lots of fun and falls were great.

12 days ago

Warning: deep woods off is not enough this is the most mosquito infested trail I have ever hiked but is 100% worth it. 100% Deet spray will work excellently though so as long as you use it you are good. Hiking/walking sticks are also helpful to navigate through the mud. It is just a gorgeous trail even by Hawaii standards and I know because I Live here. (I moved here largely for the great hiking). I live about 15 minutes away and if you want to join me on a trail sometime my email is justindavidsands@gmail.com.

hiking
13 days ago

Nice little hike, not much elevation gain. The highlight is the waterfall at the end. If you're down, wear a swimsuit - there are a few places that you can jump off of into the pool of water. The lowest is off the fall, the middle is to the right where the rope is, the highest one is on the left (you have to make your way up the trail).

hiking
17 days ago

I’ve hiked Maunawili many times, it’s one of my top hikes on Oahu. It’s useless to try avoiding the muddy terrain on this hike, so I’d recommend bringing old shoes you don’t care about. I’ve actually done the hike shoeless a few times. I wouldn’t recommend it without tough feet, but when the trail is very wet, this is the best option. The waterfall at the end is usually packed with tourists later in the day, which is the biggest letdown after hiking. The hike would be better if people didn’t regard the waterfall ledge as a seating area. It makes the already dangerous act of climbing (to continue up river) even more dangerous by dodging observers. By all means, climb up and jump in the first pool, just please don’t sit there and block people.

hiking
19 days ago

The hike opens up nature's breath of the wild with oxygen levels extremely high as you venture towards the top. This hike is also doable barefoot going up and down the hike. I recommend bringing a high powered flashlight and some hiking boots of you're planning to reach the top at 6:45pm-7:30pm because it starts to get dark around 6pm and gets pitch black dark hiking your way back down the trail. My all time favorite hike on O'ahu so far

21 days ago

Try hiking along the Koolau Summit esp between Poamoho and Laie and it will give you a new meaning to mud.

hiking
24 days ago

Muddiest trail of my life to date. So much mud that people were leaving shoes behind. Beautiful though.

hiking
28 days ago

My wife and I enjoyed this hike. Our shoes got a bit muddy. I tried hard to keep them clean and dry. One slipped into the creek and got wet. It was our first hike in Hawaii and I felt like i really got a feel for the tropical terrain. The falls were beautiful.

29 days ago

I would describe this as a muddy obstacle course.
Nice little waterfall and swimming hole at the end and pretty creek that runs along side part of the trail which you must cross a few times. Not really hard in terms of steepness but it is very muddy and slippery with some rocky and uneven ground to cross. We did find out as we were leaving that the road you enter on is an easier 3 mile hike up through the forest to a different area but is not as challenging.

hiking
1 month ago

Muddy, slippery but overall easy hike. Took us two hours with all the pictures. All the warnings about bacteria in the water is true and serious, think twice before you step in the water or consider to swim.

1 month ago

One of my favorite waterfall hikes on the island! Make sure you wear water shoes or sandals, there will be multiple times that you have to pass through a stream and it is difficult not to get wet. At the end of the trail, the waterfall is quite beautiful! I’ve noticed that compared to other times of the year, the summer is a lot more crowded. Try hiking up the first waterfall to find the moss slides and an even more private falls! Cheers!

1 month ago

muddy but fun anyway. enjoyed the cool breeze too at times.

1 month ago

the waterfall is a nice reward!

hiking
1 month ago

nice hike with a refreshing jump into the foot pool of the fall's

1 month ago

Be aware that you have the possibility of contracting leptospirosis in the water and soil on this trail so don’t go if you have any open sores on your body. We didn’t know this until driving all the way out there and saw the sign. Had to turn around cause my husband had a cut. Dangit!

1 month ago

Relatively flat trail with steady and well spaced incline. Can get very muddy so wear clothes and shoes you’re not afraid to get dirty. Overall takes about an hour and a half out and back but the water fall is a fun place to swim and jump so take your time while there. Very fun and worth the trip.

hiking
1 month ago

The hike is short and sweet with a beautiful waterfall at the end.

1 month ago

muddy!

1 month ago

Easy trail through forested area. Last part before the falls involved several stream crossings and/or wading. Falls offers a couple places to jump. Water was deep enough when I was there for safety.

nature trips
1 month ago

WEAR WATER SHOES!! Trail gets extremely muddy, water shoes helped a ton. Not the easiest hike. Definitely need good balance skills. Bring hiking sticks if not and you’ll be good. Amazing hike! Beautiful trees throughout the forest and majestic waterfall at the end. Beautiful view at the crest of the hike as well.

1 month ago

Loved the jump and the giants tree

1 month ago

It’s harder than moderate IMO. But great muddy fun.

1 month ago

Super muddy but so much fun!

2 months ago

Amazing trail but you should be prepared to get muddy,

hiking
2 months ago

Very fun hike! It wouldn't be too challenging except for the mud which can be very slick even if it's not raining. There are quite a few times when the treeline breaks and you get a gorgeous view of the higher peaks and surrounding mountains. As you get close to the falls the trail becomes the river but it's still pretty easy going. Waterfall and pool were small, but fun to swim around in!
It's a great hike, just leave some towels in the car to clean yourself off with before you drive home!

2 months ago

Amazing hike thru jungle without much incline. If it has rained at all the day you hike (which is likely), then it's going to by muddy, so expect to get a little dirty. The falls at the end are the best part in my opinion. The 40ft jump is no joke, but well worth it if you work up the nerve to jump!

hiking
2 months ago

The mud on the trail is no joke.

Earliest part of the trail is a muddy path. The roots keep it together somehow but it was not the easiest thing to cross. There's a stream you cross about halfway through before you hit make shift stairs. The stairs are planks of wood about a foot tall and three feet wide. Even for a tall person with long legs it's requires big steps. Going downwards on the stairs is harder than going up. The last stretch is up stream through the water and rocks.

Would not do this trail again unless it's been dry for a few days. The mud makes it really difficult to get any sense of stability. Lots of sliding and a few falls, you'll need to be very careful of your footing on this trail. Despite other reviews the trail was not crowded at all and there was lots of street parking. For the most part my party was alone, even managed to swim under the waterfall for roughly 10 minutes before anyone else showed up. Bring a good amount of water, bug spray, wear shoes, and a change of clothes in the car at the very least.

hiking
2 months ago

Love this hike so much. Have done it about 5 times in a year and it’s my favorite waterfall. There are some stairs that are pretty tough and some muddy spots but that’s all the fun. Going again today. Bringing my dog!

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