The Best Waterfalls on Oahu and Where to Find Them
Close your eyes and picture it. A lush, green rainforest, birds chirping and a warm breeze rustling through the trees. Through the tropical din you hear something else. The sound of water gently falling. A Hawaiian waterfall is at the top of most Oahu visitors’ lists, and we know the best places to see them. Stick around as we discover the best waterfalls on Oahu, and where you can find them.
The Best Waterfalls on Oahu
Manoa Falls: Most Accessible
This 150ft waterfall is one of the most visited on Oahu. You can easily access it via a 2-mile trail which is maintained by the State of Hawaii. Enjoy hiking through the Jurassic-like vegetation and forest as you make your way to Manoa Falls at the end of the trail. Please be aware that swimming under the falls is not permitted, and the trail can be slippery and muddy at times. Our Waikiki All-Inclusive Packages include this popular activity, contact us for booking details.
Sacred Falls: Best Waterfall on Oahu for Helicopter Tour
This is one of the most spectacular waterfalls on Oahu, however it is only visible by helicopter. This site has been closed to hikers since 1999, when a landslide led to a tragic loss of life. However, it is well worth the cost of a helicopter tour if that is within your Hawaii budget.
Waimea Falls: Best Waterfall on Oahu for Swimming
This 40ft waterfall located inside the Waimea Valley Botanical Gardens is one of the best Oahu waterfalls for wanting to safely swim under a waterfall. Lifeguards are on duty, making this ideal for children as well as adults. You can add Waimea Valley to the Island Exploration Tour in any of our Waikiki All-Inclusive Packages.
Lulumahu Falls: Most Interesting Hike
One of Oahu’s best waterfalls is located off the Pali Highway. You’ll need a permit to access this waterfall, and parking can be difficult. Visiting this 50ft waterfall requires a good sense of direction and a reasonable amount of stamina, but the payoff is well worth it!
Maunawili Falls: Longest Hike
Although the Maunawili Falls Trail has been closed since 2021, you can still visit this breathtaking Oahu waterfall via the Maunawili Demonstration Trail. This trail is twice as long as the other trail, but the solitude, scenery and waterfall are well worth it.
Jackass Ginger Pools: Just for Fun
This small 8ft Oahu waterfall off Nu’uanu Pali Drive takes me back to my teenage years. The easy, 1-mile walk, and natural moss slide make this a fun spot for those not looking for a touristy or strenuous experience.
As with any hiking or swimming, please always exercise caution. Know your limits and adhere to all posted warning and no trespassing signs. Always swim with caution, and we recommend never hiking or swimming alone. Don’t jump off rocks or ledges and be alert for falling rocks. There is a danger of Leptospirosis bacteria in the water, which can cause flulike symptoms, so never enter the water with open wounds.