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Kailua, Hawaii, United States

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Manoa Valley Hike -- Manoa Falls, Aihualama Trail, Waiakeakua Stream and Falls

The Manoa Falls Trail is probably the most well known trail on Oahu. I've taken every visitor we've had to the Manoa Falls I think. I knew that there were a couple of other hikes that could be taken in the same area, so I headed up there to explore something new. The report I found online told me to turn right after the first concrete bridge as you enter the hike. Well, at the first (and only) concrete bridge there was no way to turn right! I looked all over but still couldn't find any sort of path leading off the main trail. I decided to walk up to Manoa Falls, and then try the Aihualama Trail that leads away from it. Manoa Fall had hardly any water, didn't even bother to take a picture since I have some from other trips.

I headed up the Aihualama Trail, for the first half mile or so it was wide, graded and not too steep. Eventually though I reached a place where the "trail" was really just a boulder climb in a gulch. That wouldn't have been so bad but it was really steep! There were two Chinese girls hiking in front of me. I passed them after a while and not too long later I saw them turn around and head back down the mountain. I wasn't exactly thrilled with the hike either, so I called my friend Celia at school to see where she hikes at Manoa. (She told me before that she goes on another trail that has a waterfall) She gave me the basic directions and I headed back down the mountain, past Manoa Falls and down the trail to the beginning again. From there I walked a few blocks until I found what I thought was the trail she had told me about.

It started off as an abandoned road, then a dirt road, passed several dilapidated old structures and then went through an orchard of trees that I didn't recognize. After looking at them a while as I walked, I saw one had flowers. I don't know the name of the flower, but it is one that is grown to make flower leis with. The road turned into a trail and headed into the jungle. It was a really nice walk through the forest, not too steep, not too muddy. The path stayed right next to the stream which was flowing well. Lots of nice pools, little sections of rapids and dropoffs, finally leading to a couple of small waterfalls and one big one. Not a huge amount of water coming down the big one, but no matter, it was a really pretty spot. Definitely one of my favorite hike endings!

The funny thing is this...it wasn't Celia's hike at all! I talked to her when I came back and her hike was the next road down, she had never been on the one I had just done. I haven't seen it in any guidebooks or even online, so it is definitely a good find! A very nice hiking day for sure. Make sure and open up the pics on this page, you really need to see them bigger to appreciate how pretty it was!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This waterfall is Nani'uapo Falls; Waiakeakua is the Eastern-most waterfall in Manoa Valley.