A Guide to Hiking the Manoa Falls Trail in Oahu, Hawaii
Manoa Falls Trail is a popular 1.6-mile trail in Oahu, Hawaii, that leads to the mesmerizing 150-foot Manoa Falls. Located in the Waikiki and Honolulu Region, this easy-to-hike trail offers an unforgettable experience for tourists and locals alike.
Manoa Falls Trail: A Breathtaking Adventure
Trail Information: Length and Difficulty
The Manoa Falls Trail is a 1.6-mile round trip, suitable for hikers of all ages and abilities. With an easy difficulty level, it’s a great option for families with children or anyone looking for a leisurely hike.
Location and Accessibility
Situated in Manoa Valley, Oahu, Hawaii, the trail is just a 15-minute drive from urban Honolulu. This makes it an ideal destination for those seeking a quick escape from the bustling city life.
The trail boasts lush, verdant views of Manoa Valley and is shaded by eucalyptus, banyan, and bamboo trees. The 100-foot-high Manoa Falls at the end of the trail serves as the ultimate reward for hikers.
Manoa Falls Trail is unpaved and can be muddy and damp, so it’s essential to wear proper hiking shoes. The area also has a rainforest-like microclimate, meaning you should be prepared for sudden weather changes. Be aware of the risk of landslides and bacteria in the waterfall pool.
By Car: From McCully Street, follow the signs to Manoa Road, which will lead you to the trailhead.
By Bus: Take the #5 bus to the Manoa Road/Kumuone Street stop, and follow the signs to the trailhead.
You can park for free in the residential neighborhood or pay for parking at the Paradise Park parking lot at the trailhead.
Guided Tour and Nearby Attractions
Manoa Falls Guided Hiking Tour
For a more informative experience, consider booking a Manoa Falls Guided Hiking Tour. This tour includes transportation from Waikiki hotels.
After your hike, explore other nearby attractions such as Ala Moana Beach Park, Magic Island, and Iolani Palace.
What to Bring and Hiking Gear Recommendations
- Closed shoes with tread
- Mosquito repellent
- Water to drink
- Towel and change of clothes/shoes
- Walking stick (if unsteady on feet)
Recommended Hiking Gear
- Water bladder
- Blister protectors
- Hiking shoes
- Rain shell
Native Plants and Wildlife
Along the trail, you’ll encounter native plants such as Hau trees and Ekaha. Be mindful of invasive species that may also be present. Keep an eye out for wildlife sightings along the hike.
Best Time to Hike and Tips Before Going
Best Time to Hike Manoa Falls
The best time to hike Manoa Falls is during the summer months (June-November). To avoid crowds, consider hiking on weekdays or during early/late hours.
Tips Before Going
- Do not swim in the waterfall pool due to rock slides and bacteria risks.
- Wear sturdy shoes, not flip-flops.
- Bring bug spray, water, and sunscreen.
- Be mindful of trail conditions (muddy and slippery).
Rules and Regulations
- Heed signs warning of falling rocks.
- No swimming in the falls.
- Do not carve on trees.
- Use trash cans available at the waterfall.
- Leashed dogs are allowed on the trail.
- Follow all posted signs and rules.
Visitor Experiences and Safety
What Visitors Say About Manoa Falls
Visitors commend the beautiful and scenic hike, suitable for all ages. They recommend being prepared for muddy and slippery conditions and not forgetting to enjoy the stunning views and vegetation.
Deaths and Injuries
There have been two recorded deaths due to falls from the waterfall. Signs on the trail warn of potential landslides and bacterial risks in the waterfall pool, so always exercise caution.
Tourism and Filming
Popularity and Nearby Trails
Manoa Falls Trail is the second most popular trail on Oahu. Other trails in the Honolulu Mauka Trail System offer alternative hiking options.
University of Hawaii Students
Manoa Falls Trail is a popular destination for University of Hawaii students for research and educational purposes.
The trail’s breathtaking scenery has been featured in movies and TV shows like Jurassic Park and Lost.