Hiking The 1.6-Mile Manoa Falls Trail In Hawaii Is Like Entering A Fairytale
Just minutes away from the bustling state capital of Honolulu – but still within the city limits – is the lush Manoa Valley. This residential area is home to the University of Hawaii at Manoa, receives almost daily rain, and was the site of the first sugarcane and coffee plantations in the Hawaiian Islands. While you will find countless hidden gems within the valley —
Lyon Arboretum is one of our favorites — the crowned jewel of Manoa Valley is the incredible Manoa Falls Trail. Measuring in at just 1.6 miles, the Manoa Falls trail is one of the most popular hikes on the island of Oahu.
The Manoa Falls Trail If you’re looking for a hike that will transport you into the pages of a fairytale, look no further than Manoa Falls Trail. The 1.6-mile out-and-back trail is well maintained, much of it covered in small gravel.
It’s easy to follow and cuts a wide path through the bamboo forest, gaining only 633 feet in elevation.
The trail can get muddy, especially after a downpour, but they do a great job with plenty of gravel lining the hike.
Grab a friend or loved one, and head on out to this amazing trail! You won’t regret one second on this fairytale hike.
The trail leads countless tourists and locals alike 30 to 45 minutes into the valley, through a bamboo forest, and to the base of the 150-foot Manoa Falls.
The hike is surrounded by lush rainforest. Parts of this breathtaking trail were actually featured in the TV show Lost and the Jurassic Park movies. So, if you're a super-fan, this is definitely a trail to check out on your trip to Hawaii.
About Manoa Falls The short hike ends right at the waterfall and up a small staircase. Manoa Falls tumble 150 feet down a lush cliff face into the pool below.
The pool below is no longer accessible to swimmers, but the views are still amazing!
Upper Manoa Falls Trail While Manoa Falls, which plunges down a vertical drop into a small pool below, is gorgeous, true adventurers will love taking the ‘Aihualama Trail towards Upper Manoa Falls. This trail is suitable only for those with extensive hiking experience.
The trail is not only overgrown and steep but requires quite a bit of actual climbing. The round trip trail is approximately 3.5 miles and will take you at least two hours — not counting the time you’re sure to spend taking photographs and marveling in the lush scenery.
If you look mauka (or towards the mountain), you will see an incredible waterfall feeding into a pool surrounded by moss-covered rocks... ...and if you look makai (or towards the ocean) you will find one of the most captivating views we’ve ever seen: a striking pool that drops over the cliff into another waterfall overlooking the lush Manoa Valley as well as Honolulu and the Pacific Ocean in the distance.
We guarantee you won’t find anything quite like this natural pool that extends over the cliffside anywhere else in Hawaii.
Important Hiking Information The trailhead is easy to find, and parking is $5 per car, and there’s plenty of parking.
There’s also free parking alongside a residential street before you reach the official parking area. It’s about a .4 mile walk to the trailhead if you choose to park farther away. If you want to secure a spot in the parking lot on a weekend, plan to arrive early in the morning.
Because this incredible destination is a waterfall, it is important to issue a friendly warning about the risks associated with flash flooding, as well as the leptospirosis bacteria found in many of Hawaii’s natural pools. It is advised that you check weather reports and ocean conditions before heading out for the day; never swim in these pools when you have open wounds, and always watch your step.
This is one stunning hike that the whole family will enjoy. With an easy trail, plenty of greenery, and a stunning waterfall, this is a great place to check out if you’re in the area. This is one waterfall hike in Hawaii that you won’t want to miss. Have you ever taken this hike? Tell us about your experience!
Ready to discover even more wonders within Manoa Valley? Discover our
eight must-visit spots in Manoa Valley. And if you love waterfalls as much as we do, you’ll want to add the Oahu Waterfalls Road Trip to your bucket list.
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Manoa Falls, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA