Explore Oahu’s Waterfalls at Lulumahu Falls

Explore Oahu’s Waterfalls at Lulumahu Falls

Lulumahu Falls is one of the 5 waterfalls in the Pali region of Oahu, which is located inland from Waikiki on the way to Kailua to the east. The hiking trail heading to Lulumahu Falls is just 30 to 40 minutes or so one way, making it a quick hike to the beautiful Oahu waterfalls.

Enjoy the sight of the waterfall at the end of the hike!


Let’s get started!

explore oahu’s waterfalls at lulumahu falls | let’s get started!

Lulumahu Falls is located in the Pali region of Oahu where it is often very wet and cooler than the rest of the island. The starting point of this waterfall is along the Pali Highway, so when you are driving to this location you will see many cars parking on the right side when you are traveling from Waikiki to Kailua.

When you get to the starting point of this hiking trail, you will most likely want to put on extra layers of clothes before going to the hike, once you step out of the car. This is a pretty popular hiking trail, so the parking space is filled with cars even during the weekdays. It is a quick and easy hike where you will see a lot of families with small children. I once even saw a pregnant mother heading to the waterfall. On the day of my hike, it was beautiful and hot in Waikiki, but when I arrived at this hiking trail, it was rather cold according to the Hawaiian standard, so I put on long workout pants including a rain jacket. When you go to this hiking trail, definitely do not forget to bring extra clothes so that you can avoid getting all wet from the rain, and also to protect yourself from mosquitoes.

Going through a bamboo forest

explore oahu’s waterfalls at lulumahu falls | going through a bamboo forest

As soon as you enter the hiking trail from the parking spot, you will be first going through a bamboo forest. This hiking trail has 3 distinctive areas until you get to the waterfall, and the first section is the bamboo forest. Since this area gets a lot of rain, you will most likely be going through muddy areas, where it’s very slippery. Make sure you come to the hiking trail in comfortable shoes so that you feel secure walking through the muddy and slippery areas. You may see local kids wearing no shoes, but as a tourist you do not want to get too comfortable when trying a new hiking trail. After the bamboo forest, you will soon be in an open area where you’ll see beautiful mountains surrounding you in all directions before getting to the gate. Here is where you start seeing the Lulumahu Stream with an ample water supply leading you to Lulumahu Falls.

Follow Lulumahu Stream

explore oahu’s waterfalls at lulumahu falls | follow lulumahu stream

When you walk through the bamboo forest and then the open area, you will next pass the gate which will soon lead you to Lulumahu Stream. It is a quick and easy hike, but the path to the waterfall can be a little confusing, so if you are unsure, just follow alongside the stream and locate the orange ribbons, which indicates you are on the right trail. It is a popular hiking trail where you will most likely run into many hikers even during the weekdays, so if you are unsure you can always wait for local hikers to pass by and ask them for directions. This hiking trail was closed for months and just opened up a couple of weeks ago, so you will very likely run into many local hikers who have been waiting patiently to get to the waterfall.

Jump in and get wet at Lulumahu Falls

explore oahu’s waterfalls at lulumahu falls | jump in and get wet at lulumahu falls

This area of the island is cooler than the rest of the island so it may not be for you. In fact, many locals actually wear bikinis under their hiking clothes, with towels on their shoulders, heading to this waterfall. The waterfall itself does not have a deep pool for you to swim in, but if you want to jump in and get wet, you should have your bikinis ready before heading out. However, even if you do not jump into the water, just standing there to witness this beautiful waterfall is exciting.

On the day I hiked, it was raining heavily on and off so there was ample water falling from 15 meters high (50 feet), and water splashing everywhere. As well as people, dogs were also having fun jumping into the water, but it certainly got cold. We were completely soaked without even jumping into the waterfall, so just come prepared and have an extra change of clothes when you go to this hiking trail. The weather in Hawaii can be unpredictable, and it is not surprising that you get completely wet hiking this trail, even without jumping in the waterfall.

Jump in a car, head out to Kailua for lunch

jump in a car, head out to kailua for lunch

After the hike, Kailua is only 15 or 20 minutes away from this hiking trail; following Pali Highway to get to the East side of the island. If you are staying in Waikiki, the Pali region is located in the middle of the island on the way to Kailua, so just follow Pali Highway and enjoy your afternoon at the beautiful Lanikai Beach and soak up the Sun. You will be surprised that even though it is wet and cold in the Pali region, it is usually sunny after passing the mountains, so you can go down to Kailua and grab something to eat before heading to the beach. Of course, you can always head back to Waikiki and have some lunch as well. Either way, once you drive out from the mountains, the weather usually clears up and you will be able to warm up in the sun.

Venture out Hawaii jungle

Lulumahu Falls is a perfect outdoor adventure for beginners who want to get out and hike in Oahu. It is a quick, easy hike which introduces you to a glimpse of the Hawaiian jungle in an hour or so through hiking to this beautiful 15 meter (50 feet) waterfall. Something you want to be prepared for before going to this hiking trail, is that it is very wet in this region so make sure to bring an extra set of clothes to put on and change into. You definitely want to bring some mosquito repellant with you as well. This is a great hike for any age level, so if you are new to hiking and have already done Diamond Head, but want to try something new and want to get out of Waikiki, this could be your next challenge with your family. For those of you who need a little more challenge, there are plenty more waterfall hikes but you can try this quick one to get a feel for it and then venture out to other waterfall hikes.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Sayaha Aida has been traveling internationally since the early age of 15. She has lived internationally in Japan, England, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and the United States (Miami and San Francisco)...Read more

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