I have very simple goals on vacation. I’m trying to eat all the things, drink all the things and lounge contentedly. My brain thinks this is a great plan, my jeans…notsomuch.
So, I trick my brain (and my body) into getting some work in with outdoor activities. Luckily, Oahu offers dozens of fantastic hikes of varying difficulty. I was able to override the groaning of the rest of my party long enough to convince them to go on a few, including Manoa Falls.
Manoa Falls is a 150ft waterfall nestled 30-45 minutes into a gorgeous, prehistoric-looking jungle. We saw everything from guava to super tall bamboo and some breathtaking vistas. The path starts paved, the transitions to gravel before turning to trail and mud. The last 100yds or so are the hardest and there are some big rocks to climb over but we saw kids that looked no older than 3 or 4 managing so it’s great for the whole family. We ran into a little traffic but nothing like Diamond Head. The actually falls was where we really hit the crowd so we didn’t stay long.
Things to Know
- The hike is free 99 but parking is $5. Park in the residential area or take an Uber to avoid the fee. Sidebar: all our Ubers in Oahu were amazing and filled with tons of great info. It’s an easy way to learn more from the local perspective.
- The hike lasts approx 1.5hrs – about 45 mins each way.
- Manoa Falls is LITERALLY the jungle. The trail is well maintained but they get beaucoup rain so mud abounds. Wear proper footwear and be prepared to get a little dirty.
- If you’re feeling adventurous, the Manoa Falls trail intersects several other trails and is a great jumping off point to a longer hike.
- There is a visitor center with a place to grab snacks and also a tiny restroom.
- The flora and fauna leading up to the falls are the real attraction IMO. So much so, that its served as a backdrop for parts of Jurassic Park and the show Lost.
- Manoa Falls is popular with locals and tourists so you may run into human traffic jams. Get there early if you want to avoid the crowds.
- Do NOT swim in the water as it may contain Leptospirosis (a bacterial infection). If you want to take a dip to cool down head towards Ala Moana Beach Park or Diamond Head Beach post hike.
Sidebar: I decided to use this trip to make my jump into creating more video content (yikes!). I’ll be posting new episodes from the trip every few days on my grand-spanking-new channel here: YouTube/Mazeratie Sweet
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