March 17, 2018

Manoa Falls Trail :: Best waterfall hikes on Oahu :: Hawaii

Manoa Falls Trail: Waterfall hike in Oahu, Hawaii


Manoa Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls on Oahu.

To reach these Oahu waterfalls, you’ll need to get there by foot. There is a hiking trail that will lead you there.

The Manoa Falls Trail will offer you a change in scenery from Waikiki and Honolulu. There’s an abundance and variety of plant life to take in as you make your way to the waterfalls.

This is also an area that’s said to have been the filming location for a few scenes of several high profile shows, including Jurassic Park, Lost, and Hawaii Five-0!

What can you find on the trail?

Here are some parts of the Manoa Falls Trail that may be of interest:

  • Eucalyptus forest
  • Hau forest
  • Banyan arch
  • Bamboo forest
  • Manoa Falls – the destination waterfalls!

This is just some of what you can look forward to on the Manoa Falls Trail!

Best short hikes with scenic views on Oahu

what to pack for hiking in hawaii >> what to wear hikingbest shoes for hiking

near manoa falls trail >> things to do on waikiki beachthings to do in central oahu

Side note!
If you'll be snorkeling on your next vacation, consider wearing these types of UV swim shirts. Also see about what to pack for Hawaii for hiking, snorkeling, and more essentials! And for Hawaii vacation ideas, see the best things to do in Oahu that will give you Hawaii vibes!

Scenes from Manoa Falls Trail

Manoa Falls Trail: Jungle hike, forest hike, waterfall hike in Oahu, Hawaii!

Manoa Falls Trail: Banyan trees, Oahu, Hawaii

Manoa Falls Trails: Stairs on hiking trail, Oahu, Hawaii

Manoa Falls Trail: Forest hike in Oahu, Hawaii

Manoa Falls Trail: Jungle hike in Oahu, Hawaii

The destination of the hike: Waterfalls!

Manoa Falls Trail: Waterfall hike and waterfalls in Oahu, Hawaii

Can you go swimming at Manoa Falls?

Swimming is technically off limits at these waterfalls. At the start of the trail, there’s a sign that tells you not to swim in the stream or waterfalls.

On top of that, in order to reach the pond at the bottom of Manoa Falls, you’ll have to go into a roped off area. The reason there’s a danger sign up is because of the risk of falling rocks.

That said, you will frequently find this sign ignored, and there are many hikers who go past the sign to the bottom of the waterfalls.

If you choose to ignore the sign too, do so at your own risk!

Another thing worth mentioning is that Hawaii is home to a dangerous bacteria that can be found in fresh water. This means that fresh water swimming is generally discouraged if you have open wounds.

Here are more tips for hiking in Hawaii.

Manoa Falls Trail: Waterfall swimming on Oahu, Hawaii

What’s the distance of this hiking trail?

It’s a little under a mile to reach the waterfalls from the start of the trail, so it’s just under 2 miles round trip.

How much time do you need to complete the trail?

To hike this trail at a leisurely pace and enjoy your surroundings, consider giving yourself 1-2 hours to complete the trail.

How far is Manoa Falls from Waikiki?

These waterfalls are somewhat near Waikiki and Honolulu. It’s about 5 miles away.

So, how to get to Manoa Falls?

You have two main options of getting to Manoa Falls from Waikiki:

  • Driving there
  • Taking the bus there

Driving to Manoa Falls

It’ll depend on where exactly in Waikiki or Honolulu you’re coming from. But if you have a car, it’ll likely take you 20-30 minutes to reach Manoa Falls Trail from Waikiki.

Here’s more info about Manoa Falls parking and driving there.

Taking the bus to Manoa Falls

Once again, it will depend on where you’re staying. But your time on the bus will likely be 20-30 minutes. This time doesn’t factor in the timing spent waiting for the bus, the wait time if you need a bus transfer, or the extra walking involved to the start of the trailhead.

From the time you leave your hotel in Waikiki until the time you get to the start of the Manoa Falls Trail, it might be closer to an hour.

Here’s more info about taking the bus to Manoa Falls.


Hawaii can get hot. A hike to Manoa Falls means that you’ll be sweating. Maybe a lot.

For any hike in Hawaii, even if you’re going to be on the trail for less than an hour, it’s always a very good idea to take water to make sure you stay well-hydrated and SAFE! And since you will likely be on the Manoa Falls Trail for more than an hour, this means that you should really consider bringing along water!

This is a popular water bottle in Hawaii. It is a bit heavy (and expensive) but it keeps cold drinks cold!

Here are some travel-friendly water bottles.

And here are some small backpacks to take a look at to pack along those extra snacks. Because snacks are also a very good idea when you’re hitting the trails in Hawaii.

For the Manoa Falls Trail, there are times that it can get a little buggy, so you may also consider bringing along some travel-friendly bug repellent wipes or spray like these.

You may also want to have some extra socks too, as well as your sandals to change into after the hike, just in case you encounter a muddy trail. There are times that the Manoa Falls Trail can get a little muddy.


Manoa Falls Trail: Waterfall hike and waterfalls in Oahu, Hawaii


what to wear in hawaii >> what to wear hikingwhat to wear snorkeling

more things to do on oahu | map >> more things to do on waikiki beachmore things to do in central oahu

best short hikes on oahu

There are affiliate links on this page. Among other partners, as an Amazon Associate, I may receive a commission.

Best shoes for your active vacation

Hit search at the top for any of these items to get more variety on Amazon through these affiliate links!
- Walking: These types of hiking sandals. For walking in hot weather, they are more breathable than shoes, while still giving you necessary traction on the trails. Also see more about the best shoes for hiking in Hawaii.
- Beach: These types of beach shoes. For beach walking, wading in the water, and rocky shorelines, they can prevent cuts from hidden rocks or when bumping into coral reef.

Swimwear for snorkeling and beach

- These UV protection shirts are a hit so you don't have to keep re-applying sunscreen and don't have to worry as much about getting sunburn!

see more:
- What to wear hiking
- What to wear snorkeling