11 Best Waterfall Hikes In Oahu, Hawaii

waterfall hikes in oahu

Being the third largest island in Hawaii, Oahu is known for its dramatic landscape, lush green tropical rain forest, and crystal clear water which makes the island incredibly gorgeous and surreal. In addition to its breathtaking beauty, Oahu also has a presence of stunning hiking trails that take you to the cascading waterfalls. The trails range from strolls to adventurous treks that are sure to make your day. Along with scenic beauty which is worth a click, you get to hike at this well-preserved and gorgeous place. If you are thrill-seeker or an adventurer looking for some adrenaline rush, this Oahu Waterfall is for you. Let’s hit the hiking trail and forget all the worries, taking pleasure in the inescapable beauty of the waterfalls at Oahu. Here I present a list of the best waterfall hikes in Oahu, Hawaii that offer captivating scenery.

Travel Advisory

Trip101 recommends assessing the risks before hitting the hiking and trekking trails. Please be especially aware of the difficulty levels, the locations’ ground conditions, as well as the seasonal risks.

1. Maunawili Falls

Maunawili Falls
Source: Photo by user Zhong54 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

In Kailua, there is a 2.5-mile (4-kilometer) trail to Maunawili Falls through the lush and beautiful forest. It is rated as moderate in difficulty and has a 20 ft (6.1 m) waterfall along with a deep swimming spot. To get there from Waikiki, you can take H-1 Highway west, merge on the Pali Highway, and turn right side onto the Auloa Road. At this location, cliff jumping is even possible, and it is highly recommended to bring hiking shoes due to the presence of super muddy trails.

Maunawili Falls

Address: Kailua, HI 96734, USA

2. Hamama Falls

HamamaFalls091315-6-1987 Panorama
Source: Photo by Flickr user Leonard S Jacobs used under CC BY-ND 2.0

The Hamama Fall is a large and 40-foot (12.1-meter) waterfall that is tucked away on the backside of the beautiful Waihe’e valley. It involves 4 miles’ (6.43738 kilometers) round trip with breathtaking views of the rugged Ko’olau range. This cardio-intensive trail is located in Kaneohe. Hiking is fun here but ensure to keep yourself safe from falling rocks or landslides.

Hamama Falls

Address: Kaneohe, HI 96744, USA

3. Likeke Falls

Likeke Falls
Source: Photo by Flickr user Daniel Ramirez used under CC BY 2.0

This 15-feet (4.5-meters) long Likeke Falls is a hidden treasure on account of its serene location where individuals can take a dip and cool off. You can reach this destination by taking a 3.5-mile (5.6327 kilometers) round-trip hike that starts from scenic destination Nuuanu Pali Lookout. The trail is wet and slightly slippery so always take proper precaution by following warning signs and keep your fitness level in mind. Once you reach there, you will surely witness multiple waterfalls and several ponds for exploration.

Likeke Falls

Address: 45-550 Kionaole Rd, Kaneohe, HI 96744, USA

4. Waikahalulu Falls

waterfall hike
Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Waikahalulu is an urban waterfall over 10 feet (3 meters) in height which is nestled in the famous Liliuokalani Botanical Garden in Honolulu. This place is ideal for a picnic with the family to relax and have fun. In this waterfall, the water slides over a large rock crest and ends in idyllic swimming hole below. The trail to this waterfall is well-maintained and you can have a wonderful morning by taking a pleasant walk among beautiful plants and trees.

Waikahalulu Falls

Address: 123 N Kuakini St, Honolulu, HI 96817, USA

5. Waimea Falls

Waimea Falls (26332252306)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Heath Cajandig used under CC BY 2.0

This breathtaking waterfall lies in the Waimea Valley and also known as Waihi waterfall. This site is a central establishment devoted to the preservation of Hawaiian culture, and it has 79 archeological sites on the premises. This is 45 feet (13.716 meters) tall waterfall and water stream cascade downwards into a beautiful pool surrounded by verdant flora and fauna. If you are looking to experience the beauty of the waterfall, then Waimea Falls is the best hike for you. To get there, you can take the Kamehameha highway and turn on the Waimea Valley road.

Waimea Falls

Address: 59-864 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712, USA

6. Laie Falls

Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

The Laie is a least trafficked waterfall because of the long 6- to 7-mile (9.6- to 11.26-meter) track that takes 4 to 5 hours. To reach here from Waikiki, take H-1 then head north towards the Kamehameha highway. For hiking, head towards the northeastern side of the island and grab a permit from the Hawaii Reserves. This extremely long hike is beautiful as it allows you to take a glimpse of natural scenes that are full of lush green flora. At last, this moderate hike will reward you with 15-foot (4.6-meter) waterfall that has a swimmable pool at the base.

Laie Falls

Address: 55-261 Poohaili St, Laie, HI 96762, USA

7. Manoa Falls

Manoa Falls, Hawaii, March 2012
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Danieljaycho used under CC BY-SA 3.0

This lush green Manoa Waterfall tucks away in the back of Manoa Valley and is often graced with morning drizzles which keep it glowing and pristine. To reach this glorious 150 feet (45.72 meters) Manoa waterfall and for enjoying this amazing scenery, you have to take a 30 to 40 minute-hike for a distance of 0.8 miles (1.2 kilometers). This place has been filmed in many movies such as Jurassic Park and the TV series, Lost, on account of its lush rainforest environment.

Manoa Falls

Address: Honolulu, HI 96822, USA

8. Jackass Ginger Pool Falls

waterfall hike
Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

This waterfall trail has stunning natural water slides, bamboo forest, and rope swings, which makes you reach the Jackass Ginger Pool. It is a small 10-foot (3-meter) waterfall with a swimmable hole around 8 feet (2.4 meters) in depth. It is also quite famous among hikers for jumping purpose and for that several ropes are tied to a tree to plunge in the falls.

Jackass Ginger Pool Falls

Address: Judd Trail, Honolulu, HI 96817, USA

9. Kapena Falls

Kapena Falls
Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

The hiking trails to Kapena Falls are the smallest due to a short walk of three minutes. It is also known for the ancient native drawings and writings because here you can see petroglyphs of ancient Hawaiian people. This hike gives you the Jurassic Park vibes because of vines, huge boulders, and giant leaves which make you feel like you are very deep in the dense forest. To reach here, drive towards the Nuuanu Memorial Park and Mortuary. Here the small muddy path from the very end point of the parking lot is the starting point of the three-minute hike.

Kapena Falls

Address: Alapena Pool, Honolulu, HI 96817, USA

10. Lulumahu Falls

Lulumahu Falls (15714760375)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user California Cow used under CC BY 2.0

It is regarded as one of the best waterfalls in Oahu on account of the impressive height of 50 feet (15.24 meters) and adventurous hiking trail which is 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) in length. While on the hike, you will pass a giant water tower, which is the perfect jumping spot for divers. To start this adventurous hike, you can get there from H-1 highway west from Waikiki and further merge onto the Pali Highway route and make a turn at Nuuanu Pali Dr.

Lulumahu Falls

Address: 4459 Pali Hwy, Honolulu, HI 96817, USA

Thrilling hikes in Oahu

You may be an adventure lover who is looking for an adventure by cliff jumping or a peaceful stroll to an enchanting waterfall. Oahu has a lot to offer you in this direction as it is brimming with fantastic waterfall trails that are in tune with your preferences. So what are you waiting for? It is time to get mesmerized with its idyllic scenery by visiting these waterfalls.

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

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