Maunawili Falls Trail

MODERATE 771 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 offers a number of activity options 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

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

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.

hiking
14 hours ago

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

hiking
4 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.

5 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
9 days 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.

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!

14 days ago

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

17 days ago

the waterfall is a nice reward!

hiking
19 days ago

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

19 days 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!

19 days 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
21 days ago

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

21 days ago

muddy!

24 days 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
25 days 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!

1 month ago

Amazing trail but you should be prepared to get muddy,

hiking
1 month 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!

1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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!

1 month ago

Muddy, as is to be expected. The trail is aptly considered moderate for the most part, though somewhat crowded, but the waterfall at ‘the end’ is rather nice. Bring swimwear and go for a dip to rinse off the sweat and leave feeling a little refreshed. We were unable to access the bridge we saw in the distance, as the hill on the left of the waterfall leading to it was too slippery, but next time we’ll give it a go.

2 months ago

good trail with plenty of roots and rocks to test your eye/foot/balance coordination...muddy, slippery, and very junglish..get there early as parking can be tight

2 months ago

nice trail, muddy, but not unsafe at all and could be done in tennis shoes. beautiful falls at the end!

2 months ago

Awesome much muddy goodness

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful and fun!! Wear swimming suit and good shoes, if recent rain it will be muddy and slippery.

2 months ago

Awesome trial, but VERY muddy and slippery. I recommend hiking shoes with good traction (I wore merrels and was sturdy). I do not recommend sandles or flip flops. if you are not surefooted this is not the hike for you, know your limits, we went with some very inexperienced hikers and it was quite difficult for them. Otherwise the trail was beautiful, the views breath taking and the waterfall worth it. I definitely recommend jumping off into the pool below, if you are afraid of heights jump off one of the lower areas. Enjoy!

hiking
2 months ago

So the hike to the falls is pretty easy-family friendly really.

The real fun and adventure begins past the falls as you climb a steep (extremely muddy this past weekend) incline to get to the Secret Bridge which I have since named Sketchy Bridge. It is not for the faint hearted to cross. I was pretty damn scared on the thing-it even shook a bit when I was on it but man it was exhilarating!

Moss slides past the bridge are super fun! It would be cool to hang there with some beers (pack out what you pack in) and slip n slide.

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

hiking
3 months ago

Done this hike several times Easy and fun muddy but very rewarding at the end for a dip in the waterfall it’s a most go!!!

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