4. Family Hikes
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Yes, that’s the trail
Crossing the stream
Up the hill and to the left
Lovely gingers on both sides!
I walked to the end at came to a rock wall and a small stream.
I found another trail right against the rock wall but I decided to save that for another adventure.
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Directions: Its located in the back of Lyon’s Arboretum. I suggest taking a map from the Lyon’s Arboretum visitor’s center so that you don’t get lost. There are so many side trails that its easy to get lost. Basically follow the main trail which is a gravel trail that turns into a cobble stone trail all the way to the back of the mountain.
What to bring: Water, mosquito repellent, a map and a cell phone in case you get lost.
Take out the trash that you bring in. Please don’t pick the rare flowers. Leave nothing behind but footprints and take nothing but pictures.
Driving Directions: Take E. Manoa Road in Manoa Valley, toward the mountain, past Manoa Marketplace to the intersection of Alani Dr. Turn left, and continue for about 0.75 mi. to where Alani Dr. takes a sharp right, and Alani Lane continues straight ahead. Park along Alani Dr. in the neighborhood outside Alani Ln. Do not continue down Alani Ln. with your vehicle. Walk down Alani Ln. (it will look like a driveway), past the houses, and through the cable gate. Beyond the gate, continue on the dirt road until you get to the Forestry and Wildlife picnic shelter. Pu`u Pia Trail is to the left of the shelter. Camping allowed at the shelter.
Bus Directions: Take the #6 Woodlawn Drive bus from Ala Moana into Manoa. Ask the bus driver to drop you off at the stop BEFORE Alani Dr. Then walk to Alani drive.
What to Bring: Water, mosquito repellent and hiking shoes. Pack out the trash that you bring in. Leave nothing but footprints. Happy Trails!
The Madagascar gecko is getting a drink from the yellow heliconia flower.
Aihualama Trail is one of my favorites because of the variations of folage and birds. Its difficult to pick my favorite photo because its such a beautiful place. Be prepared to be attacked by mosquitos though. Aihualama is a jungle!
There are many ways to get to Aihualama Trail. That is one thing I love about Oahu forests. There is no set trail. There are many ways to get to the same place. In my previous blog I discussed directions for Pauoa Flats. If you are in for a serious adventure then at the Pauoa Flats intersection turn left and walk straight until you hit the Aihualama trail. It will take you 5 minutes to reach Aihualama Trail. Be sure to bring water because from Judd Trail to Manoa Falls its about 7 miles total and you will get thirsty.
If 7 miles isn’t your thing then hike up the Manoa Trail (1 mile) and next to the falls is Aihualama Trail. Hike up Aihualama for a mile and a half. Don’t mind the bizarre screeches and screams. Those are just Cockatoos in the trees. If you reach the top of Aihualama you will see another trail on the right. This small trail is the Pauoa Flats lookout. So there are two ways to reach the Pauoa Flats lookout mentioned in the last blog post. You can either go up Judd-> Nuuanu-> Pauoa Flats OR Manoa Falls ->Aihualama -> Pauoa lookout.
The photos were taken on the hike from Manoa Falls to Aihualama. This is not the crossover hike.
There is yet another way to access Aihualama Trail. Its a bit of cheat trail. You can bypass Manoa Falls trail and run straight up to Aihualama in 10 minutes. However, its more like a pig hunter trail and it you get lost up here no one will be able to locate you because its not a state trail. I have rescued a few stranded hikers on this trail before. Its best to stick to the original Oahu Na Hele Trails rather than wander around on pig hunter trails. If you vaguely know what I’m talking about and ever find yourself lost here: Don’t panic. If you keep walking to the right through all of the psychotic bamboo you will eventually hit Manoa Trail.
I prefer walking to the left though because you will eventually hit Lyon’s Arboretum. I have gotten myself lost back here while documenting native bird nests. I was chasing birds and before I knew it…I was lost. I recommend walking to the left because you will get out of the forest within a matter of 5 minutes. You just will piss of Lyon’s Arboretum though. Certain sections of their gardens are off limits because of liability concerns.
Anyways, walk left for 5 minutes and cross one or two streams. Ignore the wild boar. They won’t hurt you. You will end up climbing up through a bunch of crazy looking ginger, heliconia and there will be geckos in your hair. But after 5 minutes you will find the Lyon’s Arboretum Trail. Notice that to your right is the mountain. If you are lost and dehydrated you do not want to go to the mountain. Turn left and follow Lyon’s Arboretum Trail all the way down. There is a bathroom and visitor’s center at the end of the trail where you can buy water and cry.
I will be showing a few photos of the pig hunter trail and then show photos of the real Oahu Na Hele Trail. I am not giving directions to the pig hunter trail because I don’t want to fish you out of the jungle.
One bad thing about this pig hunter trail is that giant trees fall within a moment’s notice. On this particular hike there was a 50 foot banyan tree that looked totally normal on a summer’s day. I came back down the same trail and found that it had fallen down in the middle of the trail. You just can’t tell which trees are termite infested until they fall and smoosh you. Which is all the more reason to stick with state Oahu Na Hele Trail. But I was looking for birds and didn’t care at this moment.
Very beautiful! Lots of boar tracks. There are pig hunters that come this way. Try not to disturb them. They do us a service by making sure there are no 5 foot tall boar wandering around in the forest. There are smaller pigs on the main Aihualama state trail.
I just love the trees! As you can tell, the trail is not evident here. So I just walked around in circles and enjoyed myself.
Found the trail! Hooray!
I don’t know this loaded sideways but its still beautiful.
I love trees
The bamboo section of the cheat trail to Aihualama is a tricky one. If you feel lost or confused in here its best to keep on the main trail. If you attempt to wander to the left it will take you 30 minutes to get to Aihualama waterfall and you will be a hot mess. (I have done it before) If you try to find Manoa Trail you will most likely get seriously lost and have to spend a night in the forest.
So if you are disoriented around the palm tree section then just walk left and follow the trail into Lyon’s Arboretum and out to the main trail. However, once you hit the bamboo section then just keep on following the trail. The forest will get dark but don’t let that or the crazy Cockatoos scare you. You are 7 minutes away from Aihualama Trail at this point. One confusing section of the cheat trail is where is leads to the old foundations of a house. Just backtrack your way 4 or 5 steps and look up and to your right for the trail continuing up to Aihualama. Keep to the trail at this point once you are in the bamboo forest.
Its beautiful and yet creepy…
Yes, that’s the trail…
Then I crawled out of the forest and onto the Aihualama Trail. To the right will be Manoa Falls. To the left will be more Aihualama adventure. I turned left onto the state approve Na Hele Aihualama Trail.
I love this leaf because is has a velvety sheen on it.
When you reach this point of the trail you are 10 minutes from the top. You then enter another bamboo section and when you come out there will be another trail on your right. This is the Pauoa Flats lookout. If you continue straight on Pauoa Flats the next right hand turn will be to Nuuanu Switchbacks trail and it’s lookout. Be sure to retrace your steps so that you don’t get lost.
There are no housekeepers that pick up trash on any of these trail. State workers only cut down fallen trees that block trails. Bring out your trash. Leave nothing but footprints and smiles. Happy Trails!
Manoa Falls is an easy trail in Manoa Valley. Bring good footwear because it is muddy and slippery. Its one mile to the waterfall. You may want to bring mosquito repellent.
I love how this tree looks like a giant lady holding up branches into the air.
First glimpse of the waterfall.
This type of flower comes from an invasive ginger called “Green Grenade”. Its beautiful but its a weed. I took this flower home and a week later 1000 seeds came bursting from the flower. Not to mention that it spreads like wildfire from the rhizome (root) system. The original collection is at Lyon’s Arboretum but it somehow hopped its way through the Manoa Forest and near to the waterfall. So I beheaded it because it had such a lovely face. Then I took its photo.
FYI: This not a Hawaiian tradition. Many visitors from the mainland have come and set up these little rock cairns that look like rock people. They look cute so I took their photos. However, many of my Hawaiian friends and family are offended because it is not a Hawaiian tradition.
The Rock person is enjoying the waterfall.
You can never have enough pictures of Manoa Falls.
Rainbow in the falls!
I was back floating in the pool and saw the falls from this perspective.
Just was a word of warning: The state does not want people swimming in the pool because of the fear or rock slides and lawsuits. You swim at your own risk. These funny buggers below illustrated the point. Now they will be famous.
They are pretending to be unconscious from a falling rock. Anyways, so much for silliness.
Take out your lunch trash. There are no state housekeepers paid to pick up after you. Bring out what you bring in. Leave nothing but footprints and smiles. Happy Trails!
Manoa Falls Directions: Going East bound on H1: Take the Punahou Exit 23 then See below directions. Going West bound on H1: Take the Wilder Exit 24, continue on Wilder to the third light take a right on Punahou. See below directions. Continue up Punahou, heading towards the mountains. Punahou turns in Manoa road by staying left at the fork in the road. You will soon come to a five way intersection. Stay on Manoa road. Manoa Road continues into the back of Manoa Valley and ends at Paradise Park. Due to a high amount of hiker car theft the Manoa Falls parking lot has been unfortunately closed. Therefore, hikers have two choices. 1) Parking in the Paradise Park lot for a fee of $5.00 or 2) Park in the lower neighborhood for free. There is absolutely no parking on the fire lane beyond the Paradise parking lot and before the Lyon Arboretum entrance. After parking continue up the fire lane to the entrance of Lyon Arboretum. You will see straight ahead the old Manoa Falls parking lot gate and fence. Continue through the fence to the Manoa Falls trailhead. DO NOT LEAVE VALUABLES IN YOUR VEHICLE.