In addition to Oahu's beautiful beaches, there are equally astonishing scenic wonders. Rain creates rainbows and turns everything green; it also creates beautiful waterfalls. An easy walk up the trail takes you to the verdant canopy that is home to a variety of chirping birds. Further afield, Honolulu's fast pace will take your comfort away, and if you're in the mood, you don't need an Instagram filter to view a beautiful waterfall.
But hiking on Oahu is no joke. Even the easiest paths can be very dangerous. Wet conditions can cause serious falls, and flash floods can turn the stream of the creek you just crossed into a raging river. So be sure to research hiking and go with a group, wear good shoes, use insect repellent, and bring plenty of water. Don't go off the trail as you could damage an already stressed ecosystem, and be sure to take your rubbish with you. If you follow these simple rules and respect the land of Oahu, you'll pay back tenfold with some of the most amazing waterfall views on the planet.
lie in itWaimea-valleyThis waterfall hike is located in a botanical park along with tourist attractions and cultural events. To get to this waterfall you have to pay an entrance fee to the park, but your ticket gives you access to a paved path with a 13-meter waterfall, where you can swim in a freshwater pool with changing rooms, free life jackets and life jackets. Lifeguards on duty.
How to get there:From Waikiki, head west on H-1. Merge onto the H-2 Freeway and then onto the Kamehameha Freeway. Turn right onto Waimea Valley Rd and park in the center lot.
This waterfall hike is one of the most popular hikes as it is close to Waikiki and is an easy hike. Hikers can simply follow the well-maintained 2.5-kilometer trail to the magnificent 50-meter waterfall, which plunges down a massive rock face. But along with the magnificence of the beautiful and easily accessible falls comes huge foot traffic. The roads for beginners are almost always packed with crowds, so you'll need to do some advanced selfie gymnastics to knock strangers out of your shots. Yet, despite the mind-boggling photos on Instagram, this majestic waterfall is still well worth a visit.
How to get there:From Waikiki, head west on the H1 to the Wilder exit. Continue to Punahou and Manoa Road Park on the Paradise Park grounds for $5, or free residential parking outside the park area. Make sure you don't block anyone's driveway.
At the time of writing, the following three walks may be restricted due to the construction of Barrie Road. The highway was closed in both directions for several months in early 2019 due to a massive landslide. Construction work is coming to an end, but please check road conditions before you leave.
Lulumahu Falls requires a permit to participate in this hike as it is government property. A lack of enforcement means many walk without a permit, but follow the rules just to be on the safe side. There are also fences near the trail, but there are several of themgroup"The Hole" - the local word for "hole" - was created to allow hikers to continue their adventures. You follow a dirt road through dense bamboo forest and up a hill to the reservoir. Be sure to stop and take photos. This road continues into the mountains. The road is rough and muddy, but worth it. Take the path on the right up some stairs and follow the stream to the 15m waterfall.
How to get there:From Waikiki, head west on H-1 and merge onto Pali Expressway. Exit at Nuuanu Pali Drive and park on the dirt road. You can also park on the side of the road next to the highway, but watch out for the mud.
While the 5-mile hike to Nuuanu Judd's grassy trails and scenic ridges is worth it, you can also hike the 1-mile loop to Jackass Ginger Pool for near-instant gratification. Watch a series of 10-foot waterfalls cascading down serene swimming holes, with rope swings for the brave. Hawaiian royalty used to swim here, but the place didn't get its remarkable name until the early 1900s, when local teenagers named the pool after nearby donkeys and yellow ginger fields. This popular hike can get crowded, so get there early to avoid supplies.
How to get there:From Waikiki, head west on H-1 and merge onto Pali Expressway. Exit at Nuuanu Pali Drive. There is limited parking, but you can park on the side of the road next to the Judd Trail signs as long as you don't block the entrance. The roads are very remote so make sure not to leave any valuables in the car.
Hike to this secluded waterfall off the busy highway and pass the scenic Nuanu Bali Lookout, where King Kamehameha and his invasion warriors took enemy defenders from 300 feet to drive off a high cliff and shoot them down, bringing all of the Hawaiian Islands under his command united. rule. You walk on an old paved road; through the highway tunnel, through the canopy, and up an old paved path to a 20-foot waterfall surrounded by kukui and hau trees. Don't stay in the dark, as dead Hawaiian warriors are believed by many to frequent the area.
How to get there:From Waikiki, head west on H-1 and merge onto the Pali Expressway to the Nuuanu Pali Lookout and park in the Pali Lookout parking lot. Parking is $3 per vehicle. You can also take the other way from the parking lotKurau-golfclub. Follow the path towards a water tank covered in graffiti, then turn left towards the waterfall. Be prepared for mud and rain.
This 5-kilometer side loop, near the Koolau Mountains, is a relatively short, easy hike that leads to a 6-meter waterfall with a deep swimming hole. Swimmers take turns climbing boulders of various sizes and diving under the freshwater pool. To reach the falls, you have to ford Monaveli Creek a few times and wind through tropical orchards, kukui nut trees, coffee trees, and monkey pod trees. The trail, like many waterfall hikes, is extremely muddy, so be prepared to get your hiking boots and car mats dirty.
How to get there:From Waikiki, head west on H-1 and merge onto Pali Expressway. Turn right onto Auloa Rd and park on the side of the road in the residential area.
Located near a residential cul-de-sac, this neighborhood walk is often referred to as a noob, but don't let the five-mile round trip fool you. After all, the slopes known as "Heart Mountain" are for a reason. While you probably won't go into cardiac arrest if you climb this dusty, root-covered mountain, be warned. Once you reach the finish line, your wobbly quads will be rewarded with a cascading waterfall that flows into a swimming pool, the depth of which depends on rainfall. To access the pool, you'll have to rope down a short, sheer rock wall in a Spiderman-like fashion, where you can spend some of your hard-earned time in the pool.
How to get there:From Waikiki, take H-1 west toward Pearl City and merge onto Moanalua Road. Turn onto Waimano Home Road, turn left onto Komo Mai Drive and park in a residential area.
If you have four hours and are ready for a seven-mile hike, head to the northeast side of the island and apply for a Hawaii Reserves permit at the Laie Shopping Center. This strenuous hike takes you through uphill terrain with exposed ridges and bamboo, pine, and strawberry guava trees before meeting a quiet country track that leads to a two-story, 15-foot-tall waterfall, which flows into a pool. (This is really for advanced hikers, and we recommend going with a group of experienced hikers.) Afterwards, grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants and food trucks in the area. Find a Ken's Fresh Fish store and buy a plate of "ono" ahi katsu.
How to get there:From Waikiki, head west on H-1. From the Polynesian Cultural Center, head north on Kamehameha Highway. Park your car next to the football field in Poohaili Street.
This eight-mile route starts on an open ridge along the Koolau Range and is really not for the faint of heart. Hikers must complete more than twenty rock jumps in the Koloa Stream, passing native plants, fruit trees, a smaller waterfall and a pool before reaching the fork. Head left to explore the falls and pools, or turn right and you'll pass smaller pools before reaching the 100-foot split-level waterfall. Although it is quite strenuous to get here, the lush waterfalls are definitely worth the trip. Of course, you eventually have to return the same way, which means you have to wade back. The entire trek takes about eight hours, depending on your pace and weather. Before you begin your adventure, pick up your permit at Layer Mall and pack some snacks and water for a full-day tour.
How to get there:Take Likelike Highway to Kahekili Highway, which becomes Kamehameha Highway, and drive to Kokololio Beach Park.
The pink ribbon leads the way on this eight-mile return trail, but it's easy to turn around as you have to jump into streams nearly 40 times. As with all canyoning hikes, the trails can get wet after rain, so plan accordingly and be aware of possible flash flooding. The road takes you past abandoned bunkers and through a narrow, lush wooded forest. An epic 100-foot waterfall greets you after crossing the barely bearable stream. Enjoy the beauty of nature before heading home. This is another place where experienced hikers should accompany you.
How to get there:Take the Kamehameha Highway toward Hauula, past the Polynesian Cultural Center, to Kokololio Beach Park. Parking is limited at the trailhead.
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Marco Garciais a writer and photographer living in Honolulu. He likes elevators and escalators.
summer stoneis a freelance writer for Thrillist and so far has tried to resist any mention of TLC chasing waterfalls - go chase 'em!