The Maunawili Waterfall Hike is one of my favorites.

I was 9 years old when I hiked this for the first time and went with my family and we brought our little poodle. I highly recommend the Maunawili Waterfall Hike as a must-do, whether you’re a visiting tourist or a local.

Parking & trailhead

The Maunawili Waterfall Hike is located in the Kailua area. You’ll need to take the Pali exit off the freeway and follow it until it turns into Kalanianaole Hwy, pass Auloa road on your right and take the 2nd Auloa road. You’ll reach a fork, veer left here onto Maunawili Road and follow this until you reach a residential area. You’ll see signs directing you toward the trailhead here, and I’m sure you’ll see a lot of other people headed in the same direction as well.

Trail information

The Maunawili Waterfall Hike is about 2.5 miles round trip. It can seem pretty long for little ones, but it’s worth the experience and it’ll definitely tire them out! It’s an in-n-out trail so you come out the same way you went in. The trail is pretty muddy, expectedly so. All waterfall trails are like this. I would wear shoes that can be easily cleaned or you’re ok with ruining. You’re going to be walking directly through a muddy mess so be prepared. I like to wear leggings for hiking to prevent chafing but your leggings will also be ruined, if you decide to wear them. Shorts are also a comfortable option. It would be a good idea to pack a solid supply of water because this hike can be challenging at some points. Although it’s relatively manageable, some parts are an uphill series that can tire you out quickly. Views along the hike are gorgeous and you should definitely stop and soak it all in. It would be a waste of a hike if you didn’t. The trail itself is very easy to track and follow because there are trail markers along the way, so you shouldn’t get lost. This trail also gets a lot of foot traffic and on the weekends it can get pretty packed – meaning a slim supply of parking.

Maunawili Falls #1 by 69206063@N00 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. Image may have been resized or cropped from original.

My favorite part

My favorite part of the Maunawili Waterfall Hike at the end, obviously. It really makes the entire hike worth it. Yeah you’ll get a little muddy and potentially ruin your nice nikes, but that’s ok. You’ll have a lot of fun with your friends and get some great waterfall pictures at the end for your Instagram!