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Maunawili Falls Hike

O'ahu, Hawai'i

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Maunawili Falls Hike

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  • Gate marking the trailhead for Maunawili Falls.- Maunawili Falls Hike
  • Chickens are common along the Maunawili Falls Trail.- Maunawili Falls Hike
  • Pothos vine (Epipremnum pinnatum) hanging tight on trees along the trail to Maunawili Falls.- Maunawili Falls Hike
  • Thick vegetation over the Maunawili Falls Trail.- Maunawili Falls Hike
  • Maunawili Falls Trail connects with Maunawili Stream.- Maunawili Falls Hike
  • Networks of roots and nearly ubiquitous mud makes the trail to Maunawili Falls very cumbersome.- Maunawili Falls Hike
  • Dense forest foliage along the Maunawili Falls Trail.- Maunawili Falls Hike
  • First view of the Ko'olau Range from the Maunawili Falls Trail.- Maunawili Falls Hike
  • View of the Ko'olau Range from the Maunawili Falls Trail.- Maunawili Falls Hike
  • Unidentified passion flower species.- Maunawili Falls Hike
  • Maunawili Stream en route to Maunawili Falls.- Maunawili Falls Hike
  • Unidentified species along the Maunawili Falls Trail.- Maunawili Falls Hike
  • Mountain apple (Eugenia malaccensis) along the trail to Maunawili Falls.- Maunawili Falls Hike
  • Maunawili Falls.- Maunawili Falls Hike
  • Maunawili Falls.- Maunawili Falls Hike
  • A red-billed leiothrix (Leiothrix lutea) en route to Maunawili Falls.- Maunawili Falls Hike
  • A male white-rumped shama (Copsychus malabaricus) along the trail to Maunawili Falls.- Maunawili Falls Hike
  • Giant heliconia (Heliconia caribaea) near Maunawili Falls.- Maunawili Falls Hike
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Deep swimming hole and waterfall. Old-growth rainforest.
Cons: 
Trail extremely muddy. Very heavily used.
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Region:
O'ahu, HI
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
415.00 ft (126.49 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
3.00 mi (4.83 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
185.00 ft (56.39 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

Maunawili Falls is a popular hike for windward-side residents of O'ahu, and it ends at a pool with fresh rainwater flowing down the black volcanic rock. The jungle foliage hangs down from above, while vines, ferns, and flowers line every square inch of the terrain. Native song birds give you the soundtrack of the islands as you make your way along the trail. Giant banyan trees loom overhead along with the iconic Ko'olau Mountains above them. You dip in and out of thick foliage, and there are large open breaks to show off the sweeping mountain views. The trail is not very long, so people of all ages join along. Hawaiian birds are some of the most beautiful in America, so bring a pair of binoculars or a telephoto lens if possible. Along with the birds you can find mountain apple, bird-of-paradise, giant ferns, mountain orchid, ʻōhiʻa lehua, and countless other plant species both native and introduced.

There is a swimming hole at the base of the falls, and many people climb up the rocks to jump into the pools. Helicopter rescues from people slipping occur more than you might think. Crayfish that swim in these rivers are pretty unique and cool animals, so keep an eye out and you can cook them up on an overnight camping trip. Rains are pretty much a constant possibility in east O'ahu, so expect mud and slippery conditions and wear shoes that you don't mind getting stained with red dirt. The trailhead is in a neighborhood, so please be respectful.

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(7 within a 30 mile radius)

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