Maunawili Falls

If you’ve ever been to Honolulu, you know how fast paced and hectic the city can seem at times. The city culture can feel overpowering and with all the beauty surrounding it, it’s natural to feel the urge to get past the concrete jungle and be absorbed by Hawaii’s beauty. One of the great things about Oahu is that just a quick drive towards the mountains takes you away from all of the hustle and bustle and make you wonder if you went back in time 100 years ago. Oahu has countless hikes through the mountains and valleys. One of the most renowned hikes is just outside the city, Maunawili Falls, just on the other side of the mountains from Honolulu. A quick drive towards the outskirts of the city and you’ll find yourself in the middle of one of the most lush and tranquil places on the island. The hike is relatively simple and can be enjoyed by hikers of all skill levels. The landscape of the trail is one of the most beautiful and picturesque hikes Oahu has to offer. The 1.6 mile path takes you along the river towards the falls and gives you an authentic Hawaiian jungle scenery. You’ll need to learn to enjoy your muddy and wet shoes as you have to pass thru various riverbeds while also being on the rainiest side of the island. Make sure you embrace the moisture since it is the reason for the abundant beauty of thriving plant life. Along the hike you can enjoy the view of various local vegetation, and stop to grab some Lilikoi from the trees for a refreshing snack. One point of the hike will take you to a clearing that offers a great view of the Ko’olau Mountain range and overlooking tlooking the east side of the island. The ultimate reward lies at the end of the trail where you’ll find a beautiful waterfall and swimming hole. Here’s a great place to hang out, eat some lunch and allow yourself to enjoy the invigorating cool water that runs from the mountain. If you’re feeling adventurous you can try jumping off the different cliffs that surround the pool at the bottom of the falls. It’s some added fun for the more experienced hiker that needs some climbing skills to get to the 20 foot cliff jump and a little more courage to tackle the 40 foot jump. After you’ve had enough time relaxing at enjoying the falls, you can hike back the way you came and tell the other approaching hikers what a treat they’re in for at the falls. When you finish, you’ll be tired, dirty and muddy but you’ll leave with the appreciation for Hawaii that no one should ever lose. by Tony Pullella