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Maunawili Falls Trail

Intermediate
 4.1 (17) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A trail rises through the jungle toward a waterfall featuring cliff jumping and swimming.


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Map Key

2.3

Miles

3.6

KM

90%

Runnable

444' 135 m

High

192' 59 m

Low

325' 99 m

Up

324' 99 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

16%

Max Grade (9°)

Dogs Leashed

Features River/Creek · Swimming · Waterfall

The trail is only accessible from 6 am to 6 pm.

Overview

A somewhat slippery, well-trodden path ascends through the jungle to a waterfall and swimming hole. A brief ridge exposure offers views of the rugged Oahu mountains.

  • High foot traffic.
  • Need to Know

    There is an unmarked junction 1.2 miles in. Take the downhill option to continue to the waterfall. Sunscreen is unnecessary due to canopy coverage, bug spray might be useful.

    Runner Notes

    Rocks, roots, and slippery conditions make it difficult to maintain a running pace on this trail.

    Description

    The trail entrance is through a gate onto a paved road. A handmade sign at the entrance asks visitors to please "kokua", a Hawaiian word that translates roughly to respect. Because the path begins in a residential area, it is important for runners to pick up after their trash, keep the noise level reasonable, and respect the local's privacy. Park on a side street away from the entrance on Kelewina Street.

    The trail follows a paved road for 100 yards before a sign directs you right to the falls. From here the trail assumes a more rugged aspect, inclining upward through a dense jungle. Mangoes fall from tree leaves, scattering the path. Birds call from places unseen. It can be slippery, but much of the mud can be avoided through rock hopping and tree root balancing.

    After a half mile, the trail swings next to Maunawili Stream which can be crossed safely and dryly through a succession of rock hops. From here, the trail inclines still steeper and becomes a real thigh burner. After another half mile, a brief exposure offers views of the precipitous Oahu steeps. Turn left, downhill, southeast, at an unmarked junction shortly after this exposure. Cross the stream twice before the waterfall shows itself around a turn in the river. Yells and splashes may reveal its proximity before it becomes visible. Cliff jumping options abound, swimming is encouraged.

    History & Background

    Terraced agriculture was cultivated on the flanks of these abrupt mountains by the ancient Hawaiians. Much of the physical evidence of this landscaping is now obscured by jungle growth.

    Contacts

    Shared By:

    Jay Gurney

    Trail Ratings

      4.1 from 17 votes

    #1

    in Honolulu

    #1897

    Overall
      4.1 from 17 votes
    5 Star
    59%
    4 Star
    12%
    3 Star
    18%
    2 Star
    6%
    1 Star
    6%
    Recommended Route Rankings

    #1

    in Honolulu

    #12

    in Hawaii

    #1,897

    Overall
    20 Views Last Month
    5,193 Since Aug 3, 2015
    Intermediate

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    13%
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    Photos

    Maunawili Falls
    Aug 3, 2015 near Maunawili, HI
    Ko`olau Range and clouds
    Aug 13, 2015 near Maunawili, HI
    Maunawili Falls
    Aug 13, 2015 near Maunawili, HI
    The trail near a ridgetop
    Aug 3, 2015 near Maunawili, HI
    Footing can be tough with roots and mud
    Aug 3, 2015 near Maunawili, HI
    Unmarked junction
    Aug 3, 2015 near Maunawili, HI

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    Jul 16, 2019
    Michelle Read