Sunday, August 9, 2009

Manana Trail to Waimano Pool

Trail: Manana Trail
Distance: 3 Mile (round trip)
Elevation Gain: 700 ft
Distance and elevation information courtesy of Stuart M. Ball Jrs "The Hikers Guide to O'Ahu"
Hiking time: Took about an 1 hr 15 mins to get to the pool. Not quite sure of the return trip. Think it was about 1 hr and 30 mins.Area: Pearl Ridge
Trailhead: End of Komo Mai Drive
Directions via bus: The 53 bus will take you all the way to the area. It's practically the last stop on the westbound route. Get off at the corner of Komo Mai Dr. and Aukulu. It was about an hour or so bus ride from Ala Moana center. It's about a 1/2 mile walk from there.
Sights: Valley and ridge views, not too expansive though, small waterfall, small pool. Interesting hike. Steep descent/hike on second half of trail.

So another hike this Sunday. The trail head begins at the dead end of Komo Mai Dr. It's past residential area. If you're taking the bus, make sure you get off the corner of Komo Mai Dr. and Auhuhu St. The streets all sound the same around there and I got off a hand full of stops earlier. Komo Mai Dr. is all uphill going towards the trail head around that area.

It's a pretty nice view from the trail head as seen above. The first 1/4 or 1/2 mile or so is on a black top road. At first it seems like a very casual hike . I was in slippers going to the falls. Not recommended as it gets steep later. As you continue, you'll fine little outlets on the side where you can overlook parts of the valley. You can see the Pearl City area from certain spots but it's just a glimpse. You're mostly gazing into the valleys. The first 3/4 miles of the trail is relatively flat. There are so minor climbs and descents but it's so slight that you could jog it.

Part of the first 3/4 of Manana Trail.

Another in the same vicinity.

Soon after you'll reach a little hill. It looks like it veers into two different trails but either way will get you to your next point. 3/4 mile it you'll reach a sign. Go right towards the Waimano falls/pool. So begins the steep decline. It seems like it never ended. I should have changed into shoes here but thought I'd be okay.

It's tough to capture the depth.

My camera was in my bag next to my frozen water. Lens fogged up...

After descending for another 3/4 miles, winding through the valley, climbing down rocks, and at one point you'll come to a clear fork in the path. I heard that both paths will take you down to the pool eventually. The right one winds around to the stream and you can follow it up (courtesy of 2 random hikers I ran into). The descent is pretty interesting. It's not like other hikes I've done. What really distinguishes it, is the narrowness of the path. You really are just trekking through the mountain and branches are constantly in your way. The path is clear enough though. Lots of guava trees (good to provider more support while hiking down). No bamboo forest this time. Certain parts are a bit muddy. I can imagine the whole descent being slippery after it rains. T Soon you'll finally reach the lower pool area. There was a trickling waterfall that creates the top pool, runs into a small pool, and into the final one where I jumped in. You can hike around to the top area. There are some ropes to help you out. The locals said that it usually isn't this mild and that the water is usually clearer. Eh... I'll take what I can get. So I chilled out in the pool area for awhile... jumped in a handful of time.. didn't swing on the rope. Chatted with some locals. There was a big group of kids chilling there to. Like 10 of the just jumping in and they decided to make a fire in the drier areas. That would have been nice growing up. Other locals that said he grew up coming to the falls.

The lower pool facing the so called waterfall.

Upper pool. Weak waterfall.

Middle and lower pool, looking down, back to waterfall.

Someone jumping from one of the higher points. About 20 to 25 ft. No go for me this time. Not after hurting my back on the jump at Maunawili falls.

After hanging out for an hour or so, decided to head back. Jeez, maybe I was just tired and had no energy... only had a granola bar this morning... the climb back up was so tiring. It was steep, and for 3/4 mile with little breaks. Calves were killing me by the time I made it back to the easy part but I'm back.

This was actually one of my favorite hikes. It was a good mix of a shallow ridge in the beginning to a steep decline. Also like the fact that you're descending into the valley as opposed to hiking up to a ridge. Good change from other hikes. It's exhausting coming back though when you already tired. Plus the waterfall and swimming hole at the end is a nice bonus. I'll eventually go back.


  1. One of my favorites also, going today.

  2. Did this hike yesterday and it was completely dried up.... looks like it has been dried up for a while. Such a disappointment. I saw pictures of it back in 2006 and it was gorgeous.