Manoa Falls and Aihualama Falls Revisited: The Wetter The Better!

Waterfalls are always better when it’s wetter. And it’s been very wet in Manoa Valley. So wet that a trip to the popular tourist trail, Manoa Falls, was well warranted. I won’t go into too much detail on the trail in this post, for that you can check out this post and this post. I should also mention the I decided against parking in the Manoa Falls parking lot, and instead parked in the residential area just before Paradise Park. That alone saved me five bucks.

The drive from Salt Lake to Manoa was a rainy one, so I knew that Manoa Falls would be gushing. Once I existed the H1 and made my way onto University Avenue, the rain really started to fall. The large rain drops would hit my car windshield and make loud splatting sounds. Once I found parking, I began preparing the few supplies that I decided to bring with me: rain jacket, GoPro Hero3, GoPole, and a Lifeproof Case for my iPhone 5. Those would be my supplies for the day. I stuffed everything into the pockets of my rain jacket. I hurried out of my car and headed into the valley. I was enamored by the falling rain. This fascination would lead to a major bummer when I returned to my car, but more on that later.

First look at Manoa Falls. Shot with GoPro Hero3. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

First look at Manoa Falls. Shot with GoPro Hero3. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

So excited that I can't contain myself. Shot with GoPro Hero3. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

So excited that I can’t contain myself. Shot with GoPro Hero3. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Up close and personal. Shot with GoPro Hero3. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Up close and personal. Shot with GoPro Hero3. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

I made it to the Manoa Falls trailhead in no time. I fiddled about in the rain for a bit, as I setup my waterproof gadgets. I connected my GoPro Hero3 to my 36″ GoPole and I was set. I hurried pass the many ill-prepared tourists. I couldn’t count how many I had seen in slippers (flip-flops). It would have been better if they had just gone barefoot. The mud was insane. I saw many people using, obviously new, sneakers. Bright purple Nike runners. Eye-popping yellow Addidas sneakers. They would undoubtedly be nice and brown by the end of this hike. There were a few wearing dress shoes, of all things. I guess they didn’t read about proper footgear in their guidebooks. Then there were the ones that didn’t want to get dirty. Trying to avoid the mud at all costs. I enjoyed taking big strides and then hearing my mud splat agains their clean jeans. Get dirty, kids!

I made it to the falls within 20 minutes or so. Of course, there was a crowd of people surround the perimeter of the falls, following the directions of not to enter. I, of course, headed straight for the pool under the falls. I hopped over the large boulders, as the tourists looked on, almost exasperated. Their loss, I now had the falls all to myself. I turned on my GoPro Hero 3 and snapped away.

Wet filipino boy. Shot with GoPro Hero3. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Wet filipino boy. Shot with GoPro Hero3. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

I spent about an hour at Manoa Falls and then made my way to Aihualama Falls. Aihualama Falls was completely empty. No one was there. This made the trail a bit creepy. Especially after I passed the supposed “haunted” seismograph room. Shortly after passing the seisomograph room, I was at the falls. There weren’t too many mosquitos today. Actually, not much mosquitos at all. This was a relief, especially considering that the last time I was here, I was nearly eaten alive. Aihulama Falls was flowing very nicely, but I had an uneasy feeling about being in this area on this particular day. Maybe it was because I was alone. Maybe it was my mind playing tricks on me. Whatever it was, it spooked me enough that I left almost as soon as I got there.

As I made my way back to the car, I thought about how stoked I was too see Manoa Falls raging. I’ve visited Manoa Falls many times before, but I’ve never seen it flowing like it was on this day. I was thoroughly satisfied. I got back to the car, pressed the white button on my alarm and then heard the double beep sound indicating that my car alarm had been disabled. I sat in the drivers seat, soaked but happy. I put the key into the ignition and then turned the key. Car didn’t start. Battery was dead! Idiot me had forgotten to turn off my headlights. The things that were going through my head could not be posted on this blog. Luckily, across the street was a grandpa willing to help jump start my car. He was super nice. The day was good, again. Thanks, grandpa!

Aihualama Falls. Shot with GoPro Hero3. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Aihualama Falls. Shot with GoPro Hero3. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

About Coty

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