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

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Jessica Montalvo (325)

17 Completed1 Reviews

Matt D (36)

1 Completed1 Reviews

Muddy, challenging, and well worth it. I would not recommend the entire hike for children, beginners, or those inexperienced with rope climbing. The first waterfall isn't bad to get to but after that it gets more and more challenging. I took the west side of the crater back down because no way in hell was I trying to go back down the 7 rope set at the third waterfall. Wear proper hiking shoes (waterproof is highly recommended) and bring a camera.

dan Klein (1923)

35 Completed15 Reviews

A really beautiful hike, but I would recommend to play it safe. Take this one on a dry day, hopefully following a couple dry days… The water flows down the falls will not be as impressive, but the trail will be much less muddy and slippery… Which can get a little dangerous on this one. The section where you literally climb up the waterfall is a really nice experience, and the Caldera that you reach on this hike feels a little bit out of place to find a perfectly flat area in the middle of the rugged Ko'olaus. When you first enter the trail it's got a definite Jurassic Park feel, take the trail counterclockwise.

Chelsie Moore (298)

3 Completed4 Reviews

Every website I read made me kind of intimidated of this hike but it was actually not as bad as I though it would be. Also, whatever trash you take in, TAKE OUT! NO LITTERING!

If you plan to do the loop:
-Bring enough water for 4-6 hours (I took about 6 hours cuz of all our dilly-dallying)
-Shoes with good tread will be very useful
-Pants are suggested but only for the ferns and other brush at the top
-Gloves with grip are suggested for the ropes (I was thankful I had some)
-Always have a first aid handy
-Mosquito repellent
-Snacks :)

Directions: Google map "Waiomao rd" and drive to the end (you may feel like you drove too far but you're not). You'll pass a couple of temples along the way- one that looks like a temple and the other just looks like a really long house with a huge green front yard- and stop before the "Private Property" sign on the post and park on the side

Trailhead: you'll have to go behind some mailboxes and a sign that says "HIKERS trail start and finishes at mailboxes. Please respect residents"

Parking: there is enough parking for about 5-6 cars so go early to get a spot. Carpooling is suggested.

The hike is very beautiful and very worth it but it is strenuous and can be dangerous if you are not careful. Just follow the orange markers and you'll be fine. You will have to cross the river a number of times before reaching the big pipe, and when you get to the pipe just follow that all the way to the first falls- it will take you and feel like long while before getting there. When you come across the first rope (which is small) the falls is about 10-15 min after that.

The Climb up:
All of the rope climbing really isn't that bad. I have barely any arm strength and weigh 220 lbs. and I did it lol.
The rope to the top of the first falls is on the left, the rope to the top of second is on the right and the rope for the third starts on the left but switches between both sides as you climb. The third waterfall is one long, kinda gradual, falls consisting of 5 sets of falling water.

When you get to the top of the falls:
LEFT: takes you to the top and goes back down to the valley river you walk on in the beginning and you follow that back out.
RIGHT: Takes you up to the summit
MIDDLE: Goes nowhere.

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 (215)

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 (1301)

31 Completed7 Reviews

A challenge, muddy, and fun.

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