Located at the back of Honolulu’s lush Manoa Valley, Manoa Falls is a 150 ft. waterfall which is accessible by a one-hour hike. It’s the perfect distance for those wanting an easy workout, and it’s close enough to the city that you can squeeze in a visit if you only have a couple of hours.
Parking for the falls is $5 and is in the parking lot by the Rainbow’s End snack shop, and this moderate trail weaves its way between swaying stands of creaking bamboo and the sweet scent of eucalyptus. After .8 miles the trail emerges at majestic Manoa Falls, and the flow is highly dependent upon the amount of recent rainfall. On some days this can be a thundering torrent of jungle whitewater, whereas on other days (particularly in summer) the falls can be reduced to little more than a trickle.
Regardless of season, however, the shaded trail is often wet, and mud can line the narrow trail during pretty much every day of the year. Expect to get dirty and expect to get wet, and be sure to protect yourself from the mosquitoes which can occasionally gather in the shade. This area is also popular with wild boar hunters, so it’s a good idea to take the family pet elsewhere if you’re hoping to bring it out for a stroll.
Despite the nuisances, however, Manoa Falls is one of the most popular hikes in the Honolulu area, and is a great way for delving back into the mountains without having to venture too far off of the urban path.