Easiest Waterfall Hike on Oahu


Hiking to a waterfall had always seemed like a far out dream until moving to Hawaii. If you happen to be on Oahu and are looking for an amazing waterfall experience check out Manoa Falls. This 1.5 Mile Loop is the easiest waterfall hike on the Gathering Place

Located in Manoa Valley, this hike will take you deep into the Manoa Rainforest. The surrounding plants and trees + humidity will truly make you feel like you are in an escape to the Amazon. It is such a lush and beautiful hike because everything remains so vibrant and green all year long due to constant rainfall. Being in a rainforest, Manoa see’s a lot of light showers almost daily. So be prepared by bringing a rain jacket. This trail can be VERY slippery when muddy so check conditions and wear proper footwear before hiking.

Manoa is actually a two tiered fall. Hiking to the second fall is not recommended as it has proven to be fatal. Please do not attempt this hike unless you are an expert hiker. The first fall is a legal trial that has proven to be safe and a beautiful payoff.

The trail does have some incline and stairs. It is recommended to wear tennis shoes due to the possible muddy conditions. Bring lots of water and snacks to enjoy once you have made it to the falls! Also bring bug repellent! Mosquitoes out here are no joke!

Where Should I Park?
You can park on the trail head grounds for $5 but to avoid this fee and add a warmup to the hike park in the nearby neighborhood!

I Forgot Water What Should I Do?
There is a food stand called Rainbow End Snack Shop that sells drinks, snacks, shaved ice!

Can I Swim Here?
Unfortunately this waterfall is NOT for swimming. While some people risk it and jump in, I would advise stepping back. There are plenty of other falls to take a dip in such as Jack Ass Ginger Falls! Always be cautious of Leptospirosis, you can read more here

How To Get Here

Manoa Falls is located in the Manoa Valley just outside a neighborhood. To get to the trail head, you will either hop on the highway (H1E or H1W depending on where you’re coming from) and will exit at the King St. Exit. Turn Left on Punahou St. and continue until it becomes Manoa Road. Once on Manoa Rd. you will continue until the falls trail head. You can park inside the state grounds for $5. For a free day, you can find legal parking in the neighborhood and walk to the trailhead. Happy Hiking!!! :grinning:

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Manoa Falls is nice, but it is actually NOT the easiest falls on Oahu. The easiest falls is called Kapena Falls and is located behind Nu’uanu Memorial Park and Mortuary. On this very short hike you can also witness some Hawaiian Petroglyphs hidden along the rock walls if you keep your eyes open.

Some adventurous types also enjoy jumping from the top of this falls into the pool below. You may access the “waterfall jumping” parking from the Pali Highway overlook on the right heading into town.

There also is an excellent display of our local graffiti artists work under the bridge just past the falls. Kapena falls makes for a short but adventurous experience without even leaving town. Please be mindful that some house challenged individuals camp in this area, but otherwise this is a great opportunity to witness Oahu’s easiest waterfall!


                        **MAUNAWILI FALLS**

Maunawili Falls is an easy hike for people looking for an adventure!
Make sure you have old sneakers and your bug spray because this hike has lots of mosquitoes and lots of mud!

One of the best things about Maunawili Falls is that there are not many tourists! If you are looking for a laid back atmosphere that feels like a getaway this is the perfect hike for you! Forget about cell phones because you won’t get any reception and you wouldn’t want to be distracted anyways because there are lots of rocks you can trip on!

Once you reach the waterfall feel free to jump in and enjoy the water! If you are really brave you can climb up and jump from the top!

Maunawili is one of my favorite getaways. It makes you feel present and it is impossible not to get lost in Hawaii’s beauty!