Lulumahu falls hiking trail, is a popular hike that leads through thick rainforest to a beautiful 50ft waterfall. The hike offers a beautiful bamboo forest, landscape mountain views, and rocky streams. Although it’s a popular hike, during the weekdays there aren’t a lot of people when compared to other Oahu waterfall hikes like Manoa Falls.
HIKING TO LULUMAHU FALLS ON OAHU, HAWAII
Lulumahu Trail is located near the top of the Pali Highway at the Nu’uanu Water Reservoir. It’s only a 1-mile hike to reach the waterfall and the trail is fairly easy. There are a few routes leading to the falls, and you can choose to go through or around the bamboo forest located near the trail entrance.
We recently hiked to Lulumahu Falls and I believe the best route to go is around the Bamboo forest first, stay along the path of the Nu’uanu Reservoir. When hiking this route, on your way back you can take the trail through the bamboo forest to the parking lot. To do this you’ll follow the main Nu’uanu trail entrance (as shown in photo above) and turn left up a slight grassy slope where you’ll have an amazing view of the surrounding landscape and Nu’uanu Reservoir. From here you can see the top of the bamboo forest and spot out some manmade steps that lead down the grassy slope to the bamboo forest entrance, this way you’ll know where to go on your way back.
Once you pass the water reservoir keep to the right and you’ll find some small steps leading into the rainforest. From here the trail leads up rocky streams which we had to cross back and forth a few times to access better trail on either side of the stream. It can be confusing, and there is no wrong way to go, but some awesome hikers left a few pink ribbons on the trail that lead to the best hiking paths.
The hike through the rainforest to Lulumahu waterfall can be a bit slippery due to the frequent showers. If it’s a rainy day you’ll have to be extra careful not to slip through the mud, but for the most part it is a short and easy trail. It’s a good idea to wear hiking shoes and bring a plastic bag in your car for your muddy shoes afterwards.
When you arrive at Lulumahu Waterfall there is a very small and shallow pond you could take a dip in to cool off. The waterfall is actually apart of three waterfalls that lead up to over 100ft high. However, you can only visibly see the two main waterfalls at about 50ft. The beautiful scenery is accompanied by fresh rainforest air that give the waterfall a relaxing and mystical experience. The size of the waterfall stream increases greatly after heavy rains, but the trail also fills with more mud.
I really enjoyed how easy and quick the hike was and it’s a plus that you can park right where the trail begins. I will admit Manoa Falls waterfall hike is a better experience with a larger waterfall, but it is also a longer and more crowed hike. If you’re heading to Kailua or Lanikai Beach for the day, Lulumahu falls is a great waterfall hike to add to the trip, and afterwards you can head just up the street to the Pali Lookout.
On the Lulumahu Falls Trail we saw all ages enjoying the hike. We passed a family with a few kids (ages 3-5) and even a mother with an infant strapped to her back. The 2-mile round trip hike is great for everyone – all levels and ages as long as there wasn’t any heavy rains a few days before.
It’s easy to find the parking lot at the top of the Pali Highway just as the road starts to level out.
Where to Park for Lulumahu Falls Hike:
Parking for Lulumahu Falls Trail is off the Pali Highway as you reach the peak. Its a dirt parking lot usually with plenty of cars. Below is an image of the Lulumahu falls parking lot.
Best Times To Hike:
Lulumahu Waterfall trail has good hiking conditions year around. It’s best to go during the week days to avoid the weekend crowd, and at least 3 days after any heavy rains to avoid the mud.