The Travel 10 Beautiful Oahu Waterfall Hikes For Hawaii Tourists

10 Beautiful Oahu Waterfall Hikes For Hawaii Tourists

Hiking to Oahu's most beautiful waterfalls is quite an experience, and these trails will show hikers the island's most scenic landscapes.

BY RAJENDER BHATIA

Oahu is the most visited island in Hawaii when it comes to hiking adventures. It has a lot to offer including the most difficult hike in the state. Tourists who are after different kinds of adventure head on to Oahu because it simply has it all. It is called “the gathering place” for a reason. On top of these hikes are mesmerizing views of forestry, a panorama of beaches, and the most visited are the waterfalls. Many of the trails in Oahu bring hikers to a relaxing green canopy while dipping in refreshing waters. Along with safety tips, enjoy Oahu’s waterfall hikes with this list.




9 Manoa Falls

This hike is one of the easiest in Oahu. It is close to Waikiki and considered the most popular trail. It is only 1.6 miles long and at the top awaits the stunning 150-foot waterfall. Due to being easy, many tourists crowd the waterfall. Parents can easily bring children and take a family hike.


  • Start the hike early to avoid the crowd
  • Bring a selfie stick because the trail could get crowded making it hard to take selfies and photos
  • Parking lots could cost $5 or take advantage of residential parking for free


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8 Waimano Falls

Waimano Falls can be reached through the Manana trail. Going to the hike might be easy but heading back could be a little difficult due to the steep elevation. This is called the “cardiac hill” for a reason. At the end of the trail awaits a fun swinging rope! The deep pools are safe to dive in as well and the cold swim is a wonderful, refreshing treat.


  • Make sure the weather is nice before the hike so the waterfalls to expect at the top flows are not too harsh
  • Bring water and snacks because the hike could last up to 2 hours
  • Not for hikers who have major health conditions because the way back is difficult



7 Waimea Falls

A dip in the Waimea waterfall is worth the hike. The parking fee has some inclusive perks like access to the Waimea trail and a dip in its waterfall. Amenities include changing rooms, free life vests for hikers, and an on-duty lifeguard.


  • Prices vary depending on the hiker’s age
  • Do not litter because this hike is considered sacred and has cultural significance to the locals
  • Do not bring or use chemicals that could potentially damage the environment of the site


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6 Maunawili Falls

Hikers who are up for an adrenaline rush are bound to hike Maunawili Falls. The fall at the top is 20 feet tall and its picturesque view is definitely worth the hike. Maunawii falls is considered one of the best hikes in Oahu, hence, many tourists book for a hike.


  • The best parking area is near the residential area but make sure not to block residents’ driveways
  • The waterfall is small, hence, there might be little to no privacy
  • It is recommended to start the hike early because a round trip could last up to 3 hours

5 Ka’au Crater

This hike is a tour of three waterfalls in Oahu. It is literally a 360-degree hike of the island. That said, this is definitely not for novice hikers. From Paloma Valley to the crater of Ka’au, the trek can get rough because of some streams and a little mountain climbing.


  • Hikers who are afraid of heights are not advisable to hike the crater
  • Children are not allowed in the hike including novice and with serious health conditions
  • It is important to take food that could help strike adrenaline for more energy to hike


4 Likeke Falls

There are two available routes to reach the Likeke Falls; from Old Pali Highway and the Ko’olau Golf Club. The decision of which to take rests on the hikers’ skill level. Children and novice hikers are recommended to take the latter route because it is shorter and only takes 15 minutes to reach the waterfall.



  • This is the best hike for a family with little children
  • Bring a map, despite the easy route many still get lost in the trail
  • Children are advised to be accompanied by adults when dipping in the waterfalls to prevent accidents


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3 Lulumahu Falls

Lulumahu is government property, hence, obtaining a permit from the government is required. Although many hikers do not follow this protocol, it is not advised to hike without a permit. Moreover, this hike is not an easy one, and it could get muddy because the trail follows a stream to reach Lulumahu Falls.


  • Get a permit before hiking
  • Wear durable hiking shoes to secure safety along the trail
  • Do not forget to stop at picturesque views along the way

2  Jackass Ginger Pool

This five-mile hike is one of the grassy trails in Oahu. But along the way are scenic ridges and the cascade of 10 feet swimming pools. It is known to have been named after a donkey and a ginger field, which then became popular with hikers. Due to its popularity, many hikers hike the trail on a day-to-day basis, so it is important to hike in small groups and earlier in the day.


  • Hikers can choose to hike the 1-mile trail to the Jackass Ginger Pool or continue to the Nuuanu-Judd’s grassy trails
  • Parking is limited so be sure to arrive early
  • Roads to the trailhead are isolated, hence, do not leave valuable items in the car


1 Laie Falls

This trail is for hikers who have so much time on their hands. Laie Falls requires a permit from the Hawaii reserves. This is a 7-mile trail that requires advanced hiking skills. Along the way, hikers can enjoy the rewarding site of bamboo pines, fruit trees, and at the top is the 15-foot waterfall of Laie.

  • Secure a permit to begin the hike
  • Bring a water bottle and snacks to consume along the way
  • Make sure to park at Poohaili St. to avoid parking fees



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