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Oahu Waterfalls Guide

The 6 Best Waterfalls in Oahu

Updated March 2024

Oahu Waterfall Guide: The Best Waterfalls In Oahu
Oahu Waterfall Guide: The Best Waterfalls In Oahu

Welcome to Oahu

As one of the largest Hawaiian Islands, Oahu has so much to offer travelers. From the stunning landscapes to the crystal clear waters, you’re in for a treat when visiting Oahu. One of the things that stands out is the island’s many beautiful waterfalls. Due to heavy rainfall, mountainous landscapes, and lush vegetation, it’s easy for visitors to see dozens of Oahu waterfalls throughout the island. Check out our guide below for the best waterfalls in Oahu, Hawaii.

As one of the largest Hawaiian Islands, Oahu has so much to offer travelers. From the stunning landscapes to the crystal clear waters, you’re in for a treat when visiting Oahu. One of the things that stands out is the island’s many beautiful waterfalls. Due to heavy rainfall, mountainous landscapes, and lush vegetation, it’s easy for visitors to see dozens of Oahu waterfalls throughout the island. Check out our guide below for the best waterfalls in Oahu, Hawaii.

Oahu Map

Oahu Map

Oahu Waterfall Guide: The Best Waterfalls In Oahu

The Best Oahu Waterfalls

Oahu Waterfall Guide: The Best Waterfalls in Oahu
Oahu Waterfall Guide: The Best Waterfalls in Oahu

Waimea Falls

You’ll find the famous Waimea Falls on the north shore of Oahu in Waimea Valley. This 45 foot waterfall is one of the safest and most easily accessible for swimming, making it a perfect Oahu waterfall for families with small children. The paved walking trail is a 1.5 mile round trip, and a free shuttle service is available. Families can enjoy the lifeguarded swimming area where lifejackets are provided and required. To access the Waimea Falls, guests must pay an entry fee for the Waimea Valley Botanical Gardens. Due to the easy access to the waterfall, it is often crowded. Other fun activities while visiting include the gardens and cultural exhibits within the valley. You’ll notice that across the street is Waimea Bay. The bay is one of the North Shore’s most iconic beaches and makes a great stop after your waterfall hike

Oahu Waterfall Guide: The Best Waterfalls in Oahu
Oahu Waterfall Guide: The Best Waterfalls in Oahu

Manoa Falls

Manoa Falls is one of the most famous waterfalls in Oahu. You may recognize the falls as they were featured in popular productions such as “Jurassic Park” and “Lost.” Manoa Falls is easily accessible to visitors via a short drive from Honolulu. The trail to Manoa Falls is accessible via a well kept, short 1.7 mile round-trip trail. Families can enjoy this leisurely stroll through Manoa Valley’s lush green jungles, with the towering 150-foot payoff at the end. Swimming is not permitted at Manoa Falls. Please respect this policy, regardless of what others do. You can easily find a place to park your car for a small fee, around $5 (USD).

Oahu Waterfall Guide
Oahu Waterfall Guide

Likeke Falls

Likeke Falls is one of Oahu’s hidden treasures, with a serene, calm location that features the beautiful cascading 15-foot waterfall. To get to Likeke, you’ll have to hike a distance of about 1.75 miles round trip. Undoubtedly, after walking through the jungle, the first thing you will want to do is jump into the calm, refreshing water. There are two points of access for Likeke Falls. You can access the Likeke Falls trailhead from the Ko’olau Golf Course parking lot or begin your trek at the Nuuanu Pali Lookout, which offers breathtaking views of Oahu’s windward side. However, accessing the waterfall from the top of the Nuuanu Pali Lookout is not recommended for beginners or families with small children, as it requires a steep hike back uphill. The trail is often wet and muddy, so wear sturdy hiking boots.

Oahu Waterfall Guide: The Best Waterfalls in Oahu
Oahu Waterfall Guide: The Best Waterfalls in Oahu

Waimano Falls

Those looking for peace and tranquility will love Waimano Falls. This enchanting waterfall is located on the south side of Oahu. During this 3-mile round trip hike, you can take in the beauty of Oahu before arriving at the gorgeous free-flowing falls with several pools below. Beginning at the Manana trail and spanning one and a half miles, the path to Waimano Falls winds through a canopy of verdant green forest before reaching the cascading waterfalls. Remember that this is an out-and-back trail, and you will hike around 3 miles round trip. The pool below Waimano Falls is popular for cliff jumping and swimming, with the jump about 15 feet. Make sure to check for debris first, and then check your landing area.

Oahu Waterfall Guide
Oahu Waterfall Guide

Jackass Ginger Pool

Despite the funny name and small size, the Jackass Ginger Pool & Falls is a beloved Oahu experience. Although the falls only stand around 7 feet tall, the swimming hole at the base of the falls is a very popular area for families to take a dip. You can access Jackass Ginger Pool by hiking the 1 mile Judd Trail Loop off the Pali Highway. The hike traverses several streams and is leisurely and well marked. At the trail split (it’s a loop, so you can go either way), the Jackass Ginger Pool is just to the right, although going left allows you to walk the trail first and then end back at the swimming hole.

Oahu Waterfall Guide: The Best Waterfalls in Oahu
Oahu Waterfall Guide: The Best Waterfalls in Oahu

Waipuhia Falls

Also known as UpsideDown Falls, Waipuhia Falls is unique because it appears to flow backward when it’s rainy or windy. A 0.6-mile trail off Pali Highway is sometimes visible but due to jungle overgrowth and the fact that the trail passes through private property, makes the trail inaccessible. These unique falls feature a cascade that never seems to hit the ground due to the wind. The best and really only way to witness the falls is from your car. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled if you’re on the hunt to find this miracle in nature, as it is difficult to see the waterfall from the Pali Highway in the rain.

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