A Visit to the Multi-Tiered Waimano Waterfall and Pools

It’s Flashback Friday! This is another one of those hikes that our crew did a while ago, but never found its way to the Exploration: Hawaii blog. This Flashback Friday post brings us way back to December 2011. As with other Flashback Friday posts, you won’t find as much detailed trail information because, well, I’ve for the most part forgotten too much detail to fully describe the trail. Of course, you can still enjoy the photos!

To get to Waimano Falls, you’ll need to jump on the rugged Manana Ridge trail since they share the same trailhead. As with most trails in the Aiea area, you will notice large powerlines throughout the hike. From the trailhead to the Waimano Falls junction, there’s little elevation gain. The tricky part will be actually finding the junction to Waimano Falls.

Where to go? Photo by Joel Sabugo.

Where to go? Photo by Joel Sabugo.

Laughs and giggles. Photo by Joel Sabugo.

Laughs and giggles. Photo by Joel Sabugo.

This sign was tricky to spot! We actually missed it first and walked right passed it. Photo by Joel Sabugo.

This sign was tricky to spot! We actually missed it first and walked right passed it. Photo by Joel Sabugo.

Once you reach the signed Waimano Waterfall junction, you’ll then turn right and descend down Cardia Hill. Yep, it’s called Cardiac Hill because you’ll definitely get a cardio workout on your return trip from the falls. It will likely take you about 1 to 1.5 hours to get to the waterfall and pools.

On this day, I remember us having the waterfall all to ourselves. We spent some time exploring the tiers of waterfalls and pools. There’s also a rope installed (not sure if it’s still there) that people can use to swing into one of the deeper pools. If you look closely at that photo of me sitting and looking at the pools, then you should be able to make out the faint green rope. Of course, there was some tomfoolery that went on. And, OWLing photos were taken. Remember when I used to OWL on hikes?

The one part of this hike that sticks out in my mind was that God damn Cardiac Hill. Hated that thing. But, in retrospect, it’s not nearly as bad as the hill that you encounter when visiting Kalauao Falls. Let me tell you, that’s the real Cardiac Hill.

WTF. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

WTF. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Awkward. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Awkward. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Triple Tiered View. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Triple Tiered View. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Ryan with the rope assist. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Ryan with the rope assist. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

A panorama of Waimano Falls. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

A panorama of Waimano Falls. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Guardian of the shoes. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Guardian of the shoes. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

The Waimano Pools. Photo by Joel Sabugo.

The Waimano Pools. Photo by Joel Sabugo.

Joel's craving some leptosperosis. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Joel’s craving some leptosperosis. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Tiered Waterfall. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Tiered Waterfall. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Looking from the top down. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Looking from the top down. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Waimano Falls. Photo by Joel Sabugo.

Waimano Falls. Photo by Joel Sabugo.

Explorers: Coty Gonzales, Joel Sabugo, and Ryan Salvador.

Total Distance: 3 miles roundtrip.

Total Time: ~3 hours roundtrip.

Waimano Falls Tips:

  • It’s probably best to go during the winter, rainy months. Visit this trail a day after a heavy rain and you should see a nice flow to the waterfall and a deep pool.

Directions to the Waimano Falls Trailhead: From Honolulu, you will head west bound toward Ewa on the H1. Take exit 10 toward Pearl City. You will then merge onto Moanalua Rd. Turn right onto Waimano Home Rd. Finally, you will turn left onto Komo Mai Dr. and drive to the end of the road. Find street parking.

About Coty

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