Upper Manoa Falls


"If you wanna go fast, go alone. If you wanna go far, go together."

Updated: January 1, 2016

Location: One of the seven waterfalls deep in Manoa Valley. Upper Manoa Falls is just above the well known Manoa Falls and there are great views of Manoa Valley.

Type: Waterfall Hike

Hike Difficulty: Intermediate

Total Time: 1 hour

Distance: 2 miles round trip.


Things to Consider

  • Kid friendly: no
  • Pet Friendly: no
  • Bring bug spray. There are lots of mosquitoes. Especially in the rainy weather.
  • The hike can be dangerous in the rain and very slippery on the steep parts climbing up.
  • There are more waterfalls further up,  but the trail gets extremely steep and dangerous past the second falls.
  • Parking at Manoa Falls is $5.
  • They sell rain panchos and snacks if you head a little back to the shop. Definitely a good idea if you forgot one.

Your hiking backpack

  • Bug Spray
  • 1 Liter of water
  • Snacks
  • GoPro/waterproof camera
  • Pancho or rain jacket (Manoa is usually always raining.)
  • Extra clothes
  • Towel


Take Manoa Rd all the way up until you pass Paradise Park. Parking lot will be right after and can fit maybe 20 cars at most. Parking is $5 so go early if you want to get a spot as lots of tourists come to this hike. To get to the upper falls, you need to head up the Aihualama Trail and then veer off the right side and climb up a tree. There are some ropes now to help you on the climb up.

Our Journey

This hike is a short and beautiful hike with views of Manoa Valley. The hike to Manoa Falls is simple and with little to no inclines the whole way. The Manoa Falls Trail has a lot of foot traffic and tourists. You may see kids and pets hiking along the trail as well. The lower falls is beautiful and there is a small pool at the bottom. There is ropes to show that it is off limits, but people still go in and swim and to take pictures. Head back to the Aihualama Trail and keep your eye out on the right when heading up the trail because if your not looking, you can miss the trail leading to the tree. You will see a short and faint trail leading up past a fence, and then finally a tree growing on a huge boulder. There are now different ways of getting up and ropes to help the climb. Once you get up, you just follow along the mountain back to Manoa Falls and you will find yourself on top the lower falls! It is a different feeling from hiking in the valley, as opposed to being on top of the valley looking out to the city. I have hiked this multiple times, when the falls was a trickle and even when the falls was raging and we all got soaked. Once you start heading up the trail to the upper falls, it can get a little difficult. Do not bring your kids or pets to the upper falls. Be cautious, especially when it is raining. You also need to cross the stream on top, so it is extremely dangerous if it is raining hard or during a flash flood warning. Have fun exploring the island and please pick up your trash and leave the hike how you found it or in better condition.






















This is the tree we climbed after the fence.






















Going up! Lol






















It's a little steep and there were no ropes when I went! Just relying on roots!






















Past the tree, a little more up then head right.






















And finally at the top. There was a lonely rope to help the final climb.






















After heading right, you will see the stream and a clearing in the brush.






















After 15 to 20 minutes of scrambling up tree roots and boulders!




























Even just trickling, the waterfall is still amazing!






















And here's a shot of when the falls was raging!






















Living life on the edge!






















Soaking it all in with the crew!




























The view is so calm and soothing. The water is relaxing.




























You can see past Manoa Valley all the way to the city!




























Taking a dip in the pool right by the falls!






















Looking down the lower Manoa Falls, you can see the people below! Wave hi!






















Up the right side of the upper falls is actually a trail to even more waterfall bases. There is said to be seven to ten more. However, I haven't ventured past the second one. Heading past the third and forth one is total chaos and almost impossible without equipment.






















A final look at the pool just below the upper Manoa Falls before heading back!

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