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.

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