Maunawili Falls Trail

MODERATE 800 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.

5 days ago

Muddy, in and out of rivers, forests, all kinds of trees and flowers with a beautiful waterfall at the end! Not very physically difficult but it is slippery and that can slow you down a bit, increasing time to about 3-4 hours. So worth it! One of my favorites

hiking
9 days ago

Great hike & nice cliff jump options at the end.

hiking
19 days ago

A Fun trail with a refreshing surprise at the end !

23 days ago

Nice trail. Not spectacular for Hawaii but would be a 5 star trail in most states. Muddy and slick with many water crossings. Probably best to just accept that you'll get muddy and wet early on and just plow right in rather than trying to stay clean and dry. Quite a few people out for Thanksgiving day

24 days ago

The trail is very muddy, but overall very fun. The water is very cold, but it is beautiful.

25 days ago

This trail was so much fun! Super muddy and slippery but that’s what spikes are for. The waterfall was RAGING today after a nice rainy weekend. We got to the waterfall around 10am (started hike at 8:30) and had it all to ourselves so definitely try to start early-ish. The swimming hole is cold but so refreshing. Can’t wait to do this one again!!!

1 month ago

It’s pretty fun, and the falls is worth the trip. A couple beautiful spots for photos along the way. It’s totally muddy, but so is everything!!!!

1 month ago

I loved this hike! Definitely bring shoes that u dont care for since it will get super muddy. Bring bug spray because there are LOTS of bugs. I got bit everywhere. I’d recommend starting the hike around noon or early afternoon the latest. Make sure u dont stay there when it gets dark because it’s easy to get lost. The waterfall is nice and there’s an area you can jump from. Also, make sure you bring covers for your car and/or extra clothes so you dont get your car ruined or muddy.

hiking
1 month ago

Everyone is right. Super muddy and is a challenge to not fall because of it. Super rad hike through a very cool forest and some cool lookout spots. Wear shoes you don’t care about or water shoes. Do not wear flip flops, several people did and ended up walking barefoot.

hiking
1 month ago

Super fun hike!!! It was really muddy today and both my friends slipped and fell but I was still fun! Definitely recommend wearing shoes that your willing to ruin.

1 month ago

muddy when we went but the hike is great.
well worth the work when you get to the falls.
great swimming hole even if your not into jumping off low, med or high jumping spots.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked on 10.22.18. Started at 9 am and took about 1.5 hours down and 1 hour back. We were the only ones at the waterfall for a bit but crossed paths with a ton of people on our way back, so if you want to avoid crowds, go early. Trail was extremely muddy which made footing tricky but still doable.

hiking
1 month ago

I hiked this mid-October with 11 other adults, ages ranging from 30-66 years old. It was difficult, as almost the entire trail was very muddy. But we enjoyed the challenge. There were a couple lookout points which afforded amazing views. They were breathtaking, overlooking the ocean at one point and taking in the mountain range from another. Reaching the waterfall was so exciting. There were two areas from which to jump off high above the waterfall, approximately 40 feet. There was also another place to jump closer to the waterfall that was maybe 10 or 12 feet high. That was exhilarating as the water was cold. We enjoyed resting our feet in the water, swimming around, and jumping into the waterfall. The return hike went quickly thankfully. It took us just over 2 hours to make the round trip. I'd recommend a great pair of hiking water shoes with traction that are broken in, of course, and very comfortable. The water shoes will be helpful as you cross the river several times to and from the waterfall and when you're climbing to different heights to jump in, and/or when you walk into the waterfall to swim around. Totally worth the hike to reach the waterfall.

hiking
1 month ago

Way too long. This is actually 6 miles round trip, not 3 like it says. Way too muddy. The waterfall was cool but not worth it. You will be calf deep in water and mud so any pair of shoes you wear will be ruined and soaked. A lot of wading in the river

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this today 10/16/18. Trail extremely muddy after rain last night. It would probably take weeks for this trail to dry out, so expect major mud the entire time. I wore strapped Teva’s and it was much better vs boots as for portions of the hike I just went though the river vs the extremely muddy trail. Bring a towel to wipe off after!

hiking
2 months ago

Fun easy hike - as long as you do not mind getting VERY MUDDY and wet. Without the mud this would be an easy hike. This is only moderate because of the mud and potential to slip and fall. The reward is the falls at the end and the jumps/swim. Bring extra clothing/footwear and a bag for the dirty/wet shoes and clothing

2 months ago

Super muddy. Very slippery.

hiking
2 months ago

Very muddy as we started in the rain but that also kept the crowds down. It was an athletic trail that beginning hikers can handle- I wouldn’t bring a little kid on this one mainly due to the slipperiness and sometimes more difficult steps. Overall, this was exactly what we were looking for in a rainforest hike to a waterfall. We didn’t swim but you definitely could.

hiking
2 months ago

Super muddy but great hike. Fun jumping in the water at the waterfall.

2 months ago

Slippery as heck but a fun little hike to the waterfall.

hiking
2 months ago

If it’s been raining it’s is extremely slippery. We turned around after speaking with a local that it was slippery all the way. I like to look around while I hike and you must look every foot placement. When dry there are many exposed roots. Not steep.

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

Just did this morning was a great hike. Started to pour so got really muddy but loved it! The waterfall was nice. Great hike with friends

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked this since I was like 13 I’m 36 now and taking my kids now. Great hike just pathway has been Destroyed over the years

2 months ago

Amazing trail! There was a lot of mud due to the consistent showers on the island, but it was so worth the trek. The fall is beautiful with a few places to rock jump. I recommend at least climbing to the top of the fall because there are two more falls behind the first, which might be even more beautiful. The water was freezing, but refreshing from the mud and heat. The trail crosses the stream a few times, so there are plenty of chances to rinse and cool off. Over all it was a great experience.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail. Beautiful waterfall.

2 months ago

trail is great. I have been a few times a day haven't regret it yet. when you go make sure you jump from the high point on the waterfall (the left if you're looking at the fall)

2 months ago

Waterfall was great. Hike past the waterfall was an adventure

hiking
3 months ago

Nice trail! It was muddy and slippery, but not bad. Would recommend not wearing a new pair of shoes. Water shoes worked well for my wife and adult daughter. Lots of exposed roots and rocks so those uf us with weak ankles need to be careful. Falls was nice at the end and worth the hike. Wear your suit if you want to make the plunge!

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful Breathtaking hike!! Definitely worth it!! Amazing views of the river, jungle trees, and of course the waterfall. We jumped off the cliff of the waterfall it was plenty deep. I disagree with other reviews that this hike is not kid friendly. I took my 3 kids ages 11,9,8 and they loved every minute of it! If your kids don’t like getting dirty or want to be held while hiking it could be a dealbreaker. It is muddy but that was half the fun! We wore great shoes (chaco’s) and it made all the difference. Cant stress how important good footwear is so be prepared. I saw people hiking with flip flops, which is a terrible idea.
The hike starts behind a road with a gate. The trail wasn’t marked but it was easy to find when you know to follow the trail behind the gate. You park in a residential neighborhood to access the trail.

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