August 27, 2010: Manoa Falls Trail + Aihulama Trail + Pauoa Flats Trail
We went hiking this past weekend at Manoa Falls and we had a super blast! It was so much fun.
We’ve done this trail before, and it’s becoming a favorite of our’s. It’s very shaded and cool, muddy, and if you take the Aihulama Trail up to the Pauoa Flats Trail, you can get a workout in for sure! We did lots of trail running, and in some parts the steepness + mud = enough or a workout. My legs were tight/sore for a day or two afterwards.
The short hike from the parking lot to the Falls is easy, crowded, muddy, and fun. I say it’s easy because it’s a very well set trail, that’s very public. But, it can be slippery due to the mud. We saw older folks with canes doing it, but that kinda worried me! The fall and slipping potential seems high. Otherwise, it’s an easy trail! We brought JJ, our 30-lb doggie, along for the hike and he had a great ole time. Very muddy.
The parts of the trail that go past the falls, well that’s a different story. That’s when the difficulty level pics up! Jumping over rocks and logs, roots and lots of mud, puddles, and steep inclines. In some places the trail gets super narrow, and it can be kinda scary (there are steep drop offs to one side). But it’s very shaded, and the higher you go – the prettier the views are!
In an email to a friend, here’s what I had to say:
It’s a GREAT hike to do! Very muddy, has great views, and it can be pretty challenging if you go all the way up… and you get a bit of everything: waterfalls, bamboo forests, strawberry guava trees, rainforest, zig-zags up the mountain (and eventually back down), huge tree roots, rocky paths, puddles! And an awesome lookout at the top, with some beautiful views that peek out here and there along the way. It’s like a sampler platter, you get a taste of everything!
Now, because I’m lazy… here’s just a big blob of pics from last Saturday of Me, Duggs, and our Pooch JJ hiking! Notice how muddy we all got, whew:
Directions: Just use your GPS to get you to the Lyon Arboretum: 3860 Manoa Road, Honolulu http://www.hawaii.edu/lyonarboretum/
Note: You can park at the Arboretum for free, but the time we tried to do that, the people working there were total jerks to us! You have to check into a log, they press you for a donation anyways, and they claim that there’s no dogs allowed there. But on the Trails, you can totally have dogs. They’re a pain.
So use your GPS to go to Lyon. The trail head is right by there! You’ll be on a really residential road, Manoa Road. But stay on Manos road and go past all the houses and follow it up this hill that’s kinda twisty. You’ll pass under this walking bridge that connects the forest to a Chinese Food restaurant (I think it’s called “Tree Top” or something like that). Right past the restaurant is a dirt lot that usually has attendants who charge $5 for parking. We’ve just done that every time. It’s safe and easy. And bonus! They’ve recently added these awesome hoses and brushes anyone can use to get the mud off of you after your hike. Yay!
The Trail Head is a short walk from the parking lot, it’s very easy to see and you should see lots of people coming and going anyways. It’s a popular trail for sure!
Some info on the Trails we got from other sites:
- The Aihualama Trail begins at Manoa Falls, skirts the upper end of Manoa Valley, then heads steeply up to Pauoa Flats and a stunning overlook. The route passes through groves of bamboo, koa, eucalyptus and enormous banyan trees. The are great views across the valley to Waikiki and Diamond Head. From the Nuuanu Overlook at the trail ’s end are panoramic vistas overlooking the Nuuanu Valley and the rugged Koolau Mountains. Read more at Trails.com: Aihualama Trail to Nuuanu Overlook | Honolulu Hawaii Hikes | Trails.comhttp://www.trails.com/tcatalog_trail.aspx?trailId=HGP040-013#ixzz1WdcWBoCr