Time: 1-2 HOURS
Distance: 3 MILES
Elevation Gain: 650 FEET
Foot Traffic: LOW
Challenges: Closed, Overgrown, Muddy
Sights: K-Bay, Three Peaks, Windward Side, Likeke Falls
What to Bring: Shoes you can get dirty
This is a short hike that takes place primarily on the Old Pali Road (now closed) near the very popular Pali Lookout. The road offers scenic views of the windward side including Kaneohe Bay, Chinaman's Hat, and the Ko'olau range. The hike is a long out and back that descends underneath the Pali Highway. before you continue along the Old Pali Road until it ends. There are even two waterfalls that span off from this hike, the Twin Falls and the Likeke, if you know where to look for them. A nice quick hike to get the blood flowing.
***UPDATE 7/26/2017 When I originally did this hike, I learned that what I found was NOT Likeke Falls, just some random stream of water flowing under the highway (Whoops!). After a few return trips, I finally managed to find Likeke Falls (it's harder than you think). The end of this updated post should help you find Likeke if you leave from the Pali Lookout.
***UPDATE 2/18/2019 The Pali Lookout is currently closed due to damage from a landslide caused from a rainstorm. More information on the Pali Lookout at this website. There is an alternate path to Likeke you can find from this post.
It had been one of those days at work. You know the type where a bunch of drama happened, all of which could have been averted with simple communication skills. Instead it became this whole big thing. Needless to say, I was in need of a midweek pick-me-up hike that was doable in a few hours. I had heard there was a short hike off the Pali lookout from my roommate so I decided to check it out. The hike did not disappoint.
In case you've never heard of the Pali Lookout, this is what it looks like. It is very touristy, but most people aren't aware that there are several hikes that start from this location. The worst part about this hike is it costs money to park. It's $3 and the machine you use to get your ticket is one of the slowest things I've ever used.
But $3 is a small price to pay for views like these.
On the lower platform of the lookout, you will see a fence that says Road Closed (right above these two women's heads). This is the gate to Old Pali Road.
You just have to suck it in a little to squeeze around the fence... I should probably also mention that this hike is not technically legal (from this path that is).
More obstacles that make you think you shouldn't be here, but it is easily subverted. Despite these obstacles, I still saw 7 or 8 other people on Old Pali Road.
And with these sexy views along the road, it is totally worth the risk. With the sun slowly setting on the other side of the island, it made for some cool and unique photo ops.
You will also get a different perspective of this part of the Ko'olau Mountain Range. The Twin Falls are located up there somewhere... but only if it's been raining.
And even some views of the (New) Pali Highway.
After a little less than a mile down Old Pali Road, you will become level with the Pali Highway. This is your cue to cut left...
...Because it's time to go under the highway assisted by this little ladder. I thought this was a pretty cool and unique part of the hike.
More ladder pics.
As you come down the ladder, if you look to the left there is a small opening in the wall. You can either squeeze through this passageway or duck underneath the concrete on the right to get to the other side of the highway. The sound of cars zooming by overhead can be quite deafening.
But after you escape the small space, you will be rewarded with some cool graffiti. I am always impressed by this type of art.
The hike will then continue down Old Pali Road. There isn't as much to see over here since you're more surrounded by the forest, but it is a pleasant walk. I did happen to notice this fallen tree that someone turned into a bird.
And then again you can also look up at the highway and be impressed (or upset) by how much infrastructure has changed the layout of the island.
As you come out of some brush, you will end up on a much wider portion of the road. The road hairpins sharply to the right. If you look to your left you should see this wall. You must continue around this wall to find Likeke Falls.
Just after the wall there are some stairs you climb. You may begin to hear the sound of flowing water.
From here, I decided to follow the source of the water as it was where I thought the falls were located.
After a few minutes, I arrived at this little trickle, which I thought was Likeke Falls. Turns out, I was wrong! That might explain why it didn't feel like a waterfall...
Oh well, it was still a fun journey to get here. Something about being right below the Pali Highway in this secluded little spot felt very special.
Now for the actual path to Likeke Falls. Instead of following the flow of water after the wall, head RIGHT. You will be forced to climb up a pretty muddy slope. You should see periodic pink markers. Follow these. You will be walking for a good 10-15 minutes along a small muddy trail that weaves through the trees. Eventually you will come to this fork pictured above. Head RIGHT.
After a few minutes. You will reach this "cobblestone" road. Start paying attention, the turn for the falls is coming soon.
The turn is located at this marked up tree on the left side of the trail.
And within a few moments, you will have arrived at Likeke Falls. If you started from the Pali, you can simply make your way back the way you came. You can also do this hike from the Ko'olau Golf Club, which would make this a much shorter hike.
Three attempts, but I finally found Likeke! What a great way to celebrate my first #waterfallwednesday. I'm sure there will be many return trips to this beautiful little place.
Check out my video of this unique and secluded hike!
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Also Check Out:
- Exploration Hawaii's post about how to do this hike