Hiking Oahu: Maunawili Falls
If you love to breath fresh air then the hikes through the jungles of Hawaii are something you'll want to do. The island of Oahu has some of the best hikes and many are accessible for all levels. One of our favorites is Maunawili Falls in the windward slopes of the Ko'olau mountains by Kailua and Waimanalo.
The hike starts off from Maunawili neighborhood off Auloa road leading from the Pali Highway on the right before you drive into Kailua. The trail begins in a residential area so please be respectful of the neighbors. The path is well marked and covered in foliage most of the way as you wind your way up moderate hills along a stream. Along the way you'll find all of the natural vegetation of this region including kukui trees, hau trees, mamaki trees, koa trees and naupaka, 'ulei and 'ilima shrubs. The hike offers spectacular views of Olomana and the Koolau mountain range. Although mostly covered in foliage, at the viewpoints the sun can beat down on you and you'll have a better view wearing a good pair of sunglasses. Just like Kat here wearing her bamboo Ohe Maukas from Lani Shades.
Maunawili Falls hike is a family friendly hike of medium difficulty that is about 3 miles in length out and back. As the name suggests, the hike ultimately leads to the source of the stream which is one of the most beautiful waterfalls on Oahu. At the bottom of the waterfall is a fairly deep pool that people sometimes swim in. Don't drink the water though as there are natural organisms that can make you sick. Be careful the area around the stream and pool can be very slippery and muddy especially after a lot of rainfall. You'll likely not be alone on this hike as it's one of everyone else's favorite hikes too!
As with every hike in Hawaii, please keep a few things in mind: 1. Hike with a friend so if you get lost or in trouble you have someone who can help. 2. Bring water, dehydration is dangerous 3. Wear appropriate shoes, everyone in Hawaii wears slippers (sandals) but hiking on these trails requires good traction, 4. when hiking in Oahu, there are no toilet facilities on these trails, so go before you go, 5. Please carry everything out that you brought in, don't leave any trash behind 6. Please be respectful of the trail and other people, both the neighborhood the trail is in and the other people on the trail.
Update 2022: As of this posting, Maunawili Falls hike is closed indefinitely for repairs to the access ways. Please be respectful of posted signs, the Police do issue tickets for trespassing. You can access this trail from another side via the Pali Highway or Waimanalo. For more information please click here.