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Hawaiian Adventures — Waterfalls, Part II

May 4, 2012

Just wanted to share the view of a couple more falls I hiked to while on Oahu …

Maunawili Falls

The trail to Maunawili Falls starts on the edge of a residential area and climbs into the Ko’olau Mountain that rims the Maunawili Valley. Like the trail to Manoa Falls, the hike winds through a beautiful rainforest. The trail is muddy and stumbles over rocks, boulders and tree roots. The trail is lined by ginger, Heliconia and banana trees, as well as wild a few coffee plants (as a coffee lover, I particularly enjoyed this). The trail crosses a meandering river several times (helpful hint: waterproof hiking boots are no longer waterproof once you’ve submerged them in stream — you’re welcome) and is filled with mosquitos.

While considered a “user-friendly’ hike, it is definitely not for novices or those who have knee or hip issues. Some of the climbs can be steep and slippery. The trail between the falls and the trail that rims the valley is 110 feet almost straight up, and there are several areas that require you to navigate boulders and steep drops.

The payoff, though, is a beautiful fall that drops to a pool in which you can swim. You just have to be careful not to drink any of the water while you swim. The water is tainted with leptospirosis from feral pigs that frequent the watershed.

Waimea Valley Falls

Waimea Valley Falls is located in — what else — Waimea Valley. The valley is on the North Shore of Oahu and used to be home to some adventure park (in 1792, British Royal Navy members of Capt. George Vancouver’s ship were enticed into the little valley and killed for their weapons). The adventure park was eventually dismantled and the valley was turned into a botanical garden.

The hike to the falls was one of the easiest I encountered on my entire trip. While you can take side trips along the river bed (where you will get eaten by mosquitos if you’re not careful), you can choose to hike to the falls on a paved road.

Visitors can swim under the falls (when life guards are present) and life jackets are available — and required — for children who want to splash around in the pool.

In the next few days, I will post pictures of the flowers I found within the botanical garden. While others wanted only to hike straight to the falls so they could go swimming, I was focused on taking all the pictures I could along the way.

From → Random Beauty

  1. Loved all your shots! They looked great! =)

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