Maunawili Falls Trail

MODERATE 692 reviews
#1 of 2 trails in

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.

2 days 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!

10 days ago

Awesome much muddy goodness

hiking
21 days ago

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

27 days 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
29 days 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
1 month 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!!!

1 month 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.

1 month 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+

1 month 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.

1 month 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.

2 months ago

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

hiking
2 months ago

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

2 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.

2 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.

2 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

3 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.

3 months ago

very muddy but nice hike overall

3 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
3 months ago

The waterfall area was so beautiful and peaceful!

3 months ago

Very glad that we went on this hike while in Hawaii. If you come prepared with shoes that you are okay getting muddy, you will love it. Also, don’t skip jumping into the water at the falls.

hiking
4 months ago

Fun muddy hike. I did the hike barefoot because I didn't bring proper shoes and it was so much fun getting all muddy! Being able to swim and jump into the waterfall made the hike totally worth it. There are some views of the valley along the way.

hiking
4 months ago

Very muddy but totally worth it. The waterfall was beautiful and had different spot to jump from into the pool.

4 months ago

This hike is a Muddy maze of slippery roots. It was wonderful being with dear friends during this hike, other than that we will skip this hike in the future. Because it is slippery, root filled, bumpy and sloshy, our eyes stayed glued to the ground most of the hike.

There are a few openings to see the Koolaus and surrounding beauty, other than that it is a rather “dark” hike under the canopy of forest.

The water fall is small, and when we arrived very crowded so we simply turned around.

Lulu Mahu offers much more beautiful views, relaxing trail and gorgeous water fall at its end.

hiking
4 months ago

Extremely muddy. You have to wear appropriate shoes. Plan on this trail taking you 3+ hours due to traffic.

4 months ago

10/10 would NOT consider ‘moderate’ not only is the trail head hard to find, its slippery, muddy, & so uncomfortable. Id rather do Koko Head Railway. The view isn’t worth it! The waterfall is small & did I mention you can get leptospirosis from being in the water? The experience was great. Nothing better than falling down, breaking an ankle, being covered in mud up to your shoulders & risking getting a deadly disease. First you track through mud & tree roots, then you go through the infected stream of water AND climb 200 stairs that are slippery & muddy.. that’s also not safe.. alllll to see a waterfall that isn’t big nor is the view pretty.
If you’re going to do it, pack snacks and LOTS of water and wear RUNNING SHOES. Because you’re gonna be out there for a while & you’re gonna get winded.

4 months ago

Muddy, but fun hike, great waterfall to swim in too.

hiking
5 months ago

My first hike in a few weeks! I did this less than a week after a marathon and it was a good hike to get me off the couch and back moving! Not too hard and not boring either. There were more steps than I anticipated but nothing compared to hikes in Hawaii Kai. There are several turn offs to this hike but they l seem to end up at the falls. The falls seem deep enough to jump because a man was doing it but I wasn’t gonna try it. We did climb up them to see the top of the falls above it. One of the muddiest hikes I have done this year but still super fun. Parking wasn’t bad, but it is in residential so be respectful, don’t park near mailboxes or trash cans and don’t block driveways. Be quiet while walking by the houses and pack your trash out. Enjoy! I will be doing this one again.

hiking
5 months ago

Extremely muddy hike up for a not so impressive waterfall - wear appropriate footwear

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful tropical hike. Partly muddy, but lots of fun. Definitely not hard, would say moderate! Do that hike, it is a really nice one :)

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