Manoa Falls

Honolulu, Hawaii 96816

Manoa Falls

Manoa Falls Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"This is one of the prettiest and most popular hikes on O’ahu. Hardcore wilderness buffs might find it a bit tame compared to some of the other muddy scrambles that pass for trails on O’ahu, but this well-engineered and more-or-less maintained trail does make the going easier and prevents erosion. This is a perfect family hike along a stream to a waterfall and pool.

You’ll be following Waihi Stream all the way to the falls. In the stream gully to your right are several monstrous strangler figs dripping with aerial roots, vines, and creepers, many of which you will recognize as ordinary houseplants like philodendrons and pothos run amok. You’ll feel as though you’ve entered a Tarzan movie."

More Manoa Falls Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Day Hikes on Oahu (Day Hike Books)
Robert Stone
View more trails from this guide book
"Manoa Falls is a towering 100-foot cataract in the beautiful rainforest behind Waikiki. A white ribbon of water cascades off the fern-faced cliffs, fronted by a shallow rock-lined pool. The Manoa Falls Trail parallels Waihi Stream through the forest reserve to the falls. The path is dense with vegetation, including wild ginger, guava and giant ferns. A mosaic of sinuous tree roots lay across the muddy, and sometimes slippery, jungle path. Walk past the end of the road and follow the footpath slightly uphill. Cross a footbridge over Aihualama Stream. Veer left on the muddy main trail, crossing a network of tangled roots and trees draped with vines along the west bank of Waihi Stream. As you near Manoa Falls, the valley narrows and the trail steepens. Thirty yards before the falls, Aihualama Trail (Hike 13) branches sharply to the left, connecting with the Mount Tantalus trails." Read more
Best Easy Day Hikes: Hawaii: Oahu (Falcon Guides)
Suzanne Swedo
View more trails from this guide book
"This is one of the prettiest and most popular hikes on O’ahu. It’s a perfect family ramble along a stream amid lush tropical vegetation to a waterfall and pool. You’ll be following Waihi Stream all the way to the falls. In the stream gully to your right (east) are several monstrous strangler figs dripping with aerial roots, vines, and creepers, many of which you will recognize as ordinary houseplants like philodendrons and pothos run amok. You’ll feel as though you’ve entered a Tarzan movie. Cross a tributary creek on a bridge and proceed amid wild ginger, bamboo, huge tree ferns, and tangled thickets of hau. This shrub or small tree is a kind of hibiscus found all over the South Pacific. You can see why it is often planted as natural fencing." Read more

Manoa Falls Reviews

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8/27/2018
The hike is beautiful. It is very muddy so don’t wear your favorite shoes. The waterfall is worth the trek.
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5/19/2018
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1/8/2012
Easy trail for visitors of all ages if you have family and friends coming to see you on the island. If your up for it, make sure you take the Aihualama trail to the Nu'uana valley overlook.
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3/27/2011
The trail was very easy only a hour round trip in flip flops. It was $5 to park. The bambo forest was interesting and there were so pretty views but the waterfall isn't that great. The pool is fenced off so no swimming.
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5/15/2010
Flora along the hike is amazing and possibly the best part. The falls is nice, but totally roped off due to previous accidents. The rainforest here is best seen in the morning when the sun is on the leeward side. My hike was done at dusk and I wish we could have spent more time looking at the incredible plants and trees.
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9/20/2009
Very nice trail through the tropical forest. Well maintained and short enough for people who are completely out of shape. Always damp and can get pretty muddy - but sneakers are typically fine. Private parking lot below the Treetops restaurant costs $5.
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7/30/2008
Great hike for first timers and little explorers. Not too long or difficult. The hike, not the falls, is the winner. Some rooty stepping, slick in spots. I did see a couple of less mobile folks having a hard time, so don't get the wrong idea and think the trail is flat or level.
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9/21/2007
This seemed to be a hike that a novice could do. Even someone who's never hiked oculd do this, but you will get the heartpumping so don't expect a stroll. This trail gets slippery. You will be stepping in mud followed by navigating through rocks, so don't wear flip flops or your new white sneakers! It didn't take too long to get to the falls, maybe 40 mins if you stop to take photos as I did. Birng a snack to sit and enjoy the falls, well worth it. If you're more adventurous, continue on with the Aihualama Trail that starts here. Oh, and you can't park at the trailhead anymore. You have to park in the lot just before the head. It's $5, but at least there's someone there to make sure your car doesn't get broken into, plus, you get a bamboo stick to use to help walking through the rougher parts.
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8/17/2007
Nice enough trail, but to me the falls were a bit of a disappointment. Definitely high, but not very powerful - more of a small or wispy kind of falls. That may be due to the drought Oahu is currently experiencing. The drought did not keep the trail from being muddy, however, and it was very busy on a summer weekday morning. As mentioned previously, there is an ugly fence and a sign warning you to stay away from the pool at the base of the falls. There is a nice variety of plant life along the hike, including an interesting bamboo forest near the start.
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3/24/2007
I did this trail with a guide, which was awesome and worth it. It came in a package with Pearl Harbor and USS Missouri. It was nice hike and not a hard trail. Also, found out some movies were filmed there. The tour guide said parts of "Lost" and "Jurassic Park." The waterfall was pretty cool, but it was kind of a small area around it. Worth the little hike to get there b/c nice photo ops on trail.
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Manoa Falls Photos

Trail Information

Honolulu
Nearby City
1.6
Distance
Out-and-back
Trail Type
Easy
Skill Level
1 to 2 hours
Duration
Year-round
Season
USGS Honolulu
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018