Time: 1.5-2.5 HOURS
Distance: 3.2 MILES
Elevation Gain: 900 FEET
Foot Traffic: MODERATE
Challenges: Muddy, Closed
Sights: Hamama Falls, Waihe'e Valley, Ko'olau Mountain Range
What to Bring: Water, Sunscreen, Swimsuit
This out and back hike is the Manoa Falls equivalent of the windward side... without all the tourists. It starts in a neighborhood deep in Kaneohe and travels along a paved path through the lush green forest of Waihe'e Valley. The hike is a long gradual uphill, with periodic views of the Ko'olaus that surround the valley, before it ends at a picturesque waterfall, called Hamama Falls.
It had been a long week of grayness and rain... both figuratively and literally. When the sun remained in hiding on Saturday morning, I decided I should do a hike that wasn't known for its summit views, but would nonetheless satisfy my hiking fix. I chose Hamama Falls.
Here is a rough Google Earth image of the hike. It is basically a long gradual uphill through Waihe'e Valley before you reach the falls.
The trailhead is located at the end of Waihee Road. You will have to circumvent this little fence at the end of the road. Similar to my Kalihi Ice Ponds (Naohia Falls) Hike, this road is owned by the Board of Water Supply. Know that attempting this hike is not technically legal, so do so with caution and with the proper respect for the land.
That disclaimer out of the way, let's continue shall we? You can get around this fence by going down the slope to the left.
And we're off! There are no tricks to this trail. Just follow this path until you reach the waterfall. I don't know if you can tell from this picture, but it's been raining a little bit lately...
And it looks as if there's more rain to come. You can barely see any of the surrounding Ko'olau Range due to these low lying rain clouds.
But that doesn't mean we can't enjoy some of the surrounding foliage.
As you would expect from any waterfall hike, there is a river to accompany it. There's some spots along the way that some people like to use as swimming holes. Today, our goal was simply to get to the waterfall.
The ridges of the Ko'olaus were becoming a bit more visible. I find this hike is unique because it is a valley hike. There's not that many of them on Oahu (at least I haven't done that many at this point). It really puts into perspective how large and beautiful the surrounding Ko'olaus are.
I saw this tree the first time I did this hike, and it still gives off some eerie feeling (I later learned this is a Banyan Tree). But at the time it reminded me of the gate to the Upside Down in the Netflix show Stranger Things.
And this is the entrance to the government compound where Eleven was kept... alright I'll stop. This is actually just a dam. Although the security cameras make me think otherwise...
And the rain decided to come down again. Oh well at least that will make for better flow.
I can see the waterfall! Let's get a closer look shall we?
There it is, Hamama Falls. It may not be as large as some of the other falls on the island, nor have a big enough pool for swimming, but it is a waterfall nonetheless.
I took a little selfie, enjoying that gorgeous flow. Despite there being no literal sunshine, this moment was the metaphoric ray of sunshine I needed to get my weekend going. With that, it was back the way we came to continue the rest of our lovely, rainy Saturday in Oahu.
Check out my video of this awesome waterfall hike!
Have you seen the beautiful Hamama Falls? Share your story below!
Also Check Out:
- On Walkabout's post about this hike
- Not so Great Hiking Blog's adventure of Hamama Falls and Waihe'e Falls