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2. Manoa Falls Trail

Waterfall at the end of the Manoa Falls Trail in Oahu, Hawaii
Manoa Falls and the surrounding area receive rainfall practically every day, which can sometimes even lead to flash floods.

A couple of miles east of downtown Honolulu lies the Manoa Valley, a richly vegetated residential area and home to one of Oahu’s easiest and most popular hikes. To reach the eponymous 150-foot waterfall waiting at the end, you’ll have to follow a wide path that’s recently been renovated to accommodate two-lane traffic.

From the starting trailhead, a rushing stream will lead you into a dense eucalyptus grove, a great example of Hawaii’s diverse microclimates—even when Honolulu is sizzling hot and bone dry, deep in the valley it will be drizzly. That’s why many different species of birds, fish, insects and frogs call the Manoa Valley home. It’s also not uncommon to see rainbows while you’re hiking.

As the trail gradually ascends, it will eventually reach a set of stairs that lead to a boardwalk surrounded by a bamboo thicket. By now, you’ll be within earshot of the Manoa Falls, whose plummeting torrent waits at the end. To ensure the best possible experience, try to hike this trail after rain has fed the waterfall.

About the author
Nandor Szotak
Hawaii hiking guide and founder of Hungaro Explorer

Nandor is an avid hiker on Oahu and owner of Hungaro Explorer. Hawaii has been home for many years and in that time he has volunteered in a Hawaiian trail and mountain club, volunteered as search and rescue, and has helped with local trail maintenance. Whenever he is in nature, Nandor's first priority is respecting the land he is on and the people who lived there long before him.

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