The island of Oahu is known for its beautiful s beaches and big waves, making it great for surfers. That being said, Oahu is also known for its magnificent waterfalls. Oahu has some of the clearest waters and lushest landscapes you will ever see.
If you are planning on visiting Oahu, and interested in hiking through nature, these are the best waterfalls to visit:
If you are looking for an easier hike, with some great views Manoa Falls is a great waterfall to visit. Manoa Falls is a quick 20-minute drive from downtown areas of Honolulu or Waikiki. It is easily accessible, and a great family hike because it is not very challenging.
On your journey to the falls, you will see some amazing scenery. Make sure to take some great pictures of the 150-foot waterfall that sits right on the mountainside.
It must be said that Manoa Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls in Oahu, so be prepared for large amounts of visitors. If you are okay with that, Manoa Falls is an absolute must when visiting Oahu waterfalls.
For people who are up for more of a longer hike try Waimano Falls. The journey will begin at Manana Trail and is about a three-mile round-trip hike, which will take an hour to complete. Although it is longer, the trail is worth it taking visitors through a thick canopy of forest that offers amazing sights.
When you reach the waterfall, there is a small cliff edge where you can go cliff-jumping into the water. The cliff jump is only about 15-20 feet up, and plunging into the water will give you some refreshment after your hike.
Before jumping into the water below, make sure no debris or anything is preventing a safe jump.
Located on the Koʻolau mountain near Pali, is the Lulumahu Falls. It is hands-down one of the most beautiful waterfalls on this list. This trail is easier and will be short only taking about 30 minutes before you reach the waterfall. Down below, at the bottom of the waterfall is a pool where visitors can swim and cool off.
Lulumahu is technically on private property, so you will need to acquire a permit to hike the falls for the day. We recommend getting it because the views are incredibly worth it.
One of the more secret, yet impressive waterfalls of Oahu would be the multi-tiered fall of Li’Keke. Flowing from over 15 feet, Li’Kele is truly wonderful and allows people to enter the upper pool to take great photos of the surrounding nature. If you enter the upper pool, just remember to be careful and exercise caution.
The Li’Kele Fall is at the end of the rocky trail and is also known as “Old Pali Highway Falls”. This trail is quite busy for all kinds of physical adventures such as hiking, trail running, and even bird watching. Li’Keke is also close to the Pali Puka hike and Pali Notches, both of which are known for their remarkable views.
A great waterfall hike on Oahu for anyone seeking some adventure would be Kapena Falls. The hike begins on Nuuanu Avenue and quickly begins to give off the feeling that you are on a fantastic journey in the middle of the jungle.
While making your way through the trail you will be met with large leaves and greenery, low-hanging vines, and large rocks and boulders. When reaching the end, the waterfall is smaller in scale, yet very powerful. It flows down about 15 feet, ending in a big pool at the bottom which travelers can swim in.
There are several different areas you can jump into the water from and even a rope swing.
It must be said that due to Kapena’s high volume of tourists, the trail and even the swimming pool can sadly become littered with trash. Additionally, you will also need a permit to hike the trail.
If you are looking to avoid a large number of tourists and desire a more “secret” hike, Laie Falls is the place for you. Laie Falls is less crowded than the Manoa and Kapena Falls, due to the long hike to reach the waterfall and back.
The Falls are located in Laie, which is on the north shore of Oahu, and immerse you in the greenery and nature along the 6-mile journey. Although Laie Falls is not the largest, it is quite beautiful.
Like many others on this list, visitors will need to secure a permit before hiking to the falls, due to it sitting on private property.
Waipuhia Falls is a waterfall that features strong winds that blow right over the falls, giving the interesting appearance that the water is flowing upwards instead of cascading downward.
It is an incredibly unique sight and has been given the humorous, yet fitting, name of “Upside-Down Falls”. Compared to other falls, it is less hiked, but Waipuhia is highly recommended on a windy day.
The hike out to Waipuhia Falls can be difficult because it is pretty overgrown. It is recommended only experienced hikers tackle this trail, as it is hard to find and could result in getting lost.
Kaipapau Falls is an eight-mile round trip, that is better suited for experienced hikers. If you are traveling as a family with younger kids, it would be recommended to do without the Kaipapau Falls hike for now.
If you do get the chance to hike the trail is wonderful, with lush greenery surrounding you for the whole trek. At the end of the trail, you will see the large, 90-foot waterfall with amazing beauty.
It is not recommended to hike this trail after there have been heavy rains. This is because of the risk of flash floods.
Contrary to its humorous title, the “Jackass Ginger Pool ” is actually a very nice, smaller pool that has a 10-foot waterfall above it. It is located in Nu’uanu which is a neighborhood in Honolulu. It is an amazing place to swim and very fun. It even has a rope swing attached to a tree above allowing visitors to jump right in.
The waterfall and swimming hole are easily accessible through the Judd Memorial Trail. The trail is along the Nu’uanu Stream and it takes only half a mile to trek from the trailhead to the Jackass Ginger Pool.