Rise and Shine: Maunawili Falls Trail

This is probably one of my favorite trails because it feels like such an adventure, you experience so many different landscapes during the hike at one point you may be tempted to holler like George of the jungle. My adventure didn’t even start at the beginning of the trail, it happened on the side of the highway. I’ll explain.

Have Fun!
Trail Entrance
Trail Begins
Wide view of entrance

This is another trail I’ve taken via public transportation, the bus. There’s a bus that frequently travels between Kailua and Honolulu downtown, either #57A or #57. The easiest thing to do is ask the driver when to get off for this trail because they’ll know easily enough what your referring to, way easier than saying the name of the stop your told on Google maps because the pronunciation of Hawaiian names is difficult and chances of butchering the name are high. Maunawili is pronounced more like ma-na-wili, the u being silent. So you’d hop off the bus on the side of the highway and walk down the road, right by the stop, for about 15 minutes. This part itself has a jungle-y feel because of the over hanging trees with their limbs and vines interlocking making it feel like nature’s own tunnel.

Let's get muddy!
Let’s get muddy!
A couple muddy areas
A couple muddy areas
There will be steps along with trail
There will be steps along with trail
Be sure footed ascending these paths
Be sure footed ascending these paths

This hike will take a few hours in total to complete, but that’s hardly noticeable while your actually trekking this hike in the middle of Oahu The various terrain and landscape makes it so much fun. Plus, overall it’s relatively an easy trek to do apart from the muddy parts. I felt like a kid pretending to be on some adventure, yet no pretending is necessary. There’s the jungle, the stream crossings, stairs, muddy areas, summit clearings, ascents, descents, and the grand finally… a waterfall! You can jump off the rocks the waterfall is coming down from, or there’s a 40ft drop jump you can attempt that’s just off to the side of the waterfall. I went a couple days after some rainfall so I think that’s why it was slippery when I attempted the jump, I had proof but I have no clue where it went. There use to be a 60 ft jump but its been reclaimed by nature with over growth, and more than likely safety concerns. The pool is deep enough, so no need to worry about gravity crashing you to the water bed. I took the jump and didn’t feel the ground, there are areas where you can stand in the water to loiter around about. The water is so refreshing to drip into after trekking about in this jungle. It’s those kind of moments that I get so wrapped up in my head emotionally, because they’re just the perfect moments to be reminded of how lucky I am to experience such a sight as this. Ever had that feeling?

A stream to cross
Hip Hop across
Easy crossings
Easy crossings
There's about 3-4 stream crossings
There’s about 3-4 stream crossings
All easy to cross
All easy to cross

I’ll say, be prepared for muddy areas, there is a reason why it’s lush with greenery on this trail and its more than likely the abundance of rainfall it receives. Wear an old pair of runners you wouldn’t mind getting dirty, and possibly bring a spare pair of socks? Not sure how comfortable it would feel to put on some dirty sweaty socks after a refreshing jump on the water.

Waterfall: slide included
Waterfall: slide included
Can you hear George of the jungle?
Can you hear George of the jungle?
mystical lighting
mystical lighting

If you are travelling by vehicle I will say please be courteous when driving to this trail. It begins right in a residential area, and I know they tend to be very prickly towards drivers (aka tourists) who park in spots too close to their homes and make loud noises in the morning. Essentially waking them up because many hikers show up to start around 7.

I’d say this trail is a 10/10 and happy trekking to everyone who goes.

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