In August 2011, Exploration: Hawaii was small blog with practically no readership other than our closest friends. At the time, a short blog post about a waterfall located off the Old Pali Road would be just our fifth blog posts. It was one of the first hikes that Joel, Marvin, I did as a group. I relied entirely on my iPhone 4 to take photos with. It became one of our most popular posts. I don’t even think Marvin had even mastered the art of the panorama yet. He didn’t even have his signature GPS at the time. Two years later, I finally had the chance to return to Likeke Falls, not with Marvin and Joel, but with my wife, some old friends, and some new ones.
You’re in town and you want a quick waterfall fix? And I mean really quick. Get your fix in Nuuanu, just a few minutes away from downtown Honolulu. Alapena Falls and Kapena Falls is the fastest waterfall hike on the island. Once you’ve parked your car, it will only take you about 3-5 minutes to reach the falls. Most of you won’t even break a sweat.
Update (6/26/2016): Significant edits have been made to this post because of recent acts of vandalism and graffiti at Kaniakapupu. Please watch the video above, provided by the Department of Land and Natural Resources, for reasons why you should not do this hike. Mahalo.
Note: Kaniakapupu is a closed trail and is not open to the public. Only authorized groups are allowed to hike Kaniakapupu, including, the Sierra Club of Hawaii and the Hawaiian Civic Club. As our disclaimer partially reads: “I’m not your daddy, these are dangerous as sh*t hikes, even the simple ones, if you got [insert applicable disorder, disease, or physical impairment] don’t even think about it yo.” Also, consider these tips on Hiking Safely In Hawaii. Mahalo.
“Leave it alone. Don’t scratch it, don’t do anything to it, come with respect. Criminy sakes, I don’t know where you’re coming from, but this is not a graffiti palette to do your thing. This is important to a lot of people. This is important to the Hawaiian nation, yea. It’s just utter disrespect, utter disrespect. How does it make me feel? It makes me feel awful.” -Baron Ching, Vice-Chairman of Aha Hui Malama O Kaniakapupu
Please consider the above and elect to respect this culturally sensitive site by observing from a distance (through the photos already available online) or visiting with an authorized group with permission and a permit.
The Old Pali Road Trail (sometimes called the Old Pali Highway Trail) is one that you can do relatively quickly. If you need an escape but don’t have much time on your hands then you might want to consider hiking the Old Pali Highway.