Hike to Maunawili Falls

Hawaii Maunawilli Falls Trailhead

Added by Chris Aguilera

  • 3.2-mile out-and-back hike that leads to a pool and waterfall
  • The difficulty level is pretty high, but well worth the rewards when you see the views and ambiance
  • The pool is equipped with a rope swing (proceed with caution)
  • Duration: 2-3 hours

The trail, is roughly 3.2 miles and is a great option if you're in the Kailua area. You'll hike in a covered forest along the riverbank, which leads to an amazing waterfall and swimming hole. Many people like to jump from the waterfall into the pool below, and some with a bit more courage even climb higher to the side of the waterfall to jump further (try at your own risk).

While on the trail, you'll be covered for most of the hike. About half way through the hike you will break out of the trees for some nice views of the surrounding mountains and views towards Kailua in the distance. Keep in mind that the trail is often muddy, so bring shoes that you don't mind getting dirty and that work well in challenging conditions.

Tips: Park far from the trailhead--there are strict parking regulations and you don't want a ticket. This trail follows creek and is usually very wet and muddy. Wear appropriate shoes (sandals are very hard to walk in once they get muddy). Almost all of this hike is covered, but mosquitoes can be a problem, so throw some bug spray in your bag.

Here's a topographical map of the area. Keep in mind, the section of the trail to the falls is significantly shorter than the full outline of the Maunawili trail.

Photos: Nick

Pack List

  • Hiking shoes
  • Fitness clothes
  • Water
  • Insect repellant (seasonal)
  • Sun block
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Hiking, Swimming

Skill Level:



Year Round




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How to Get There

about 2 months ago

Different Every Time

Iv done this hike at least 10 times and it was a different experience every time. It's challenging without being to hard and beautiful the whole way. It's a hike everyone on Oahu should do.

about 2 months ago

5 months ago

Not So Simple With Kids When Muddy

Awesome hike. The trail was recently rained on and super muddy. The mud is a shoe eater and destroyer! And adds a few levels of difficulty to the hike. We made the hike with our three boys ages 6, 3, and 1 month. If we had known the conditions before hand I think we would have gone elsewhere. Beautiful scenery, jungle like flora and fauna, good shade for most of the hike. Incredible waterfall and pool! Enjoy - but use caution when muddy!!!

5 months ago

Great hike to beautiful falls, very muddy though!

We did this hike in the beginning of Feb and it was a lot of fun! It took us about 1.5 hours up and 1 hour to get down. The trail is not too challenging but it is very very muddy! be prepared for it and bring proper hiking shoes, we passed a lot of people who had to turn around because they had attempted the hike in flip flops or with very small children. The path is very cool though, you feel like your deep in the jungle and it follows the river, crossing it several times so a good chance to wash off the mud! closer to the top there is a beautiful lookout giving you very nice views of the surrounding forest and mountains (great for pictures). At the top the pool was refreshing to swim in and fun to jump into from the cliff! saw lots of people on the way up and down and lots swimming. It was a great hike and I would recommend it, just be prepared to get muddy!

7 months ago

about 3 years ago

Just be super careful if you go up to the top for the rope swing. Once the ground gets wet up there, it can be really slippery. All in all, a pretty easy hike to have some fun at the falls.

about 3 years ago

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