Maunawili Falls Trail Hike

Maunawili Falls
Hawaii Aloha Travel > Podcast > Maunawili Falls Trail Hike

Sometimes, people get turned off when staying in Waikiki because of its city-like vibe. While it is true that there’s a touristy atmosphere, it’s amazing how quickly you can escape Waikiki and be in a beautiful rainforest just minutes away. Oahu has many trails to choose from at many levels of difficulty.

Escape Waikiki

Today, we take you on a picturesque hike to Maunawili Falls. The trail is currently closed but set to open in 2023. In the meantime, it’s still accessible from the Maunawili Demonstration trail. Several improvements to the trail are being implemented to accommodate more hikers.

The hike begins in a residential neighborhood, and the upgrades include accommodations for parking, which has been an issue for people living near the trailhead. For years, residents in the area had expressed their frustrations to the state regarding the influx of local and visiting hikers who would pass through their peaceful neighborhood to reach the Maunawili Falls trail. They reported hikers leaving trash along the streets and obstructing their driveways. Additionally, the trail had suffered erosion due to excessive use.

What to Expect

Once the trail opens again, it will continue to be a moderate and easily accessible hike, just 14 miles from Waikiki. Officials say there will be a realignment of the trail and will be taking steps to reduce the mud, which made the hike a little messy. The trail winds through a magnificently lush rainforest, overgrown with banyan trees, ti leaves, vines, and other verdant flora and fauna. You will also hike along freshwater streams where you can cool off or stop and take photos. This trail also showcases stunning panoramic vistas of Kailua and Kaneohe, Oahu’s east and south sides. These views are simply spectacular, and the rewards of this hike keep getting better and better.

The Waterfall

Toward the end of the trail is the actual waterfall which is roughly 15-30 feet tall, tumbling down a cascade of black lava rock into a large, deep pool of fresh cool water. There are many ledges to perch or safely jump from on the waterfall, which is why this spot is so popular. It offers a refreshing end to a beautiful hike. The entire adventure takes only about two hours, depending on how long you want to spend at the base of the waterfall. Roughly a 1-mile one-way trail, once you arrive at Maunawili Falls, you can jump from the rocks, swim in the natural pool, or relax and take in the natural sounds of this beautiful paradise.

This hike is a great way to spend an afternoon while here on your Hawaii vacation.

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