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The Best Waterfalls In Oahu

Are you visiting Oahu? You are in for a treat! The beautiful tropical surroundings of Oahu hide some of the most mediocre (let’s be real!) waterfalls in the world. And discovering them is going to be a fulfilling experience nonetheless.

So, we have compiled a list of waterfalls you should visit during your vacation in Oahu. 

Aihualama Falls

Aihualama Falls

Location (Trail)

Adding to the charming tropical character of the Lyon Arboretum is Aihualama Falls, one of the most beautiful waterfalls out here. Getting to the waterfalls involves a two-mile trek, which is an experience in and of itself. As you get nearer, you’ll hear the gushing sound of the cascading waters.

Can you swim in Aihualama Falls?

No. Swimming in Aihualama Falls is not allowed.

How difficult is the Aihualama trail?

This hike is moderately difficult, but this is actually a matter of your skill level. If you are an experienced hiker, you’ll finish the hike in about 40 minutes, but if it’s your first time, it will take close to two hours to complete the hike.

Also, be careful; the path is slippery, and it is uneven terrain with mud, tree roots, and rocks.

Maunawili Falls

Maunawili Falls


This is one of the popular waterfalls in Hawaii, so weekends are a little busy. This is a great hike for families with kids; the hike is long enough to be challenging and short enough that you won’t hear your kids complain.

In some places, there are steps built into the trail to make the hike easier. Before you reach the end, however, you’ll have crossed water several times, so getting your shoes wet can’t be helped.

While this is a great hike you can enjoy with your kids, you need to be very careful and keep an eye on them; this is unmaintained terrain.

Is Maunawili Falls open in 2022?

Your plans to visit Maunawili Falls need to be postponed. The waterfall is currently closed due to construction work, which is expected to last until summer 2023. There may be paths you can take to hike undetected, but it’s now made illegal, so we highly discourage it and suggest that you wait until they open the hike.  

How long is the Maunawili Falls hike?

The path leading to Maunawili Falls is 2.5 miles through a thick forest, and it can sometimes get muddy.

Ginger Pond (Jackass Ginger Pool)


With a height of 10 feet and a pool that’s 2.4 metres deep, Jackass Ginger Pool is a stunning sight and worth visiting. This is found in the neighbourhood of Honolulu. The pool is surrounded by a thick growth of bushes. Jumping into the pool is one of the popular things to do here.

Why is it called Jackass Ginger Pool?

It’s named jackass on account of a donkey that lived in the area, and the ginger part of the name comes from the growth of ginger plants that surround the fall.

How long is the Jackass Ginger Hike?

It’s a mile-long hike.

Kapena Falls

Kapena Falls


From Pali Highway, it’s a 5-minute hike to Kapena Falls. And yes, it’s true what every tourist who visits the Falls says: it has Jurassic Park vibes. The pathway, scattered with vines, rocks, and boulders, is beautiful.

Most people visit Kapena Falls for cliff jumping. The stream is 15 feet high, and there’s a large pool at the bottom.

We don’t recommend this waterfall if you are a solo traveller. The atmosphere here can make you feel quite unsafe (it must be because there’s a cemetery nearby), and sometimes there are people (non-tourists) hanging about close to the waterfall.

So, if you are a solo traveller, especially if you are female, give this one a skip.

Can you swim in Kapena Falls?

Yes, you can swim in the base pool. The water is brown but not dirty. The bottom is rocky, though, so we think you should invest in a pair of water shoes.

Koloa Gulch


This is one of the best-hidden gems in Oahu. There are two falls, and the ravine that passes through the thick growth of foliage is absolutely beautiful. The hike to the main waterfall is about 8 miles, but if you want to visit both falls, it’s a 10-mile hike.

Also, there are parking facilities at the nearby Kokololio Beach Park.

Waimano Falls


Nestled among tall exotic trees and bushes, Waimano Falls will be a great addition to your Oahu itinerary.  Manana trail is the starting point of this moderately difficult hike. At the end of the route, you’ll find two pools you can swim in and the gushing waters of the fall.

This is a great spot for cliff jumping, but be careful of the debris, and don’t do it just because your friends dare you to!

How long is the Waimano trail?

The hike is a 2.9 miles long round trip, and it takes about one hour and forty minutes to complete the hike.

Manoa Falls

Manoa Falls


Manoa Falls is a spectacular sight of water falling down from a height of 150 feet.

Most hikers claim that this is an easy hike, and it would be if you are experienced, but if you are new to hiking, it’s going to be moderately difficult – the hike is not suitable for the elderly and young kids.

The path is well-marked, so it’s easy to navigate. Also, this is another spot that will give you Jurassic Park vibes; the film was actually shot here.

Also, don’t forget your mosquito repellent!

Is Manoa Falls still closed?

No, it’s now open to visitors.

How long is the hike the Manoa Falls hike?

The out and back trail is 1.7 miles long and can take an hour or two to complete.

Does it cost money to go to Manoa Falls?

No, the entrance is free. However, you might have to pay for parking.

Is it safe to swim in Manoa Falls?

No, it’s not, and swimming isn’t allowed.

Laie Falls

Location (Trailhead)

One of the off-the-tourist-radar waterfalls in Oahu, Laie Falls is hidden within an untouched tract of wilderness. If you want an adventure away from people, add this to your list of places to visit in Oahu.

How long is the Laie Falls hike?

The trek is 6 miles long out and back.

Do you need a permit to visit Laie Falls?

Laie Falls sits on private property owned by Hawaiian Reserves, so yes, you need a permit. But getting one is not difficult; you can apply for one online or visit the office in the Laie Shopping Centre.

Likeke Falls


Famously called the Old Pali Highway Falls, Likeke Falls is the makeup of two falls. The elevation is 200 feet, and the difficulty level is easy to medium, depending on your skill level. The path is muddy, and there are unexpected turns, so be careful if you are an inexperienced hiker.

There are two ways you can get to the falls: you can take a route along the Old Pali Highway or take the trail starting from the Ko’olau Golf Club; the latter is easier.

How long is the Likeke Falls hike?

It’s a one-mile round trip. If you take the Old Pali Highway Route, it takes about an hour and a half to complete the hike, and from the Ko’olau Golf Club, it’s about 15 minutes.

Waimea Falls

Waimea Falls Oahu


Found on the north shore within Waimea Valley, Waimea Falls is easy to get to. The waterfall has a height of 45 feet, and cliff-jumping is a popular activity – but always check the weather condition and the depth of the water before attempting a jump.

While you are here, don’t forget to explore the rest of the valley dotted with historical sites and botanic gardens.

How long is the Waimea Falls hike?

It’s 3.5 miles and can take about an hour or two to complete.

Do you have to pay for Waimea Falls?

Yes, there’s an entrance fee paid towards the maintenance of the botanic gardens.

Is Waimea Falls a difficult hike?

This hike is considered easy.

How much time do you need at Waimea Falls?

You should spend at least 2 to 4 hours exploring the valley.

Lulumahu Falls

Lulumahu Falls


Hiking to Lulumahu Falls is a great way to spend half a day in Oahu. The route is about 2 miles, lined with trees, bushes, and boulders. This is not exactly a tourist spot; it will feel like you are hiking through a rainforest, but the path is marked with ribbons.

Also, it’s important to note that if you drive here, you run the risk of getting your car broken into. A few tourists have reported similar incidents, so bear that in mind if you are planning to visit.

How long does the Lulumahu Falls hike take?

It takes about 30 minutes to get to the falls.

How difficult is the Lulumahu Falls hike?

This isn’t an easy hike. We would say that it is a great fit for adventurous hikers.

Do you need a permit for Lulumahu Falls?

Yes. You can get one from Hawai’i Reserves at the Lā’ie Shopping Center.