Couple hiking on Oahu
June 3, 2019
| by
Maria Mancuso

Oahu Things to do: Guide to Oahu Waterfalls – Part 2

This Oahu Visitor Blog article, ‘Guide to Oahu Waterfalls – Part 2’ is the follow up to our first article on the best Oahu Waterfalls. We hope this information helps you enjoy these amazing natural wonders on our beautiful island.

While researching your visit to Oahu, you have probably seen dozens of photos of the beautiful waterfalls on Oahu on the island.  This incredible natural wonder is just a small part of what makes Oahu and the other Hawaiian Islands such magical places to visit.

Man looking at a large waterfall on Oahu

Because some of the Oahu Waterfalls are in such remote areas often it is only those visitors who are in great physical shape who can hike the trails and hills to get to them.  But there are some waterfalls that do not require a lot of physical effort and there are other ways to see the waterfalls from above with one of the popular Helicopter Tours on Oahu.

Whether you hike or fly above to see the waterfalls on Oahu, you are sure to enjoy the journey and the payoff of seeing the water rush over the edge of the mountain into the pools below.

This article, ‘Guide to Oahu Waterfalls – Part 2’ introduces you to 4 more of the Oahu Waterfalls you can journey to during your visit to Oahu.

Likeke Falls on Oahu
Kapena Falls also has Alapena Pool – there is a small but powerful 15-foot waterfall and pool area ideal for swimming.  Photo credit

Li’keke Falls
Li’keke Falls is one of the lesser known waterfalls on Oahu. The 3.5-mile roundtrip hike to the Li’keke Falls starts at the popular Pali Lookout carpark. The Pali Lookout is a great place to visit on its own, so be sure to allow for a bit of extra time to look out over the lush valley below and experience some impressive winds. 

If you are here later in the day, consider of two other hikes nearby that are ideal for sunset; Pali Puka Trail and Pali Notches.   

Now, back to Li’keke Falls. The trek back to the falls is very easy as hikes go. The largest level of the water flow is 15 feet.  The trail is well trafficked as is accessible throughout the year.

Beautiful Kapena Waterfalls on Oahu
Kapena Falls also has Alapena Pool – there is a small but powerful 15-foot waterfall and pool area ideal for swimming.  Photo credit

Kapena Falls
This is one of the coolest hikes on the island of Oahu located right in Honolulu. The trails cut through giant vines, lush landscape, giant leaves and boulders make you feel as though you are many miles away from the city.  Kapena Falls also has Alapena Pool – there is a small but powerful 15-foot waterfall and pool area ideal for swimming. 

The hike to Kapena Falls is just off Nuuanu Avenue and is less than 1 mile so it is an easy hike and waterfall to fit into the beginning or end of your day.  If you are up for a more challenging hike you can walk to the right of the metal building (you will know it when you see it) and use the rope to go down to the creek below and hike upstream for about 5 minutes to the falls.  Alternatively, you can go to the left and walk the trail to the falls.  You will enjoy whichever option you choose.

Laie Falls
Laie Falls is one of the least trafficked Waterfalls on Oahu, but the trek is worth it to those in good physical shape for this 6-mile journey. The hike is in Laie which is in the North Shore area of Oahu. The Laie falls are not large like some of the other Waterfalls on Oahu, but the hike is beautiful.

Waipuhia Falls
Does an ‘upside down waterfall’ really exist? Yes! Waipuhia Falls is called an ‘upside down waterfall’ because the flow of water is so strong from 100 foot above that the air blows the water spray back up in the air, so it gives the illusion that the water is flowing up!  

Waipuhia Falls is another waterfall that is reached by a trail off the Pali highway Just off the Pali highway. The hike to get to Waipuhia Falls is difficult and not kid friendly. There is no clear hiking path like the more highly trafficked trails for other waterfalls.  If you wish to get up close to the waterfall, you will need to be prepared for some strenuous hiking.  The decent is steep and can be slippery and muddy so you must wear quality hiking boots.  

The trail is very tight and covered with thick brush, so it is advised to wear long sleeves and long pants.  You are also well advised to wear a good amount of mosquito replant as this area is stocked fully with hungry mosquitos.  

You should bring a GSP or mark your path with bright ribbons along the way. Be careful of the ground as it will be slippery especially after a rain.  Be sure to waterproof your phone and camera with plastic bags.

It is a difficult trail to navigate but it is well worth it, and you will remember the journey for a lifetime.

If you love to hike and if you love the payoff of a beautiful waterfall, then Oahu has many options for you to choose from.

This article, ‘Guide to Oahu Waterfalls – Part 2’ details just 4 more Oahu Waterfalls for you to add to your list.  Look for a future Oahu Visitor Blog article that ranks the ‘Top 5 Oahu Waterfalls.

Be sure to visit our Oahu Visitors Blog and Oahu Visitors Guide for more articles on things to do, see and experience during your next visit to the island.

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