Makaua Falls


"Go on adventures not to escape life, but for life not to escape us."

Updated: January 7, 2016

Location: This hike is located in Kaaawa close to the Crouching Lion Hike. The waterfall is deep in the valley is actually just below the Pu'u Manamana Ridge line.

Type: Waterfall hike

Hike Difficulty: Intermediate

Total Time: 3 to 4 hours



Things to Consider

  • Kid friendly: no
  • Pet Friendly: no
  • This hike passes by a neighborhood so be courteous to the people who live there.
  • If after 5 to 10 minutes the stream is still dry, don't continue because the falls will also be dry.
  • Bring bug spray. The weather is really humid and muggy so there are a lot of mosquitoes.
  • This hike doesn't have much trail markers, but you just follow the stream and you will end up at the falls.
  • Prepare to get wet. Some parts require climbing waterfalls so you will get wet. Some of the pools are also up to waist height in depth.

Your hiking backpack

  • Bug spray
  • 2 Liters of water
  • Snacks (I packed some Cliff Bars and granola bars)
  • GoPro/waterproof camera
  • Extra clothes
  • Towel
  • Reef shoes (rocks are slippery with moss)


Take Kamehameha Hwy towards Kaaawa. Then park at Swanzy Beach Park. Continue walking on Kamehameha Hwy past the basketball courts and then cross the street. Continue on the road then take a left into the neighborhood on to Huamalani Road. If you reach the Crouching Lion Inn you have gone too far. At the end of the road, you will see a trail through the brush.

Our Journey

 I have seen this falls for quite some time now and always wondered where it was. Luckily, one of my buddies knew and had been there before. It had been raining for a while and he said it should be flowing. So we decided to head to Kaaawa to find the Crouching Lion waterfall. We parked at Swanzy Beach park and walked towards Crouching Lion Inn. Then a couple of streets down is where you turn left into the neighborhood. The neighbors were nice and told us to have a great hike! They must've thought we were going to Kahekili, because the hike to the falls was difficult. It wasn't difficult like tiring and strenuous, it was difficult because of the waterfall climbing and rock hopping. It made the short, couple mile hike turn into a long couple of hours. Take your time while climbing waterfalls and try not to fall like my friend did! Also take your time walking on the rocks with moss because they are slippery. But once you see the waterfall, it will all be worth it. Waterfalls on this side of the island is like nothing else on Oahu because of the height and the narrowness of the valleys. It is definitely a hike to do if you want a great epic adventure!






















All smiles before we knew what we were getting ourselves into!






















The opening in the brush marks the start of the trail.




















Going left here will take you up to Kahekili Ridge. Continuing straight will take you to Makaua Falls.






















Check to see if there is some water flowing in the stream before continuing on.






















The trail follows the stream. You can see the water flowing a little bit on the right.






















Pu'u Manamana and the Crouching Lion hike is up on the ridge in the background.






















There's a lot of rock hopping and stream crossing on this hike.






















Making our way up the rocks.






















A beautiful swimming hole along the way.






















Wow we encountered some crazy tree roots!






















Some parts of the hike, you have no choice but to get your feet wet.






















A fallen tree from up top. Watch out for falling rocks depending on the weather conditions.






















Climbing up the first waterfall.






















Not too difficult with the help of ropes.





















The second part was a little more difficult. And the fallen tree can also help with foot holds if you have a hard time.






















Right foot there! Left foot down there.





























Sick view from on top though of the narrow valley!






















Another pool just before the final falls!





























Feeling like a beast after getting to this falls!





























Group hug after reaching the falls! Lol






















Take a look back at all the rocks we had to hop to get to the last falls.





























A last look at the beautiful Maakua Falls before heading back!

Add a comment about this post! Was it helpful? Love the hike? Comment below.

Follow us for more adventures!!!
Tumblr About Us Facebook
Privacy Policy