Most of you don’t know, but my husband served in the US Marine Corps. We were blessed to be stationed in Kaneohe Bay Hawai’i (MCBH). During the 3 1/2 years we were stationed there, I was blessed to be able to stay home with my (at the time) two kids. This beautiful island is where I found my love for hiking!
On our honeymoon, my husband took me to Maunawili falls. This hike was a tough but oh so rewarding hike!
I mean, just the drive there was breathtaking! Ko’olau Range is something that MUST be seen in person!
This trail is roughly a 3 mile heavily trafficked out and back hike. Regardless of the time of year you go, you are going to run into mud. Rainy season will be extra muddy of course, so be sure to bring proper shoes, water, and bug spray!
It starts off in a quiet neighborhood filled with beautiful homes. There is a small bend in the curve at the start of the neighborhood and that is where you will find the trail head for the falls. You’re going to walk about 100 yards or so before you will need to head up a small hill. For the most part, you will be doing a lot of up hill climbing. Over tree roots, steps, and beautiful baby streams.
You will make a climb up a set of stairs and at the top you will reach a plateau with amazing views of the valley and surrounding area. This is where you will want to take a break in the breeze, eat a snack, and snap as many pictures as you can. When you are ready to keep trekking, you will want to take the stairs leading down. Most hikers tend to keep going straight, however as I experienced this isn’t the right way.
Once you have made it down the set of steep stairs, it curves to the right. Not much farther and you will be at the falls themselves!
Here you can swim in the falls, however you DO NOT want to drink the water. There are signs posted everywhere informing you of the dangers. If you are brave, you can swim across and jump off the falls. My husband likes to do backflips off the top. There are also two trails leading on each side of the falls where you can jump 20/25 feet off the ledge and dive into the swimming hole. Be sure to hold onto your camera and shorts because it’s a hard fall. Make sure to keep your shoes on! From here you can go back the same way you came down or….
IF you are feeling adventuress, like we were. After you have experienced all of the falls you can climb up the falls and continue hiking. From here we just followed what seemed to be the only path up there. You’ll have another set of falls and heavily dense jungle. After about ten minutes of hiking, we came along this very sketchy bridge. We were all in awe of the sites we had taken in that we didn’t back down from crossing.
Be careful when crossing, there are a lot of missing and broken slats. We chose to walk along the metal edge of the bridge. Once we all made it safely off the bridge we followed a metal pipe all the way until we hit the stream again. From here we found the famous “Moss Slides”. The moss slides were so much fun, we spent a good hour on just sliding down all the rocks we could find. (Note: you will want to wear longer shorts.)
From here we followed the stream down and back to the initial stream you cross around the start of the hike. Altogether we spent about 4 hours hiking that day, but it was so worth it! There is so much to see and do on this hike and this was one of the best days I had had on island thus far!
My hope is that one day you could experience this too, Mahalo for reading!