05 Mar Lulumahu Falls hike – Oahu
This hike, which in the end becomes more of a “scramble,” is not an official, registered trail. Consequently, the trail itself not maintained and there are no signs telling you where to go. But this is what makes the destination all the more adventuresome! Thanks to directions from Camille C on Yelp (which we’ve adapted and posted below) and advice from several different people we encountered on the way, we eventually found our way to the falls.
In a short distance, the scenery on this journey changes frequently. From bamboo forest to wide open, grassy hills; man-made resevoir to lush, jungly waterfall.
Tips for Happy Hiking
If you’re going to attempt this hike, be sure you have good footwear with traction and clothes you don’t mind getting dirty. The way up to the falls requires you to cross a creek several times, climb over some boulders and fallen trees, and inevitably sludge through varying quantities of mud. We picked up a bamboo walking stick at the start of our trek, which was definitely helpful for keeping balance. We also made sure to spray ourselves with mosquito repellent before heading out.
The parking area is found where the Old Pali Road (Nuuanu) meets up with the Pali Highway, not far from the Kaniakapupu Ruins. If possible, park along the old road next to the Board of Water Supply gate, and enter through the large hole in the fence next to the gate.
(Many hikers, after parking, will automatically walk the opposite way towards the wooden sign and mailbox because there is an obvious trail entrance there. You can definitely do that as well, but it will just take you into the bamboo forest, which is less direct.)
Walk through the opening by the gate and follow the wide path straight. Keep heading straight down the wide path until you reach another set of power lines with a path- take a left. It will seem as if that left will lead you straight into the bamboo forest, but it’s another nice and easy path cutting right through. Continue following that curvy path until you reach a large clearing with a nice and open grassy hill.
Go up the steps and the path will lead you towards this muddy fenced off area. Make your way around to the back of the fence where there’s an opening and small hill. Follow that path to the waterfall.
Always keep close to the creek bed. You’ll cross through the water over the rocks a few times and the closer you get to the waterfall, the more boulders you will have to hop over and climb. Some reviews mention following the orange flagged markers, but they may not always be the easiest route. If you stay close to the creek and intuit the way of least resistance, you won’t go astray.
(Best of Oahu also has directions with pictures.)
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