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

A beautiful but technical and treacherous hike. We hiked anti clockwise to the third waterfall then took the path to the right to circle around the crater ridge. The path around the crater was extremely muddy and slippery (I fell a few times). The ascent to the peak of the ridge was very steep and some parts were difficult even with assistance ropes (good upper body strength was required). The views of the crater and the beach and buildings were great. Once we completed the crater ridge we descended via a different path (not via the waterfalls). It took us about 8 hours (going at a slow pace). The All Trails app says the hike is 5 miles (including the crater ridge) but my gps watch recorded 7 miles.

If I were to hike this again I would skip the crater ridge as I felt that the effort was not worth the view a second time. Instead, I would take the path to the left at the top of the third waterfall to connect and descend via the non waterfall path.

Tips:
- If you normally wear glasses, wear contacts. My glasses kept steaming up due to the moisture in the air.
- Do not wear quality pants and socks. They will get extremely muddy from the trail, the climbing and where you have to slide down the path because it is too muddy/slippery to walk
- Hiking poles would have helped
- We carried 3L of water per person which was too much. 1.5L would have been enough as the trail was cool (we went in Jan - temperature of Honolulu was 80 Fahrenheit) and the path was well covered (except for the crater ridge)
- Go with a group, on the crater ridge, having a helping hand or a boost up the muddy, steep ascents was very helpful
- Leave a change of clothes and plastic bags for dirty clothes post hike.

hiking
14 hours ago

We entered from Koolau Golf Course. Muddy but fairly easy and short hike to the falls. If you continue up instead of going to the falls, you will end up on Old Pali Road that can take you up to the Pali Lookout... If you want to go that far. If you want to do that, when you get to a T, go left, then when it looks like you can go left or right, go right, hugging the mountain and you will shortly end up on the road. you can see the road below when you are supposed to take the right hand trail. Be prepared for rain and use mosquito repellant.

hiking
blowdown
muddy
scramble
washed out
1 day ago

It’s a tough one! First off, the map is not accurate to how the trail goes. Due to mud, trees down and blocking the way one is forced to zigzag back and forth across the river. There are no trail markers to help you pick your path. Crossing the river in mud caked shoes is no picnic either. If like playing Twister or The Limbo with Vaseline on your feet....this is the trail for you!

Wear appropriate shoes if you're not experienced or tend to be a little clumsy like me. Steep but well worth it. Lots of people but it's a short beautiful tropical hike worth visiting.

Another great hike in Oahu. I wouldn't recommend it after rain because some sections of the trail are very narrow and may get dangerous when slippery. Other than that well worth it hike with nice views.

hiking
1 day ago

This is a nice trail that begins on private property. One pretty waterfall at the end. Not very challenging.

We had great weather! It lightly rained the day before but the trail was barely muddy. Go early... the more traffic the muddier it gets. We were the first to arrive at the falls for the day which made it amazing and peaceful. I honk the 14 mil description is mistaken. It’s more like 2 mile paddle and 2.5 mile hike in? Not real difficult but I can see how it would be if it were muddy. I would definitely do this trail again! Awesome laid back adventure!

Wasn’t marked very well. The all trails map saved us!!

Can get a little muddy but definitely worth the hike. Easy to do and a definite must if you are visiting Hawaii.

hiking
bugs
muddy
off trail
over grown
scramble
2 days ago

Great trail! Some stone ruins at the bottom and good views along the way—once you get out of the valley. The first time I did this I got eaten alive by mosquitoes even though the stream bed looked dry. The valley stretch is quite long so that was pretty miserable. Second time I did it there were no bugs so ymmv but bring something to keep from getting bit!

Long!! But worth it. I saw some people with their dog up at the very peak, but I don’t know if most dogs could do this one. The view from the top is very different from most KST ridge trails because you can see all down the spine of the mountain and all the ridges branching off of it. really something else.

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
2 days ago

Super fun trail! Be careful about doing it when it’s been rainy because you do need to cross the stream bed several times and go up alongside three waterfalls with ropes. It’s muddy and there is a part where the trail is missing so you need to swing across with ropes. The trail follows the stream bed in along the last few houses in Palolo Valley (trail head is on private property but there is a hand painted sign marking it and warning caution and street side parking) and pipes bringing water from the crater. It can be windy along the rim of the crater but it’s a really neat and very different view! I’ve seen families try to bring kids along for this one but I wouldn’t... it’s pretty long and the last group I saw made it to the base of the third waterfall and was trying to figure the shortest way out. There are a few different paths that crisscross and can cut a little time off.

Be aware of falling rocks!

This was such a fun hike, but a little longer than we were expecting! All four of us were baby-wearing our littles. We loved the falls at the end and jumped in the falls at the end. Crawl up the waterfall and see the waterfall at the top!

hiking
bugs
2 days ago

Great family hike! I’ve heard that this hike is super busy, but we didn’t experience that at all. I think the key is to go later in the day, to avoid everyone starting their excursions on the road to Hana. We got there around 330 pm and only saw a handful of people. We were totally alone at the 2nd waterfall and didn’t see a single person on our way back down. The 1st waterfall is super close. If you want to do the 2nd one, you’ll have to go through a gate which has a bunch of signs talking about how dangerous it is, and how it is for experienced hikers only. It wasn’t at all difficult for my kids. I think they have them up to make sure people are being cautious. I could see it being intense if there had recently been a lot of rain or something, but it was really quite mild when we went. Beautiful trail. Breathtaking waterfall!

hiking
muddy
private property
rocky
3 days ago

The last time I did this hike. The river was flowing very heavily. But today was my second time and it was fairly dry. It was somewhat a lot easier getting to the waterfall. This hike may not be for all hikers but be prepared as there is no reception and bring lots of water and bug spray. Also get some good grip hiking shoes!

This was a last minute find and is now one of my favorite hikes. Can be a little tricky if you’re not sure footed. It gets a little slick in some spots. Enjoy!

hiking
3 days ago

This trail is a beast! We lucked out with dry ground. I can’t see how it can be done safely with mud. The views are amazing! I disagree with other reviews on the forest. I feel it’s worth every second to be in the stone still forest. It was amazing... probably my favorite part actually. Pack plenty of water, a camel pack would be ideal. Wear shoes with good traction, red mountain is slick with loose dirt. I’m strong, I hike seasonally, not super fit (gym 3 times a week) but I made it with minimal soreness. I totally thought it would be worse lol. Total time in was 2.5 hrs and out in 1.75. The way back was all business pacing up the inclines. I too was grateful I didn’t have to be rescued! You leave this trail feeling like a total badass.

We lucked out with dry ground! It hadn’t rained for at least 4 days......maybe longer. That made for an easy day. The falls were gorgeous. Well worth the time. Follow the upper trail rather than the river to get to the second falls! Beautiful the whole way. Loved all of the plants too!

This was an easy trail. Got there about noon so it had less traffic. I can see if there was recent rains it could be a tougher trail. It seemed challenging for people who aren’t out walking nice inclines often though. Great for families. The views were spectacular! Especially past the picnic area. I’m a plant person and a fan of the forest so I loved every minute of the larger plants past that point! I highly recommend this trail. In and out took about 2.5 hours. That includes tons of plant ID time and pics.

We did this hike today - our 3rd time over the years! Simply beautiful and not overly strenuous even for two mid-60 yr olds. Canyon views are fabulous!! One key piece of advice is to park on the road by Hale Manu road - quite a few spots there - then walk down the 4wd-only road about a half hour to the trailhead. Much, much easier than the steep, rutted spur trail coming from the Pu’u Hinahina Lookout parking lot. About an hour each way plus photo time at the top of the cliffs. We didn’t go the final leg to the falls but really love this trail! Not very wet today.

hiking
bugs
rocky
3 days ago

From Manoa Falls, I went up Aihualama. At the end of Aihualama where it meets Pauoa Flats, I took the right and headed towards a lookout point with a bench. Once past Manoa Falls, I hardly came across anyone.

hiking
closed
muddy
scramble
3 days ago

If you feel like crossing the creek and going up the closed trail, you’ll see a eucalyptus with papery bark, cross and old aqueduct and get to a nicer waterfall with a good swimming hole. If you don’t cross the closed sign, you will be a better person, but with fewer nice experiences.

Great short trail to a beautiful view overlooking the coast. Don’t miss this hike. Bright sun for much of the trail,so be prepared. If it has rained, can be pretty muddy.

Nice hike. Muddy. Great swimming under the waterfall.

Nice waterfall, but many people.

Hard, but worth every bit of sweat!

hiking
bugs
muddy
over grown
4 days ago

hike with the right conditions make the walk enjoyable, and definitely worth it. The trail does get confusing at the end if you haven't been to the falls before or there are very few hikers around. No swimming space at the waterfall, but often kids climb up and sit on the low ledges on the falls, foliage is also very beautiful, great for picture taking and nature enthusiasts. There are prime picture taking places before the falls if you're just going for the views, large trees and shrubbery/trail markings are nice props for photos. Does get muddy, and depending on how rainy it's been there are bugs/mosquitos. Children, dogs, and active adults will have a great time here, with the right weather conditions.

Hiked January 2019,
This was a great trail. It started off a little sketchy just because you have to enter the trail in the back of government property complete with construction workers and warning signs telling you not to enter. There are probably a number of ways to reach the top, but I’m sure if you follow the actual river coming from the water fall you won’t miss it.
It’s pretty dog friendly and off of the beaten path so it makes good for a cool evening stroll.

Amazing views of valley and 2 waterfalls (one from the top). Don’t worry about the mud. As of yesterday the mud trail has dried and solidified into a perfect hiking surface. Had no trouble even with my heavily worn Crocs. The only slippery areas are where it dried out too much resulting in loose dirt, particularly at the slope descending from the vista. Avoid those loose dirt areas and stay on the hardened mud and you will be fine. Just past the vista, take the final loop clockwise as there is a very steep section on the right fork. Can always double back if too steep for you.

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