The Hidden Manoa Waterfalls Tour: Exploring The Depths of Manoa Valley

Nothing to see here. If you’re looking for Manoa Falls, here you go.

About Coty

Founder of Exploration: Hawaii. Adventure, Minimalism, Vinyl, Typography, and Coffee + Matcha. A single space after a period, please.


  1. Ah man I wish wen go with you guys. I probably couldn’t go because of my kid’s baseball game. but I want to learn the routes for the waterfall system there. Was Christian adjusting his nipple in the one of the earlier shots? Where is a pic of the tall Waiakeakua Falls? I want to climb up it one day and I wanted to see an honest pic of it. I’ve seen it from different angles, some make it look easy, some make it look scary dangerous. Anyway you lucky you had the hiking bastid guide you. What a privilege.

  2. Awesome write up and very vivid photos, Coty…But just to be clear, the plants we cleared near the falls were not native plants. They were leaves and stalks from the ginger that grows over and around the pools…Great times in Manoa!!!

  3. Flattering words, Coty but I am just an average hiker who is still honing my hiking and climbing skills. I learn from everybody whom I hike with whether it’s a hiking trail/tip, new tools or equipment or even talking story about past failures that help a hiker learn from their own mistakes. I try to convey some of the many many mistakes that I have made and compare notes with others…I have learned many lessons from my close hiking buddies Giovanni Acosta, Cory Yap, Joshua Serrano, Troy Takara, Reanne Solomon, Jeremy Kreis, Jenelyn Castillo, Jen Liu, Katie Ersbak. The list of hikers I have learned from other than my close friends are too numerous. I am grateful that Hawaii peeps have such a great love for hiking.

    • Hey Baron! It’s the local style to be humble! But you definitely got skills ;) It’s good to learn different techniques from different people. Glad to have hiked with you and hopefully we can meet up again for some future hikes! Stay crazy.

  4. Great post. I was hoping someone would correct me since I wasn’t that satisfied with my list. The Queen’s bath version makes sense for Waaloa. I’d wondered about that and It makes more sense it would get a separate name if there’s a spring associated with it (which I now have to find)

    The question of how many falls is always open to debate since there are dozens if all the ones along Waihi and Waiakeakua streams are included – as they are when people refer to the 8 waterfalls of Mo’ole valley.

    BTW, that house isn’t haunted. In realtor-speak it’s just a fixer-upper that needs some TLC and imagination.

  5. Wonderful write up and thanks for mentioning “Nanoha Falls”! lol =p
    I absolutely LOVE Manoa Valley. It’s probably my favorite place on the island, especially after a good rain.

    Oh, also I saw an additional waterfall while I was out there by complete accident. It’s called “bamboo falls” because it falls off a small cliff with bamboo on the top. It’s just off the Naniuapo Falls trail, just before you get to the old houses. Not as exciting as the others but still kind of pretty.

    • Thanks Punynari! Yeah, we saw Bamboo Falls too! Not too sure what the water source for that one is though. Pretty neat! So now we’re at 8 Manoa waterfalls?! Let’s go find more!

  6. Aloha. FYI, in between Naniuapo and Waiakeakua strea, there is another stream called Waaloa. After passing the trail that takes you to Naniuapo, you will come to a brokeb fence and a missing gate. You can see the river ( Waiakeakua) flowing next to it and if you look carefully, there are two broken walls. There used to be a bridge here. Cross the stream. There’s a feint path that will take you to a broken bridge. Once you cross the bridge, it forks. I went as far as the ‘cave’/tunnel if you take the right fork. You can also see many empty ‘pots’ and some bottles. If you take the left, you will come across some blue ribbons…and bamboo forest. This is as far as I went. Will probably venture out again and see if I can find the Waaloa spring. :-)

  7. Hi Coty,
    On my recent journey near Waaloa, I was surprised to find that it is a waterfall system. My friends and I climbed it’s various tiers and up the steep chute. I believe the waterfall dries up quicker than any of the bigger Manoa waterfalls since it has no basin or bog to contain the rainfall. Someone has already been back there. We found various ropes on some waterfall tiers. Unfortunately most of the tiers do not have any formed pools. I think the spring Keahi is referring to is the the flow that disappears from the waterfall and reappears downstream. At any rate, the Waaloa Spring he shared with us is truly tranquil.

    • Right on, Baron! Man, I seriously need to join in on one of your hikes again! Bummed out that I missed the Maunawili/Goonies exploration! Maybe next time!

  8. We (touristy tourists LOL) were on a hiking tour in late June, going to see the Naniuapo Falls. There was a rock fall that occured that severely hurt my little girl and caused minor injuries to my neice and another gentleman on the tour. Several rocks fell, broke apart and hit my girl in the back of her torso causing 6 fractured ribs, a collapsed lung, lacerated liver among other inuries. We waited for an hour for her to be heli-lifted out near the falls. She spent 5 days in ICU, and 10 days total in the hospital. We were vacationing and wanted to see the landscape firsthand. My daughter is completely recovered now, thankfully, 4 weeks later amazingly — but the outcome would have been different if the 15lb chunk that hit her landed on her head and not her torso. We blame no one! I really liked all the informaton you posted here because since we are back to normal life, I’ve been researching where we were, just wanting to know more about the area (unfortunately we went in as blind tourists not really realizing there was real peril in hiking to a waterfall in the rainforest). We love nature, but I thought I’d share with you avid hikers who know the area — so that you are aware that the Naniuapo Falls recently experienced a rock slide (like the one that killed Gladstone Wright). It made the news but it was reported as Manoa Tunnel Trail — which was inaccurate after I researched further. So forgive my ignorance, but has anyone ever scaled the sumitt of Naniuapo (it’s just a rock wall pretty much) — what lies atop, where does that water come from?

    • Thank you for sharing! Yes, I remember seeing the incident on the news. I am very happy to hear that your daughter is recovered!

      Yes, we were all a little confused about the trail being called the Manoa Tunnels Trail. Are you sure that you weren’t on the Waiakeakua Falls trail? That one is slightly more frequented, unlike Naniuapo. And yes, these waterfalls do continue on much higher.

      • I just checked out some pix of Waiakeakua Falls and that wasn’t it. There is no interesting pool of water at the bottom. It was Naniuapo, because the tour company that took us on the trail has a video of the trek on their Web site naming it Naniuapo.

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