Located at the end of Manoa Road on the south of the island, this easily accessible trail is a short distance from downtown. This 1.6 mile round trip trail is well-known for its appearance in scenes in “Jurassic Park” and “Lost,” making it an extremely popular destination.
You can find free parking if you park in the residential neighborhood and walk 1/4 mile to the trailhead or paid parking if you park in the Paradise Park parking lot at the trailhead. From the Manoa Falls trail sign, you’ll start your journey across a bridge, and slowly hike up along the sides of the deep rainforest valley.
You’ll have a fairly easy hike through bamboo and guava tree forest to the the 150-foot Manoa Falls. This lush, rainforest-like hike can be quite muddy even when it hasn’t rained recently, so come with the right shoes. Note that this popular trail is often closed for trail repair and maintenance, so be sure to check for current closures before heading to the trailhead.
A nice thing about this trail is you’re shaded by trees for pretty much the entire journey. At the start of the trail, you’ll see and smell eucalyptus trees, and then further up you’ll encounter gnarly, old-growth banyan trees, tropical flowers, and eventually a bamboo grove. What remains constant is the breathtaking, panoramic view of the misty green valley as you hike uphill.
Midway up the trail, there’s a detour that takes you on a parallel path through the bamboo grove, and then it eventually rejoins the main trail. This detour tends to be less muddy and slippery, so many tend to take it.
At the end of the trail, you are rewarded with a view of the 100-foot-high Manoa Falls, which flows straight down a large rock face.