Maunawili Falls Trail

MODERATE 729 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
1210 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.

4 days ago

Loved the jump and the giants tree

5 days ago

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

6 days ago

Super muddy but so much fun!

7 days ago

Amazing trail but you should be prepared to get muddy,

hiking
10 days 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!

11 days 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
14 days 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
16 days 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!

hiking
18 days ago

According to alltrails logged recordings, the number one most recorded is Koko Crater stairs at 992.
2. Diamond ‘Leahi’ Head- 880
3. Manoa Falls- 762
4. Kuli’ou’ou Ridge State Trail- 582
5. Aiea Loop State Trail- 565
6. Lulumahu Falls - 560
7. Makapu’u Point Lighthouse- 550
8. Maunawili Falls - 502
9. Kaiwa Pillbox - 500
10. Waimano Falls- 405

20 days 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.

1 month 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

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

1 month ago

Awesome much muddy goodness

hiking
1 month ago

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

1 month 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
1 month 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
2 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!!!

2 months ago

The trail is extremely muddy right now. I would keep an extra pair of shoes/towell in your car for the ride home. Bug spray wouldn't hurt.t was a very beautiful hike.

2 months ago

feels like your smack dab in the middle of the jungle, what an awesome hike, jumping off a cliff was the best part, A+

2 months ago

I enjoyed this hike but be prepared for slipping and sliding if it’s wet, which is a big possibility, and if you do not have hiking shoes. I will admit, we did not come prepared as we should have and we both fell a lot and were covered in mud, so I speak from experience. All that said, I thought it was a beautiful hike that I could have enjoyed even more if I had the right shoes.

2 months ago

This is one of our favourite Oahu hikes. Lots of birds and beautiful views and scenery....ending with a refreshing dip into the lagoon or jump from the rocks into the lagoon. Great for anyone of even moderate fitness. One hour to falls when not muddy, 11/2hours when muddy. If it hasn't rained in 5+ days, it'll be dry.

3 months ago

Tough hike with all the mud. But cool waterfall, and good swimming hole.

hiking
3 months ago

muddy but super fun! those “stairs” are slight killers tho lol

3 months ago

The 4mi trail was VERY muddy today, which meant the exposed roots and branches were very slippery. This is a moderate hike because of the mud - not because of the length or elevation change. We only saw 4 other people going up (started around 9:30am) but counted 56 on our way down (we were back at the car by noon). Parking in the neighborhood wasn’t a problem, but do be mindful of driveways and mailboxes.

Be prepared with hiking boots and patience! The waterfall was pretty, but I’m not sure I’d do this hike again, and will stick to bringing visitors to Manoa Falls.

3 months ago

Amazing trail with an even more amazing waterfall at the end. Ensure you wear good hiking shoes, as the trail forces you to cross water and mud.

3 months ago

Not able to go today as the trail is closed from being washed out after heavy rainfall. Patrol car handing out fines as they have had to rescue numerous


people in the last week

4 months ago

Hike is beautiful with multiple views to magnificent mountains and finally to refreshing waterfall. trail is muddy, make sure to use good hiking shoes and bring spare shoes you will need it on the way back home.
it's mostly covered by tall trees and bamboos.
dont forget to dip into water it's very refreshing.

4 months ago

very muddy but nice hike overall

4 months ago

Went 2-4-18. Very muddy with lots of roots. The trail is moderate, but the mud and roots make it tougher and slow. I would rate it between a medium and hard. However, the hike is beautiful and the falls are amazing. There are 10, 30, and 40 ft jumps. Tons of fun and worth fighting through the mud. Good tennis shoes or hiking boots are essential.

hiking
4 months ago

The waterfall area was so beautiful and peaceful!

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