Join the largest community of outdoor enthusiasts.

Get Started

Upgrade to Pro

Unlimited access to National Geographic TOPO! & Trails Illustrated Maps

Learn More »

This is an amazing hike with three waterfalls and gorgeous views of Honolulu, Kaneohe, Kailua, Diamond Head, and Ka'au Crater

Share your experience to help other people learn more about this trail:

Write ReviewUpload PhotosUpload Tracks

Brad Lawson (136)

1 Completed1 Reviews

Just wrote a long, detailed review but it got deleted when I clicked the "Upload Photos" button without first saving it.

Anyway, here's a condensed version...

Did this hike the day after a pretty rainy winter day. Conditions were clear when we went and I'd say this is the single most important thing to consider when doing this hike. As far as difficulty goes, I'm a 25-year-old pro athlete and this thing still kicked my butt! Hamstrings are blasted today ;)

At the very top beyond the third waterfall, there's a trail split. Take the right one and you'll go up and around the Ka'au Crater ridge. It's pretty gnarly and you wanna make sure you give yourself time and go slow. We got there a little after 3pm and still were questioning whether we had enough time. However, this is the best part of the hike because it takes you to spots where you can see both the Windward and Leeward sides of the island. Epic views of Kaneohe, Kailua, and Honolulu all at the same time.

Some necessities include water, good hiking shoes, long pants (for getting through brush and some overgrowth as well as gravelly/muddy sections), hiking gloves (your hands will thank you! I didn't wear any...whoops), snacks/bars, a rain jacket, and plenty of time. You absolutely don't want to get stuck on the ridge so give yourself more time if you want to complete the ridge loop.

Overall, great (but very challenging) hike! Just wait for a clear day, come prepared, and give yourself plenty of time. Aloha!

ONeil L (197)

4 Completed3 Reviews

Beautiful waterfalls. Treacherous terrain once you start getting towards the top. Plenty of mud with many paths being two feet wide. Do not bring small children, you will regret it!!

Kolton Fields (36)

1 Completed1 Reviews

I like a dis;)

Alexandra Barnes (195)

10 Completed1 Reviews

Just got back to the car after doing this one. Hardest "hike" I have ever done. The terrain is the worst I have ever encountered with some of the trail totally gone from mudslides. There was mud everywhere. You had to inch walk/crawl over slippery rocks or break your ankle. The third waterfall is a little bastard! You better have some rock climbing skills because the rope doesn't help much. As for the climb down, suck it. It took us TEN HOURS to complete. It was dark when we finally got out of that hell hole. Thinking of doing this hike? Think again.

Aid Anderson (38)

3 Completed1 Reviews

Most challenging hike I've ever done. It rained on the way there, that was an ominous sign. But we touched it out. We did the 3 waterfalls, the crater and the summit. Take yak trax, climbing gloves and definitely wear long pants! Minimus shoes are also a must!

Alexandra Madden (1296)

30 Completed7 Reviews

A challenge, muddy, and fun.

Travis H (63)

4 Completed3 Reviews

Carly I. (126)

20 Completed2 Reviews

Amazing hike. I grew up visiting my family in Palolo several times a year and always wondered about the mountains in the back of the valley. We went when it was relatively dry so I can't imagine how dangerous this would be when it's been raining a lot. Can get very slippery in many spots, so just take your time. The trailhead is located just behind the line of mailboxes and right before the last driveway (you'll see No Trespassing signs and barking dogs). It doesn't look like a trailhead but it's there behind the bushes and trees. You immediately descend to the creek and follow along that to a water pipeline to the first waterfall. The climb to the second waterfall involves ropes but it's not hard. The only difficult part we ran into was right before the third waterfall when coming down a sharp drop with two ropes and very few footholds. After that, the climb up the third waterfall is a lot of fun. I'm terrified of heights but I force myself to do these kind hikes to deal with it! At the top of the third waterfall you can go right to get to the summit or take the trail to the left and up on the ridge. We didn't have time to do the summit so we went left and hiked for a short time before turning back. What we didn't know is that had we continued on our trail, we could keep going and hook up with another trail that would take us back down into the valley on a loop. Bummer, so we will do that next time. My advice - bring climbing gloves, at least 2 litres of water per person (more if it's hot), and good flexible shoes. I wore Merrell hiking sandals and they worked fine but next time I may use my Vibram Five Fingers for a better grip. You may spend time shimmying on your butt, too, so capri length pants/longer shorts are a good idea. Passed a woman wearing crossfit booty shorts and her rear probably got plenty scraped up. But hey, if you look good why not lol! I wouldn't recommend this for beginner/casual hikers.

Kevin McMahon (103)

17 Completed2 Reviews

Probably my favorite hike I've ever done. You have normal walking. Waterfalls. Climbing up and next to the waterfalls. A crater up top a mountain. A view of both sides of the island. Mud slides. Crater walking. Ropes. And downhill fun. This is not the worlds easiest hike but is an amazing accomplishment when you're finished.

Tia Yamashiro (232)

10 Completed7 Reviews

Longest hike I have ever done! & I have hiked many times before this one. It's easy to get to the 3 waterfalls. It takes about an hour to get to the first waterfall and the next 2 are close by. If you're not planning to hike all day, I recommend just hiking to the waterfalls. I kind of got lost after the third waterfall. So make sure you know where to go after that if you plan to hike more. I ended up going up the ridge to the right. Nice view and fun sliding down. Bring lots of water, snacks, and wear long pants.

Support