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10 Best Waterfall Hikes On Oahu: The Hiker’s Guide


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Edythe Nez


Are you an avid hiker seeking adventure on the beautiful island of Oahu? Look no further than the breathtaking waterfall hikes that dot the island’s lush landscape. Oahu is a paradise for nature enthusiasts, offering an abundance of picturesque trails that lead to stunning cascades nestled deep within its verdant mountains.

In this hiker’s guide, we will unveil the top 10 waterfall hikes on Oahu, providing you with insider knowledge to make the most of your hiking experience. From towering waterfalls plunging into freshwater pools to hidden gems tucked away in secluded valleys, Oahu offers a diverse range of options for hikers of all skill levels.

Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or a beginner looking to explore the island’s natural wonders, these waterfall hikes are sure to leave you mesmerized. So lace up your hiking boots, grab your camera, and get ready for an unforgettable journey through Oahu’s tropical paradise!

Manoa Falls

One of the most popular hikes on the island, Manoa Falls offers a picturesque trail leading to a stunning 150-foot waterfall. Prepare to be surrounded by dense rainforest and enjoy the refreshing mist from the cascading water. Don’t forget your camera to capture the magical moment!

Waimea Falls

Located in the Waimea Valley, this hike treats you to not only a magnificent waterfall but also a botanical garden filled with native Hawaiian flora. Take a dip in the turquoise pool at the base of the falls and experience nature’s tranquility.

Lulumahu Falls

For a more adventurous hike, head to Lulumahu Falls. This trail takes you through bamboo forests, streams, and ancient ruins before reaching a hidden waterfall paradise. The journey is as rewarding as the destination itself.

Maunawili Falls

Venture into the windward side of the island and discover Maunawili Falls. Surrounded by lush greenery and tropical flora, this hike offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Likeke Falls

A hidden gem tucked away in the mountains, Likeke Falls awaits those who traverse the less-traveled trails. Enjoy the serenity of this secluded waterfall and revel in the untouched beauty of Oahu.

Waiakeakua Falls

Prepare for an adventure through a tropical jungle as you make your way to Waiakeakua Falls. The hike can be challenging, but the reward is worth it when you witness the dramatic 45-foot waterfall cascading into a crystal-clear pool.

Waimano Falls

A hike through Waimano Valley takes you to the magnificent Waimano Falls. This multi-tiered waterfall provides a stunning backdrop for a peaceful afternoon getaway. Take a dip in the pools and let the worries of the world melt away.

Aiea Loop Trail

Experience the beauty of Oahu’s lush rainforest on the Aiea Loop Trail. Along the way, you’ll encounter multiple waterfalls, including the breathtaking Halawa Falls. This trail offers a mix of adventure and serenity.

Sacred Falls Trail

Although currently closed to the public, it’s worth mentioning Sacred Falls Trail for its historical significance and majestic beauty. Keep an eye out for updates on when it will be reopened to hikers.

Waihe’e Falls

Located on the eastern side of Oahu, Waihe’e Falls is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. This moderate hike takes you through a bamboo forest and rewards you with the sight of a beautiful waterfall flowing into a tranquil pool.

Embark on the ultimate exploration of Oahu’s natural wonders with the 10 Best Waterfall Hikes on Oahu: The Hiker’s Guide. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the island, soak in the refreshing waters, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Happy hiking and may your journey be filled with awe-inspiring waterfalls!


Exploring the beauty of Oahu’s waterfalls through hiking is a truly rewarding experience for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. The island is home to some of the most stunning waterfalls in all of Hawaii, offering breathtaking views and a chance to connect with the island’s lush natural surroundings. From towering cascades to hidden gems tucked away in the mountains, Oahu has a variety of waterfall hikes to suit every level of hiking ability.

By following this hiker’s guide to the 10 best waterfall hikes on Oahu, you can embark on unforgettable journeys that will take you through breathtaking landscapes, lush rainforests, and the refreshing embrace of cascading waterfalls. So lace up your hiking boots, grab your camera, and get ready to discover the unparalleled beauty of Oahu’s waterfalls.


1. Are these waterfall hikes suitable for beginners?

Yes, many of the waterfall hikes mentioned in this guide are suitable for beginners. However, it is important to check the difficulty level and trail conditions before embarking on any hike. Some trails may require more strenuous hiking, so it is always advisable to be prepared and evaluate your fitness level.

2. Are these waterfall hikes family-friendly?

Yes, there are several waterfall hikes on Oahu that are family-friendly. However, it is recommended to consider the age and hiking experience of your children before choosing a trail. Some hikes may involve steep slopes or slippery terrain, so exercise caution and ensure the safety of your family members.

3. Are there any safety precautions to keep in mind?

Absolutely! Safety should always be a priority when hiking. Make sure to bring enough water, wear proper footwear, and use sun protection. It is also essential to stay on designated trails and be aware of your surroundings. Check the weather forecast before heading out, as heavy rain can create hazardous conditions near waterfalls.

4. Can I swim in the waterfall pools?

Swimming in waterfall pools can be a tempting activity, but it is important to exercise caution. Some pools may have strong currents or hidden rocks beneath the surface. Always assess the conditions and depth of the pool before entering, and never swim alone. It is also recommended to check for any warning signs or advisories before swimming.

5. Do I need a permit to hike to these waterfalls?

For most of the waterfall hikes mentioned in this guide, you do not need a permit. However, there may be some trails or areas that require permits or parking fees. It is always advisable to check with local authorities or park offices for any specific requirements before your hike.