Maunawili Falls Trail

Aloha Visitors! E komo mai! (Welcome!)
This site is my personal attempt to help you hike Maunawili Falls Trail more safely than you would have without the information. It's not comprehensive and it's not official, it's just my personal attempt to provide help to hikers/visitors, but I suggest you do not rely on it in a legal sense. I can't take liability for the trail which has varying conditions, like weather and erosion that may add additional challenges. At this time (2017), the trail has an uncertain future, and as such, please make sure to heed any signage posted at the trailhead and do a quick search to make sure the trail is still open to the public before planning to hike. If it is closed, I would like to suggest Manoa Falls, or Waimea Falls as beautiful (and much better-managed) substitutes for Maunawili trail which receives no maintenance and is thus quite eroded in places and has no trail signage at this time. To keep its beauty intact, and help you to have a safe hike, here are a few suggestions for the trail.

Mahalo for your kokua! Thank you very much in advance for your help!

Leaving too late is dangerous DON'T START AFTER 4 PM: We recommend starting the hike no later than 4 pm. Going any later than this will not allow you to get to the waterfall and back before dark, especially in winter. The trail is full of roots, and many, many visitors have to be rescued by helicopter because they get lost in the dark or injured because they trip on roots or rocks they cannot see. Please click here to see what time the sun will set tonight, and make sure to finish the hike by 6pm. Sunrise & Sunset
Mosquito repellent is a good idea WEAR BUG SPRAY: Mosquito repellent is strongly recommended. Please don't spray repellent on any neighborhood lawns. It kills the grass.
Wear the right shoes WEAR SHOES FOR DEEP MUD: Wear shoes that can endure water and mud.  This is the muddiest trail you have likely every encountered, especially after wet weather.  You will be crossing rivers, and must be prepared to step in mud that can be as much as a foot deep and the consistency of chocolate pudding!  It can be very slippery.  We see a lot of broken slippers/flip flops, and many abandoned athletic shoes (cross trainers) that people discard because they don’t want to clean them. We suggest shoes that can get wet and muddy without being ruined, and a change of shoes for after the hike so that you can put your muddy shoes in a bag and wear the clean pair for the ride home (or to your hotel).
Flash Flood Warning Sign FLASH FLOODS CAN KILL: When the river rises, it can be very dangerous with powerful currents.  Debris can wash down the falls and possibly injure or kill hikers.  Never hike on a rainy day. Check the weather in advance.
Pack all trash out NO TRASH BINS, PLEASE DON'T LITTER: There are no trash cans on the trail. Please no littering.  There are garbages located at the Maunawili District park (the closest public facilities to the trailhead at this time). Please control your trash and take all belongings with you including your trash when you leave.  Litter harms the land, streams, and animals (some can even wash to sea and harm our reefs and sealife!). It also causes an eyesore for other people. Items of particular concern include food wrappers, baby diapers, dog waste, abandoned shoes, and water bottles. Please plan to contain these things, and don’t forget to bring your towels and shirts with you when you leave.
There are no toilets at the trailhead NO TOILETS: There is no restroom facility at this time on the trail.  The closest toilets and faucets are at Maunawili District Park.  Please plan to use the facilities there. You can also plan to clean your shoes at the faucet (hose bibb) at the park, or take a second pair of clean shoes and a plastic bag to contain the dirty shoes.  Please try not to disturb the neighbors – public use of private bathrooms or hoses of the neighbors next to the trail is not courteous.
No potable water at the trail WATER IS NOT POTABLE; LEPTOSPOROSIS: Don’t drink the water in the stream or expose any open wounds to the water.  There is Leptospirosis  in the water along with other microbes that can cause your cuts to get infected.  Be sure to pack plenty of water to drink.  The closest water facilities for public use are at Maunawili District Park
Swim at your own risk SWIM AT YOUR OWN RISK:  The falls have a beautiful deep pool below them, but please remember not to swim with open cuts. There is Leptospirosis  in the water along with other microbes that can cause your cuts to get infected.
Dive at own risk, never head first! JUMPING IS DANGEROUS (AT OWN RISK), DIVING IS DEADLY: If you choose to jump off the rocks into the pool, please realize you are taking a significant risk.  People get rescued by helicopter a lot, especially in summer when the crowds are larger.  There have been severe injuries from people attempting the various jumps into the water. Never dive head first at this location because people do often touch the bottom of the pool with their legs if they jump from the higher spots. The bottom is uneven with lots of rocks. Going head first means you could easily break your neck.
Park with care PARK WITH CARE: Parking is sometimes very difficult, especially on holidays and weekends.  There is no parking lot at the trailhead.  It is best to take The Bus to the Maunawili and Aloha Oe bus stop, because then you don’t have to worry about parking. If you can’t take the bus, please remember to park respectfully.  Many people parallel park on the neighborhood streets.  This is fine as long as you are careful not to park in front of driveways, fire hydrants, or too close to corners (which blocks visibility for safe turning), additionally, some areas of the roads are too narrow for both sides of the street to be utilized for parking.  Make sure there is enough room for emergency vehicles (including fire engines) to be able to drive easily through the streets.  If you have to walk a little further to be able to park in a legal and considerate way, enjoy the extra distance as part of the hike. There is a parking map on this site to help you.
Theft of valuables can happen LEAVE VALUABLES AT HOME, BUT DO TAKE YOUR PHONE AND A BUDDY ON THE TRAIL: Do not leave valuables in your car.  Lock your doors. During the summer months especially, theft can happen. This is true of every hike on Oahu. Do however, plan to take your phone. Load it up with a GPS program and you can use the trail guide to help find your way through the confusing paths. If you twist your ankle or get lost, you'll have a phone and a buddy to help you return safely.
No commercial tours or activities allowed NO TOURS: No commercial activity is allowed on the trail. The trail is not equipped to handle tour buses and similar large vehicles. This means you will not be able to find a professional guide. If you feel like you would be more comfortable with a tour guide, please consider Manoa Falls and Waimea Falls for a similar hiking experience where a tour guide is allowed to help you.