The popular Manoa Falls gets a lot of foot traffic from ecotours, tourists, and locals hiking in and out on a daily basis. Not too many people pay attention to another trail and waterfall that exists near the popular Manoa Falls trailhead. It’s called Aihualama Falls and the trailhead to this particular waterfall is just beyond the trailhead to Manoa Falls. Aihualama Falls is actually the end point of the Lyon Arboretum Trail, a living and breathing tropical rainforest and research unit of the University of Hawaii that falls administratively under the College of Natural Sciences.
Manoa Falls is probably the most popular waterfall hike on Oahu. Most popular being code for “lots of tourist.” Indeed, you’re almost guaranteed to cross paths with copious amounts of tourists, some of whom will be ill-prepared and wearing slippers (flip-flops for the non-locals). Those on the ecotours will be walking around with awkward and bulky wooden walking sticks (probably a selling point for the tour operators). Don’t let that deter you, though, Manoa Falls is also a popular trail with locals. You’ll often find students from the neighboring University of Hawaii at Manoa exploring this waterfall trail. Manoa Falls has something for everyone. It can be a simple waterfall hike or it can be the starting point to even more exciting exciting trails. Some even believe that Manoa Falls is one of the paths that Night Marchers, the ghosts of ancient Hawaiian warriors, often march.
Update (April, 2018): This trail has a deadly record. As per this Hawaii News Now article:
“In 2015, a Florida visitor died after falling 200 feet while hiking between the first and second peaks. Honolulu firefighter Mitch Kai died in 2014 after tumbling 50 feet between the second and third peaks. And in 2011, Ryan Suenaga lost his life after a 150-foot fall between the second and third peaks.”
Know your limits before you choose to do this hike.
Over the last few days Hawaii has been experiencing moderate to very heavy rainfall. The weather seemed to be at its worst on Tuesday with heavy rain and flash flooding throughout the state. On Wednesday, Governor Abercrombie declared a state of disaster for the islands of Oahu and Kauai. Some areas on Oahu saw more than 15 inches of rainfall, while Kauai saw 35 inches. Many schools and golf courses closed due to the severe weather. The state even shut down Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve because of the surface runoff from the heavy rain.
If you think that that the fish tossing experience at Pike Place Market in Seattle is neat then you’ll most definitely be blown away by the Honolulu Fish Auction. Located at the end of Pier 38, this fish auction is indeed one of a kind. It’s the only fish auction that sells fresh tuna in the United States. If you enjoy tuna (or ahi as the locals call it) in your sushi then you’ve probably taken a bite out of ahi that made its way through the Honolulu Fish Auction. Because of its location in the Pacific, the Honolulu Fish Auction is the only fish auction between Tokyo and Maine. Six days a week, fisherman unload their catch in the early morning and the auctions begin at 5:30am. The best part is that you’re invited, if even to just stand in awe at thousands of pounds of quality deep sea catch. Like the vast Pacific Ocean, the Honolulu Fish Auction has a lot to offer.
When heading to to hike the Koko Crater stairs you take a left from Kalanianaole Highway onto Lunalilo Home Road. What if you turn right at Lunalilo Home Road? First of all, you’ll be driving into a residential area that consists of very rich residents. Second, you’ll be en route to a tiny treasure tucked away in Hawaii Kai. China Walls is what the locals call the rocky shoreline diving the Pacific Ocean from Koko Kai Mini Beach Park.