Please comment on this blog if you know the proper name of these dried Koolau waterfall chutes that surround Maunawili.
This is the beginning of Maunawili Falls Trail where the one trail divides into two trails. The trail on the left is very wide and muddy and you will see alot of people travel on that trail. It goes through a guava forest and up steep steps until it hits the top of a hill. Turn left and you will pass by steps on the left hand side which goes down to Maunawili Falls. There will be a bench on the right. Then you will see a trail which follows the hill upward and goes on a mini ridge. This is the trail I am writing about today.
If you take a right at the sign (like I do) you will cross three creeks, walk through a wonderful garden and walk up a gentle hill shrouded in guava trees. At the end of this hill you will see a trail intersection. Hike to the left because if you hike to the right you will end up in somebody’s backyard. Continue through the 6 foot tall grass and wild orchids onto a beautiful ridge. You will pass some telephone poles and the first set of stairs on the left. DO NOT GO DOWN THOSE STAIRS. The first set of stairs is the left hand trail from the bottom that is connecting to the current ridge trail that you are walking on. Continue down for 5 minutes and you will see a second set of stairs on the left with a bench on the right. Those stairs are the stairs to Maunawili Falls.
However, in this entry I will be writing about the trail which continues straight on the ridge. This trail is called Maunawili Connector Trail. Maunawili Connector Trail can be accessed via the Maunawili Falls Trail and also Maunawili Trail. The Maunawili Trail is a trail which starts at the Pali lookout and wraps around the Koolaus for 9 miles before it ends in Waimanalo. The Maunawili Trail is dangerous to hike during heavy rains. However the Maunawili Connector Trail seems safe as long as you keep your distance from the massive waterfall chutes.
This is the bench that sits in front of the stairs which lead down to Maunawili Waterfall. We will continue on passed Maunawili Falls on that trail straight ahead of us.
The forest can seem quite dark when its raining. I wish that it had rained more though. It was so humid that I got dehydrated on this trip. I drank 2 liters of water on this trip and still became dehydrated. Keep that in mind when hiking this trail.
The guava trees were everywhere! These were small guavas though. They weren’t that tasty.
That green moss was so soft that I wanted to take a nap on it. However, it is very fragile to the touch. It seemed to tear quite easily when I touched it.
The path began to lead up some stairs and to a ridge clearing.
The first dried waterfall chute of the day. This is where I started to become quite excited. It was sprinkling and I was praying for rain. One good down pour and this entire Koolau valley will turn into an amphitheater of waterfalls. It wouldn’t bother me since I was on top of the ridge. However, people hiking in the valley of Maunawili could get washed away.
The views were stunning
Coming closer to those dried waterfall chutes
Red Ohia Lehua tree. Its an endemic Hawaiian species and its endangered.
Those dark crags in the mountain are dried waterfall chutes.
As you can see, the trail goes further along the ridge to the left where it connects with the Maunawili Trail.
These beautiful wild orchids were posing in front of the dried waterfalls. This picture would be epic if the waterfalls started going off.
The sun started to come out and show the many dried waterfalls chutes of the Koolau mountains. This also meant that there was no chance of waterfalls today. Koolau waterfalls usually only start during heavy rains. They are the most beautiful and can be the most dangerous waterfalls to observe in person. Exercise common sense when attempting to view these waterfalls during heavy rains.
I ran out of water so its back down hill for me!
Olomana in the distance
I was so hot that I decided to crawl down the stairs and swim in the deep (brown) Maunawili Waterfall pool.
The Maunawili Connector Trail is mostly flat except for a few inclines along the stair path. It is a bit remote and therefore I wouldn’t recommend it for children and the elderly. (Unless the elderly person is an avid hiker.) Its is about 8 miles roundtrip if you start at the Maunawili Waterfall Trail.