Manoa Falls is a beautiful, moderate, 1-hour hike close to downtown Honolulu on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Thanks to a paid parking lot and gravel path, it is one of the island’s most accessible hikes—and with a 150-foot (46-meter) rushing waterfall at the end, it is well worth the effort.
The 1.5-mile (2.4-kilometer) round-trip Manoa Falls trail is well marked, and while visitors some go at it alone, a number of tour operators offer guided hikes. Parts of the path are paved or lined with gravel, but because of the heavy foot traffic and rainy weather, the trail can be very wet and muddy. As a result the relatively easy hike can be slippery; the last few minutes before the falls are the most challenging. The pool at the bottom of the falls is no longer open for swimming due to falling rocks.
Things to Know Before You Go
Plan on getting dirty, and wear sturdy walking shoes that you don’t mind getting muddy.
Bring insect repellent, as mosquitos are out in full force on the trail.
There is a small snack shop near the trail entrance.
The force of the waterfall depends on rainfall; expect less water in summer months.
How to Get There
Manoa Falls is located at the end of Manoa Valley, northeast of downtown Honolulu. If driving from Waikiki, take the H1 toward the airport, exit at Punahou Road, and continue on to Manoa Road. There is paid parking near the entrance to the hike.
When to Get There
The Manoa Falls trail is open year-round. Oahu has a mild, tropical climate, with hotter days in summer and a rainy season typically from November to March. On rainy days the waterfall is at its most impressive and the trail is less crowded—yet also very muddy.
Manoa Falls is full of colorful, tropical plants, and a naturalist guide or book can help you identify what you see along the way. Parts of the trail are lined with guava, eucalyptus, and banyan trees as well as awapuhi, or bitter ginger flowers. It is common to spot tropical birds and insects as well.