Manoa Falls - March 26, 2012

Manoa Falls is one of the most popular hikes on the island of Oahu.  The trail is short and easy, ending at at a beautiful 150-foot waterfall in the back on Manoa Valley.  The trail is regularly maintained by the state making for a well-defined and easy-to-follow trail.  Because of its popularity, you'll be lucky to find yourself hiking alone.

The total in-and-out mileage along the Manoa Falls trail is around 1.6 miles.  Parking is available at the Lyon Arboretum for $5.00.  If you prefer to not to pay for parking, there is free parking down the street along Manoa Road.  Another way to get to Manoa Falls is the Aihualama trail; that route, also maintained by the state, is a tad longer and offers up a bit more of a workout.

For more information on Manoa Falls, visit the Na Ala Hele website:
Na Ala Hele: Manoa Falls Trail


A'akaki'i-Kokololio - March 25, 2012

The A'akaki'i-Kokololio hike is a loop trail located in the foothills above Hau'ula town.  Half of the route traverses a well-trodden path; the other half traverses a route mostly used by local pig hunters.

Initially, the trail starts on a well-defined path that gradually gains elevation and then descends into A'akaki'i Gulch.  The trail then finds its way out of A'akaki'i Gulch by climbing steeply to gain the top of a ridge.

Turning mauka from the top of the ridge heads through an overgrown trail with the occasional head high uluhe fern; the makai route heads down the ridge back to the starting point.  Despite the overgrowth on the mauka route, the views are spectacular.  Lofty views of the windward coastline from Kahuku to Punalu'u can be seen, as well as views deep into Kaipapa'u and its adjacent gulches.  More spectacular are the towering peaks of the lush Ko'olau mountains.

Heading makai, the ridge descends toward the ocean and back to the trailhead.  With a bit of route finding, the broad ridge offers panoramic views along every exposed section.  There are some shady rest spots to take advantage of: a quaint Cook pine grove offers a good amount of shade about half way down the ridge, as does some breezy ironwood groves further below as the ridge loses elevation.  Every now and then a trail would appear, mostly faint and indistinct, but nothing unmanageable.

Nearing the end of the ridge, we took advantage of our last lofty view of the windward coastline before heading downhill to our starting point.  Looking to the horizon we could hear a rustling stream to our right, with a small waterfall in view just below the north side of Kaipapa'u Hill.  After a long rest and a wealthy amount of photo ops, we headed back down to our starting point and headed home.

photo: D. Napoleon

photo: D. Napoleon