Planning a trip to the Tropical islands of Hawaii but confused about things to do? Do not worry, as we bring you an ultimate guide to all the best waterfall hikes Oahu Island offers. Each location on this list offers a different experience to travelers. But one thing that is common among all of them, they are all breathtaking. So without further ado, get your hiking shoes ready as we are about to look at some of the best waterfall hikes in Oahu Islands.

Oahu Island History.  

Oahu has played center stage in a lot of seminal events in the history of Hawaii, like being the home of the Hawaiian monarchy, the tipping point of the US’s involvement in WWII, or being the birthplace of wave surfing. So, it has some important historical significance that cannot be ignored.  

One fun fact about the island is that ʻIolani Palace, or the seat of power for the Hawaiian monarch, was the first to get electricity, plumbing, phones, etc. This was even before the White House or the Buckingham Palace.

The tourist industry in Hawaii began around 1901, after the construction of the Moana Hotel on Waikīkī Beach. This opened new doors of revenue for the Hawwain people in the form of the tourist industry. Since then, the industry has grown to be a multi-million dollar industry and is estimated to grow further in the future.

Waterfalls To Visit.  

Since you are up to speed on Oahu Island and its history, let us look at some of the waterfall hikes Oahu Island has to offer. Oahu Island is primarily a volcanic island that is home to numerous waterfalls that are scattered throughout the island. Each of these waterfalls has trails leading up to them, which makes them perfect for hiking. So in this section, we will look at some of the best waterfall hikes in Oahu Island that you need to check out.

Manoa falls.  

Manoa falls

Distance: 2.7 km.

Duration: 1.5 hours.

Elevation: 193 m

It is seen as the most popular hike on the Oahu Island. Located close to Waikiki and Honolulu, this short hike is perfect for beginners. Even though the waterfall is what attracts tourists, the trail is equally beautiful as well. The trail runs parallel to a small stream and is surrounded by lush vegetation. In fact, this is also where some scenes of the cult-classic Jurrasic Park were shot, making it one of the best waterfalls on Oahu Island if you are a movie-buff.

Maunawili Falls.  

Maunawili Falls

Distance: 4.5 km

Duration: 2 hours.

Elevation: 307 m

Located near Waikiki and with a small trail of just about 2.5 miles for its round-trip. This is another popular hiking location for tourists that has become popular in recent years. During rainy seasons, the trail is known to get quite muddy. So, bring a good and hardy pair of boots. Due to growing popularity, local authorities have installed some rope swings and cliff jumps at the waterfall. Therefore, it can be safely said to be one of the more popular Honolulu waterfalls that you can visit.

Kaau Crater Hike.   

Kaau Crater Hike

Distance: 7.5 km

Duration: 5 hours

Elevation:  600 m

Slowly, we are venturing into the territories of difficult hiking trails. Featuring a humongous volcanic crater along with waterfalls, rope climbing, and a magnificent panoramic view. This volcano is among the best waterfall hikes on Oahu Island if you are looking for something challenging and equally rewarding. Located on the south side of the Island, it is filled with lush vegetation and, at times, 30-degree inclination climbs, this is certainly not for the weak. However, once you overcome the trial, you will understand why it is lauded as one of the more prominent waterfall hikes Oahu has to offer.

Li’keke Falls.  

Li’keke Falls

Distance: 1.3 km

Duration: 1 hour

Elevation: 63 m

One of the shortest Oahu waterfalls hikes on this list, but it is equally impressive. The hike starts from Pali Lookout parking and is about 1.3 km for the round trip. Therefore, this is a perfect one for somebody who does not want to invest half a day. Still, if you are an adventure junkie, then you are lucky. There is another 9.3 km long trail, and it also takes you to the waterfall. So making it one of the more versatile waterfalls Honolulu brings to the table.

Alapena Pool and Kapena Falls Trail.  

Alapena Pool and Kapena Falls Trail

Distance: 5 km

Duration: 30 minutes

Elevation: 30 m

If you liked Manoa Falls for having related to the Jurassic Park movie, then you would absolutely love this waterfall hike. Filled with huge boulders, dangling vines, and an insane amount of vegetation, this looks like a scene out of the movie. This hike is not as famous as others on the list, but if you want some peace and quiet, then this is the best waterfall in Oahu for you.

Honorable Mentions.  

So, now that you know some of the best waterfall hikes in Oahu, you can plan your visits accordingly. However, apart from the ones featured in the list, there are a few other honorable mentions that you can check out if the usual dose does not quench your thirst. So here are some of the more underrated waterfall hikes Oahu Island has to offer:

  • Laie Falls trail. (Distance:12.7 km)
  • Waipahu Falls. (Distance: 1 km)
  • Lulumahu Falls hike. (Distance:3.2 km)
  • Waimano Falls. (Distance: 4.7 km)

Final thought.

So, are you ready to take a beautiful trip down to the Islands of Hawaii and experience some of the most breathtaking sceneries and waterfall hikes Oahu Islands offer to its tourist. Each of these locations is a high-risk and high-reward kind of location where it would take physical toil to reach the top. But, once you conquer the trail and reach the final destination, you will know why you worked hard. Offering breathtaking scenery and lush vegetation, it is closest to what paradise might look like.

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