Waimano Falls / Manana Trail

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Phone (808) 973-9782
Address Komo Mai Dr, Pearl City, HI 96782
Fun, short hike. You may or may not see a waterfall at the end. Easy for some but potentially difficult for others.

• General: Cost: Free • General: Photo Opportunity • Hiking: Hiking • Hiking: Length: 2-3 Miles • Hiking: Level: Moderate
• Hiking: Major Elevation Changes • Hiking: Out & Back Trail • Sightseeing: Great Views • Sightseeing: Waterfalls

The Waimano Falls Trail, which is also called the Manana Trail, is a 2.8 mile long (each way), out and back style hiking trail in the Pearl City area of O'ahu. Make it to the end and you may see a waterfall. But you may not as well, more on that in a bit.

Getting here is quite easy and there is parking along the street near the trailhead, see our map / directions page for directions. Note that this starts in a quiet neighbor and is a popular hike so do your best to keep quiet until you get on the trail.

While much of this hike is relatively easy, there are some parts that are a bit more difficult. If you are an expert hiker then this will be a walk in the park for you. For everyone else, this is a moderate difficulty trail but exactly how difficult just depends on how slow you go and how your overall fitness level is.

It's the elevation changes of over 700 feet combined with exposed tree roots on the trail that create most of the difficulty. If the trail is wet in any way, and it likely will be, things can get very slippery in parts. Proper hiking shoes and going slow are key. On that note, be sure to also read Hiking Safety & Essentials before heading out and spray on some bug spray.

The beginning of the trail is flat and mostly paved, but that ends quickly, and things start descending rather fast. This is where it gets a little dicey and slippery when wet.

Everyone says that down is the hard part and coming back up is easier. Don't believe them. That might be true if you fell the entire way down and walked safely up but walking back up is more difficult because your legs are tired from the walk down! Again, if you're a pro hiker then you're shaking your head at me by now. For the rest of us, the struggle is real on the way back up.

After the first fork (where we stayed right for the Waimano Falls trails) we found a second fork which had a rock with a yellow arrow pointing to the left. We went right which is the easier path down to the falls while left will get you there as well though it may require a bit more work. You might see rocks painted with numbers along the way, once you get passed #5 you're about there.

Once down there I was pretty disappointed by the falls which was little more than a trickle of water and a not-so-lovely pool of water. One of our hikers threw caution to the wind, ignored the potential threat of Leptospirosis, and jumped in and swam around and climbed the rope that hangs over the pool. If the falls were flowing more I might have taken a swim myself but with the calm water it wasn't something I was going to risk. I do look forward to doing this hike again when the falls are really going though!

A few minutes later our group was ready to turn around and head back up. If I wasn't with a group I would have spent more time enjoying the beauty of it all but the group I was with were full of energy and most walked up and out with ease (with several wipe-outs along the way).

I was doing fairly well on the way back up until we hit "cardiac hill" which is fairly close to the end of the trail on the way out. It's pretty steep, pretty long, and covered in slippery mud and even more slippery tree roots (on the day we went).

I kept stopping to take pictures and enjoy the scenery only to find myself being left behind so I'd run to catch up and quickly ran out of breath. I rinsed and repeated that several times until death felt imminent and then stopped for a break to catch my breath. It's not fun trying to get photos and videos on a hike with people who like to move fast.

Bottom line, unless you're one of these fitness nut jobs that loves to run up and down mountains go slow, take breaks, drink water, and enjoy the trail. If you do that then you'll have a great time enjoying this hike. I would plan on a good 3 hours of round trip hiking time for this trail, more if it is rainy and muddy like it was for us.