Explore the most popular trails near Kaaawa with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Kaaawa, Hawaii Map
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Beautiful views! The hike itself was quite steep on the way up and on the way back it was very difficult. Hike is shaded for the most part, with minimal exposure to the sun. Therefore, it is a great hike to do at anytime of the day. The pictures come out a lot better when the sun is out versus when it is overcast. Make sure to get your manicure after rather than before this hike because your hands and nails will get dirty!

on Makaua Falls Trail

hiking
22 days ago

This trail gave me such a thrill! I really enjoyed it!

hiking
22 days ago

The hike is very difficult and can be sketchy. It says .4 miles because that’s where most people stop. You can go much much further and up much steeper places if you actually want to do this hike and aren’t just going for the photo op

this trail can be very challenging and dangerous if wet.

hiking
24 days ago

In my opinion, this little valley is one of the most spiritually serene places on the island. There is something truly special about Kahekili’s eponymous trail - photogenic and giving at every turn.

Parking:
There’s limited parking space for this hike. If you park near the trailhead, be mindful of Ka’awa residents. Consider parking off of Kamehameha Highway and walking back to the trailhead (it’s not far).

Hike:
At the back of the road, you’ll see an old stacked lava rock wall beside the last house to the left. Walk to the right of this wall. Walk a short distance back into the valley before curving along the trail to the left and up the hillside.

Over the next .75 miles, there’s some elevation and climbing to do, but nothing too challenging for a decently experienced hiker (especially considering the brevity of this hike).

There are a few narrow trail sections and moderately technical rope scrambles to manage, but the views are totally worth it.

Whether you stop at the the first, second or third peak, you’re in for a treat. The views are spectacular. If you continue to the back of the valley, you’ll discover a little waterfall in the woods that begins a short distance from the trail and cascades down a series of pools before dropping over the edge of the valley’s rear cliff wall (when there’s enough water flow). Watch your footing on the rocks around the falls and pools.

Difficulty:
Due to the rope climbing sections, this hike is not for dogs or children.

Ratings:
Payoff: 10/10
Intensity: 7/10
Risk: 7.5/10
Wayfinding: 7.5/10

Excellent hike, didn’t loop it but we made it to the waterfall and it was an awesome view from the top.

hiking
1 month ago

We loved it. Stopped so many times along the way to capture pics of the beauty. Met nice people going up and down. Highly recommend it. It is a bit muddy and you do have to climb a rope about 20 feet. Enjoy! Aloha!

Awesome Hike!!!

hiking
1 month ago

My family loved it!! Was definitely a challenging hike. Took two kids 12 and 9 but they did awesome. I didn’t continue past the ropes but my husband and kids did and got to see the waterfall. Although it was a trickle they loved loved the adventure. They said they felt like they were in Jurassic Park. They must have thanked us a million times for bringing them. This hike is absolutely one of the highlights of our trip so far. A few things to note. My kids are extremely adventurous and have climbing experience so may not be suitable for all children. The trailhead is a little tough to spot. It is to the right side of a house in a cul-de-sac. I was afraid it was part of someone’s yard at first. The trail comes to a y and there is a small memorial cross at this point. The falls are to the right. You would be best to pack bug spray! There are some areas that cleats and your own rope would be very useful! I had not read about the dangers of falling rocks until after we climbed. I am a little glad...as we really enjoyed our time there, although I have to admit I was horrified to read that it could be so dangerous from falling rocks. We certainly did not see or hear any while we were on the trail. pure bliss for us. The trail was dry when we climbed. I can see that if this was wet the level of complexity and risk would go up substantially!!!

Parking is very limited. Either there’s a spot or you can make one! Lol First off, bring your own rope! The first five minutes of this trail has a good amount of branches, etc. to grab onto, but as for the rest of it, there is slim to none (and you are climbing basically straight up) If you plan on going anywhere afterward bring wipes, towels, etc. you will be dusty/muddy depending on the weather.

hiking
1 month ago

What a vacation without hike . we tried this hike with stunning views. it's kind a hard one on the way up and down . But if you reach top of the trail it's just WOW even wether wosnt that perfect and it was raining. it's just perfect . not recommended for people who scare of heights

1 month ago

Steep hike. Jake wore sandals/// should have worn shoes. View was beautiful. Broke a little bit of a sweat. Recommend next time bringing some food to snack at the top.

Law enforcement was standing there telling us that it was closed but after a couple hours of hours we drove back and there were a few people doing it

Can be Very Dangerous.Hand and rope climbing involved.Wear hiking shoes.If wet out be EXTREMELY care full.Amazing Views.Jurassic Park type experience.

Must be in shape.Can be very dangerous.Wear hiking shoes.Hand and rope climbing involved.

walking
2 months ago

Awesome trail and wicked fun. Family enjoyed the trail and the sites.

hiking
2 months ago

This is a fun one! Straight up with awesome views.

Never leave a trace, hike out what you hike in. We ended our 5.5 mile ridge loop hike on this trail. We started at the Kahekili trail by the kaaawa fire station and hiked the ridge to the top of the Makaua waterfall. Once we got there, we continued on instead of turning around. The there are several false trails not too far beyond the top of the waterfall. It looks like you can go either right or left. The trail to the right goes on further for a hundred feet before it ends. The trail to the left doesn’t really go anywhere. The real trail goes straight up between them. We saw a pink marker on a tree that fell and was somewhat obscure. Wear long pants if you do this one because the brush can get mean for this portion of the hike. Eventually it will lead to a junction that connects to the crouching lion ridge trail which is precarious and beautiful. All in all, it took about 5 hours to hike and that was us taking our time.

hiking
2 months ago

We hiked to the top of the falls and continued on to connect with the crouching lion ridge trail to make it a loop hike. There was a part not far beyond the waterfall that was a bit confusing where the trails to the left and right seemed to disappear into nothing. That is where we went straight up. Wear long pants since the brush is overgrown and scratchy here. Eventually we made it to the junction at the top. (Look for the geocache there). Take the trail on the right and you will eventually end at crouching lion. The views on this stretch are breathtaking, dizzying (and dangerous).

very nice and easy hike gets a little bit steep towards the top but nothing too major bring a snack enjoy The View and take lots of pictures

Easy today, it was dry. Short and steep with ropes and branches to help along the way.

hiking
2 months ago

Must be in superior shape, bring backpack, non slip water shoes with straps to repel up and down three 15’ waterfalls. Bring rope to replace old line if needed. Trail very overgrown, switchback a cross stream several times. No cell signal. Bout one hour up. Same down. The most rewarding 1000’ waterfall !!!

hiking
3 months ago

Today was nice, no rain, but the beginning is usually muddy. First ones up so was awesome.

Someone just died here yesterday from falling rocks. Lots of Mana (energy) back there. I’ve had rocks come down while I was back there. Use extreme caution, and if you go don’t hang out under the waterfall.

A lady in her 30’s ( according to local news) was found unconscious in the valley due to rockfalls. Becareful when you hike here.

Wet muddy steep amazing

hiking
3 months ago

enjoyable trail with great views! don't look down!

This hike was a little intimidating at first especially after some rain fall, but completely worth it!! The views are amazing at all peaks. We did the full loop starting at the right side “do not enter” sign and came down the left side sign. Make sure you come down the more northern side of the hike because there it was a little more safer. Cheers and keep it wavy

I am terrified of heights and tend to hate hiking, but this hike was pretty easy! Stunning views, a great look out and two different options of difficulty.
The trailhead opening leads to a fork of 2 paths. Go left for this trail. This trail is marked every now and then with pink ribbons. Everything is uphill and looks steep but honestly not bad. There are 2 areas that a rope is provided which is super nice.
Coming back down was a little tricky with it rainy yesterday so maybe don’t take this path if it’s been rainy. Overall a really fun hike.

hiking
3 months ago

For the amount of effort required this hike is hard to beat. I'd love to get back and do the full ridge traverse when I have more time.

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