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Makaha Icy Ponds


" Every morning you have two choices: continue to sleep with your dreams or wake up and chase them."

Updated: March 21, 2017

Location: The Makaha Icy Ponds are located just behind the Makaha Valley Towers.

Type: Forest hike

Hike Difficulty: Easy

Total Time: 2 to 3 hours.

Distance: ~3.5 miles

Elevation: ~800 feet

Things to Consider

  • Kid friendly: yes
  • Pet Friendly: yes
  • The waterfall only flows after a good rain, so beware that the pool could be dry at times.
  • This hike is illegal and you need to cross a no trespassing sign. Hike at your own risk. The security by the guard post might stop you.
  • The Waianae side is extremely hot so be sure to bring sun screen.
  • There are mosquitoes on this hike so make sure to bring mosquito repellent.
  • The forest portion of the hike can be very confusing if you don't know where you are going. Update: There is an easier route turning right into the forest after a couple of minutes from the gate.
  • If the stream at the first crossing is dry, turn around because the pond will be dry and stagnant as well.
  • The water flows blue and extremely cold. Bring a towel!
  • There are a couple of spots where you can jump from. The pond itself is less than ten feet deep, depending on the flow of the water.
  • There is also an ancient Heiau along the way. Pay your respects if you come across it.
  • You will also stumble upon a tree house on this hike!

Your hiking backpack

  • Sun Screen
  • Mosquito Repellent
  • 2 Liter of water
  • Snacks
  • Head lamp
  • Towel/Extra Clothes
  • GoPro/camera for beautiful pictures of the West side!


Take Farrington Hwy towards Waianae and head towards Makaha. Turn onto Makaha Valley Road and follow the road all the way to Makaha Valley Towers on Kili Drive. However, there is no parking along the road, so we caught the bus from the corner by the 7-11. We took Bus 40.

Our Journey

Who knew that there was a waterfall and pond in Makaha? The West side is known to be dry and barren, however this hidden gem is one of the only places to cool off deep in Waianae Valley. We headed off towards Makaha since it had been raining for a couple of days. We parked our car at the parking lot across from 7-11 by the grocery store. There is a bus stop right in front and we waited for Bus 40 to Makaha Valley Towers. Some of my friends said they parked on the side of the road right by the trail. However, when I scoped it out, there were "No parking at anytime" signs all over. I didn't want to chance it, so we caught the bus. As you get off the bus stop, you will notice on the right side, a gate with a no trespassing sign. Every time you see a sign like this, you should know that there is a hidden hike there! We followed the paved road for some time. The first time we did this hike, we took every single trail down the right side, because we had no idea which trail was the correct one. After about 3 or 4 failed attempts and about 30 minutes of walking, we seen this broken pole with a ribbon on it. We headed down and eventually came to a stream crossing. The stream was flowing and we knew we were on the right path now! Follow the trail into the forest and continue upstream. You will also notice a road on the right side of the trail. If you follow the road, you will end up at an old abandoned Heiau. I'm not sure if they still have tours here, but this is behind the Makaha Golf Course. We took a short stop there and continued back onto the trail. We found a cool tree house and took some pictures there. Within another 30 minutes we reached the ponds! It was flowing beautifully and was ice cold! There are a couple of spots you can jump from, but beware that the water isn't too deep so you might hit the bottom. Continuing on past the ponds leads to Banana Falls in the back of Waianae Valley. We didn't venture on, but we will definitely come back some day to complete the journey. Some people even throw bon fires here, you can see the pit where the coals were lit. Be sure to pick up your trash and leave the place in a better condition than when you found it. We stuck around the ponds for a while and had the whole place to ourselves. This was a couple of years ago. However, now there is more foot traffic on this trail so be courteous and don't hog the pond! Heading back was a lot faster than going, since we knew where to go. Definitely one of the sickest spots on the West side!


UPDATE: We ventured back to this hidden gem and found an easier route this time. We were able to park at Makaha Valley Towers because one of my friends friend lived in the towers. We parked at the guest parking and headed in past the gate. As soon as you pass the gate, look on the right side and you will see a pretty obvious trail leading to the forest. This trail was a lot easier and crossed the stream a couple of more times. The stream was flowing beautifully! Check out our second journey on the bottom of this page!
























































Catching Bus 40 to the trail head!

























































This broken pole was the marker we used to turn right.






















After we found the right trail, it lead us down to the stream!






















































 trespassing and Board of Water Supply. Must be the right path.


























































If the stream is dry. Turn around. The waterfall will not be flowing.

Luckily the water was flowing this time!






















First thing we passed was this tree.


























































The tree with blue markings on it.























Continue on upstream and follow the path.


























































The forest can get a little confusing, but as long as you're going upstream and follow the pipes you should be fine.






















We saw some pretty pink flowers on the way.

We must've went when the flowers were in bloom.






















We saw an old abandoned Heiau.






















After a couple of pictures, we went back through the ti-leaf garden.




























Within ten minutes or so, we stumbled upon this tree house!


























































Whoever built this tree house should definitely come back to finish it. So Awesome!






















Just keep following the trail upstream and the pipe and

you will encounter this beauty on the left side of you!


























































You  can jump into the pool from this side, or there's a higher up rock on the left!


























































Taking a quick dip before heading back!























You can see the beautiful Makaha mountains on the way back!

UPDATE: March 21, 2017























This time we took a different route to the ponds.




























We took this dirt path on the right for an easier route through the forest.




























This trail was very well maintained!




























We crossed the stream a couple of times and it was flowing nicely!




























We also encountered this man-made dam/waterfall along the way!




























We also visited the Heiau again.




























Awesome view of the Heiau with the mountains in the background!




























The tree house is still there!




























After about an hour and a half, we made it to the ponds!




























Group selfie with the hike beast crew!




























Jumping in! We all took a quick dip in the ponds before heading back.




























We took the other route on the way back and walked the paved road back to our car.




























Heading past the water tank and back to our cars. Another awesome day!

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