Monday, August 31, 2009

Waimae Falls Park

From a bridge right before the falls

Trail: Waimea Falls Park - A walk through the botanical gardens to Waimea Falls
Distance: 2.4 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 100-200 ft (marginal)
Hiking time: couple of hours depending on how much time you spend in the garden and at the falls
Area: North shore, midway between Haleiwa and the Turtle Bay (northern most point of the island)
Trailhead: Waimae Falls Park Entrance
Trailhead Coordinates: N21 38.175 W158 03.276
Sights: Botanical Garden, Waimea Falls
Directions via bus: Take the 52 from Ala Moana Center or downtown area. It will take you West then North via highways then long the North shore. Ask the driver to drop you off at Waimea Falls Park.
Directions via car: Go to Haleiwa and follow Kamehameha Highway along the North Shore. About 5 miles later, you'll see a Waimea Bay. Follow the road into the valley and you'll see a turn off on the right hand side into Waimea Falls Park.
Recommendations for hike: This is a park. Admission fee The trail is a paved path to the waterfall. Can be done in slippers. Facilities at the entrance and along the way. You can by food/drinks at the entrance. Another drink vendor close to the falls. The falls has a lifeguard on duty. Bring some swim trunks and maybe some water. That's about it. You can easily get to the falls in slippers. Some mosquitoes towards the falls but it's manageable without bug spray.


If you're looking for an adventure, this isn't the place. It is still nice though.

So Nicole, her parents (Mike and Nanette), and I went to Waimea Falls Park this morning. It's a tourist spot with a building at the entrance housing full facilities, food, a gift shop, staff to guide you. Along the way you'll find a plethora of plants and some animals. Most of the plants are labeled. You'll find some peacocks, peahens, birds (some endangered). It's a stroll through a park.

The falls is nice enough. The waterfall was mild when we were there. There's plenty of people, all seem to be tourists. It's a good place for the family. You can't climb on the rocks despite some web pics of people diving. There are no jumpoff points. The lifeguard said certain points of the pool are 30 ft deep.

Enjoy the pics!

Entrance to park

Peacock chilling at the top of some stars

Interesting giant lily pads, a couple feet in diameter

The general path

Interesting spiky thing

They had some cultural sites. This was a gaming ground with 3 examples using a stick, puck, and some rocks. We had fun. I have a not too flattering pic of my friend... your welcome.

Bumble bee at least an inch in length... just going from flower to flower... disappearing into them and backing out.

Nice flower

Endangered bird, didn't catch the name

Giant asparagus... young bamboo

Some peahens (did not know they were called that)

Nice overall view of the falls. There are better pics on the web when the water is really flowing. I'm still impressed with what this panoramic program can do. This was originally 3 separate images.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mauanwili Falls Trail

Trails: Maunawili Falls Trail
Distance: 2.6 miles (round trip)
Elevation Gain: 500-600 ft
Hiking time: 2 - 2.5 hours;
Note: You'll want to spend some time at the falls. You should allow for 4 hours overall to be safe.
Area: Off the Pali, near Kailua
Trailhead: End of Maunawili Road
Trailhead Coordinates: N21 21.547 W157 45.811
Sights: Muanawili Falls (favorite one on the island)
Directions via bus: Take the 57 to Maunawili Road. The stop is past the hairpin turn on the Pali Highway, 3 lights. You'll pass Castle Junction (intersection of Kamehameha, Pali, and Kanianole Highways).
Directions via car: Find Pali Highway. Go North towards Kailua. You'll be going uphill, through a valley, back downhill, past a short tunnel, around the hairpin turn (right then left then right), pass Castle Junction (first light after the hairpin turn), past another light, and at the 3rd light make a right on to Maunawili Rd. Almost immediately, the road forks, stay left. Continue on Maunawili Rd, past a residential area, and you'll see some parking on the left. You can go further past this point and get closer to the trailhead. Continue up the road and it'll wind around to the end. The entrance is on the left at the end of the road.
Recommendations for hike: Bug spray. Water. No sunscreen needed. Need some sneakers but manageable in slippers. It's very muddy so be prepared to get dirty. Also the last part of the trail is along stream so you'll probably get your feet wet. Swim trunks/bathing suit if you want to swim. Just make sure you don't have open wounds and you should be fine.

Green trail is Maunawili Trail

This elevation profile is to and back. It's only 1.3 miles one way. Note the altimeter is a bit off. It should be symmetrical.

My second trip to Maunawili Falls. The first was never really documented. I hurt my back jumping off the high point.
This is an easy trail and one my favorites so far (mostly due to the waterfall). It's a common tourist attraction and a short easy hike to the waterfall. Many locals go here as well.

The trail itself is a bit muddy. You'll actually cross the same stream at 3 different points along the trail. Right after first crossing, you'll notice a fragrance from the flowers in the air. It reminds me of Honeysuckles. You'll climb up a bit and then reach a junction. To the left you'll see some steps leading back down to the stream. Follow the stream up and you'll reach Maunawili Falls shortly.
The falls has a deep pool. At least 8 feet in some parts but I believe it's deeper. The first pool has 3 main jumping points. One is from the rocks that the water is cascading down. The highest one is about 30 ft and on the left (facing the falls). There's a small trail on the left to get there. The other is about 20 - 25 ft. You have to get on the rocks where the water is coming and climb up. Everyone hangs around this pool.
There's also another pool above that you have to climb up the rocks. Just follow the water. You'll see a nicer waterfall but no place to jump off. I'm unsure of how deep it is. I was able to tread water in the middle and near the falls so at least 5 ft or so.

First stream crossing

Second stream crossing

Third stream crossing

Part of the steps leading to the falls

Stream at bottom of steps

Maunawili Falls!!! To the right of the girl is the most common jump off point. About 8-9 ft high.

Looking up

Looking back from the rocks

Looking down along the first falls. This and the next photos were a pain to get. Had to swim while holding the camera out of the water. Actually not as difficult as I thought but if I messed up, there goes my camera.

Second falls

Better view of second falls. Quality isn't as good but more of a panoramic.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hanauma Bay

You can hike around the far ridge! 8 miles! Future destination!

On Sunday, my roommate CJ, his long time friend, and I went to Hanauma Bay. It's an official nature preserve and a popular tourist spot located on the East side of the island, just beyond Hawaii Kai. The bay is filled with underwater life, coral reefs, fish, turtles... to much disappointment no sharks, lobsters, star fish, crabs, octopus... just a variety of sea life. You have to watch a short 10 minute video about preserving the sea life before gaining entrance. It's a short walk down to the bay area. You can rent snorkel gear, or just lay out on the beach. The snorkeling is easy since the entire bay is relatively shallow. You just have to make sure you don't step on any of the coral so be sure you're comfortable snorkeling before going in too far.

We say a lot of various fish and a turtle. They're so chill, very relaxing to watch.... slow moving, calm and going with the flow.

It's a great place for a family trip and introduction to sea life and snorkeling. The official site is below.

My friend George from my friends underwater disposable cam.

Later George.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Mt Olympus (partial)

So Nicole and I started this trip after having a nice breakfast at Wailana Coffeehouse. Reminded me of a Jersey diner but of course a more Hawaiian oriented influence. Had a Mahi Sandwich. Anyway, I'm just going to post pics since I don't have the full trail details at this point. Enjoy!

Part of the ascent towards the summit. A lot of descents and ascents.

Nicole on an interesting tree off to the side of the trail. It was just protruding out.

My turn!

Slippery climb up

Another descent on the way to the Summit

Having fun with nature! An interesting cubby on the way back.

Hike is physically demanding. Will return to finish the other half!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Likeke Trail (kinda), Likeke Waterfall

(view from above the Pali, early on in the trail, taken at "Pali 2" waypoint on the map)

Trails: Likeke Trail (part of)
Distance: 3.8 miles (one way to the end, you will want to turn around around 3.5 miles)
Elevation Gain: unsure, see elevation profile for an idea
Hiking time: 2 hours 15 mins (for the one way trip from the trail head to the highway)
Area: Off the Pali, near Kailua and Kaneohe
Trailhead: Pali Outlook (north bound overlooking Kailua)
Directions (via bus): Take the 56 or 57 to the first stop after the descent to Kailua. Trek back to the Pali Lookout and you'll see a sign for the Mauanwili Trail
Sights: Likike Waterfall, Kaneohe, Kailua, Pali Lookout
Recommendations for hike: Bug spray!!! I got so many bites. A snack and water. Towel or bathing suite if you want to wade around in the pool. Go in the morning. Afternoon gets very muggy. Though you're not in the sun too much, you want some for the hike to the trail head if you're going by bus.

Yellow Path - Trail
Green path - walk from bus stop to Pali Outlook
Magenta Path - Walk back via highway

This profile is only for the trail path (yellow path in above pic).

First off, the statistics above way not be accurate. Use them as a guide rather than true numbers, if you want to go on this hike. It's usually a to and back hike long the trail but my one way path was extended and rerouted.

T afternoon, i ventured off to do a mild hike. So via bus to the Pali Outlook.
This trail started off interesting enough. It was a bit confusing until you reach the actual Likeke Trail. First off, from the trail head, take the Maunawili Trail at the right end of the Pali Outlook. You'll soon come across a junction that indicateds Mauanawili Trail to Waimanalo. Instead, take the stairs to the right and it'll follow the Pali Highway (going back towards Honolulu). At one point there is an opening where you can get a great view of Kaneohe and Kailua. Follow the trail and you'll be hiking along a fence on your right. I was a little confused about the next steps. At the end (or so it seems), you can see a paved road in front through some brush and the Pali Highway on the right. Go down to the right and underneath the highway. You'll find some rope and wooden steps to go under the highway. This was pretty fun. Just something different that you don't find on hikes. Continue on the trail which is relatively clear and you'll be on a paved road which is Old Pali Rd. Continue to follow it and you'll intersect another road that is bending around the corner. If you look to the far left, you'll see a short stone wall. Just beyond it is the entrance to the hike. From here the path is clear.

A short hike up with a handful of twists and back down and you'll come across another junction. I imagine some of this trail to be muddy after rain fall so becareful. Go left and you'll head towards the waterfall. The straight route will go to the golf course. I fortunately found a group to follow. Otherwise I may not have caught it. The waterfall is mild. Very small pool. There were a bunch of people just chilling. Supposedly, a lot of locals and tourist come to the falls. It's less than a mile from the trailhead. It was pleasant but not exciting. So onto the hike.

It winds around the foothills constantly descending into a gulch and rising out of it. I jogged part of it until I tripped and did a dive like I was stealing 2nd (not that I would really know but it's what I imagined it to be like). My knee is still a bit inflamed and hands have abrasions. Not a good start. So the trial continues to repeat itself, dipping into a gulch, crossing a small stream here and there, hiking out of it and... well it repeats. There are some nice spots where you can see Kaneohe and look back to the Pali (see pics below). There are 2 or 3 outlooks like this.

So after the last outlook, the trail continues. I believe you're supposed to turn back but I continued. I should have known since the trail was less worn. I was walking through a lot of low lying brush and some even to my chest. But the path was clear enough to be a trail. The entire trail was marked with pink ribbon and it continued and so did I. I started getting annoyed... thinking... where could this possibly lead. Well my thoughts were on the right track but I wasn't. After another mile or so, I come to the end. Guess what? Nothing there. Just a highway in the way. There was a spot where you could descend and go under the highway but I was so annoyed at that point that I decided against it. I was far out enough and didn't want to walk to far back.

So I backtracked a bit and took some time, finding and hopping a fence where I reached a highway. Wasn't as easy it sounds. I remember it being much easier as a kid. Also a 10 lb backpack doesn't help but I think that last part is just an excuse. Walked a couple miles back and ended my trip. Going on another trip tomorrow so I can't where my legs out.

Interesting set of trees in the beginning of the trail before crossing the Pali Highway.

You're on the right track, keep going!

Rickety old stairs. They were stable enough. This lets you get under the Pali Highway to old Pali Rd.

View from under the Pali Highway

Old Pali Rd.

Random flower along the trail

Entrance to Likeke trail

Likeke Falls ("Fall" waypoint on the map)

Odd plant

uh.... part of the trail

This was interesting. All of the trees were brushed in a single direction. I thought trees typically grow vertical to the earth not to the ground. Like if you're on a steep hill, the trees will be pointing up and angled to the ground. Guess I'm wrong.

View from one of the first openings

Kaneohe Bay (from "002" waypoint on the map)

Not sure what highway but I was really trying to capture the mountains in the back. (from "002" waypoint on the map)

See that strip of highway in the high center. That was the starting point or around there. (from "002" waypoint on the map)