Waiakeakua Stream

O'ahu, Hawai'i

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Waiakeakua Stream


  • The trail starts at the Pu'u Pia Trailhead.- Waiakeakua Stream
  • Follow the Pu'u Pia Trail for just under a mile.- Waiakeakua Stream
  • A view of the Waiakeakua stream carving its way from the high summit above.- Waiakeakua Stream
  • At the saddle in the ridge, descend steeply on the small path.- Waiakeakua Stream
  • Use the ropes to descend safely.- Waiakeakua Stream
  • At the bottom is a junction with the stream marked by tape and palmettos. Head upstream.- Waiakeakua Stream
  • Follow the trail along the riverbed.- Waiakeakua Stream
  • White ginger flowers in bloom.- Waiakeakua Stream
  • Pink ginger flowers in bloom.- Waiakeakua Stream
  • Many pools line the trail and are quite inviting.- Waiakeakua Stream
  • The trail more or less ends with a two-tiered waterfall and pools.- Waiakeakua Stream
  • The back of the valley is lush with dense tropical greenery and unique tree ferns.- Waiakeakua Stream
  • This area of O‘ahu is also home to some poison dart frogs, which can be found nowhere else in Hawai‘i.- Waiakeakua Stream
  • There are plenty of waterfalls along the trail.- Waiakeakua Stream
Overview + Weather
Scenic forest. Serene.
Steep. Buggy. Trail is difficult to follow.
O'ahu, HI
Pets allowed: 
Highest point: 
1,200.00 ft (365.76 m)
Net Elevation Gain: 
900.00 ft (274.32 m)
Year round: 
Parking Pass: 
Permit required: 
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
4.00 mi (6.44 km)
Total elevation gain: 
1,090.00 ft (332.23 m)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
350.00 ft (106.68 m)
Typically multi-day: 
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

Waiakeakua Stream is a lesser known trail in the back of Mānoa Valley that leads to a couple of different waterfalls and pools along the river bed. The trail starts along the Pu'u Pia Trailhead and eventually makes a steep descent down an unmarked and slippery path to the valley floor. The trail then turns right along the stream, heading up an old staircase and along old water pipes. Hikers will pass by some deep river pools, and certain stream crossings can be high after the rain. Expect to get muddy and wet! The trail forks at the top of the first small waterfall, and the left fork snakes up the Mānoa middle ridge. The right fork continues along the stream, passing in and out of dense tropical forest plants. Here the trail can be difficult to follow at times because it is not consistently maintained. Keep following the river and reach another unmarked fork in the trail. This time the right fork leads uphill to a vertical waterfall. The left fork continues along the river, passing more pools and flumes. Toward the end of the trail, hikers will have to wade through the river and scramble up some boulders in the stream to reach a two-tiered waterfall that is usually flowing. The lack of ropes makes these falls a smart place to turn around, as ascending the slippery and loose rock can be quite dangerous. Follow the trail back the way you came, noting where to turn off at each junction, as following the stream too far down the valley will lead to the Seven Bridges, which is tresspassing on private property. 

This hike is not to be underestimated. Pu'u Pia is a great family hike, but only experienced hikers should proceed to the valley floor. Be aware that changing weather conditions could cause flash flooding in the stream without warning. Respect the land and keep the trail clean and free of trash debris.

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Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(7 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(95 within a 30 mile radius)

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