Hike to Likeke Falls

Likeke Falls
Likeke Falls

While looking for things to do on our second visit to Oahu, I came across this hike to Likeke  Falls on the Windward side of the island. There are two routes, the longer route down from Pali Lookout. Then there is the shorter (20 minutes) route from below the falls. This is the route I will share. It seems no matter where you get your directions from, there remain a few head scratching moments. I will do my best to get you there with ease, but if you use these directions, be prepared. Part of the journey is feeling like maybe, just maybe, you should have taken that other turn.

Before I give you the directions here are a few comments.

  • A lot of people rate this easy. If you are a hiker, yes it is easy. If you are not a hiker. It is easy, yet requires you to bend a few times. Please where something other than flip-flops. We saw some senior citizens starting the hike in flip-flops on our way back to the car. What?!?! A fragile back and flip-flops would not be a good idea.
  • Many people say this is kid friendly. We actually saw some people with kids make it all the way. Please be sure your kids understand that they need to listen to you and stay within sight. It would be VERY easy for a kid to get lost on this hike.
  • You will walk on unpaved paths and very uneven and sometimes slippery surfaces, dodge roots, bend way over to get under low hanging vines and brush, and all the while, be required to pay close attention so you do not miss a turn and end up two hours later near Pali Lookout.

Here go the directions.

  1. Get yourself to the Koolau Golf Club. Here is the address – put it in the GPS. 45-550 Kionaole Road Kaneohe, Oahu, HI 96744 . Although it is right near H3 it can be tricky to find.
  2. Park in the far opposite corner from the club house. This seemed to be tricky for other people who were looking for the start of the trail as well. If the parking lot is a rectangle. The club house will be in the lower right and you will park in the upper left corner. The trail (road) will have two yellow poles with a chain. You will start here.
  3. Walk past the chain and up the path. After a minute or two you will see a huge water tank straight ahead. About 50 feet before the water tank a foot path will enter the woods to your left. Take this footpath. ( Note – many of your turning points have been marked with orange/pinkish ribbon. Assuming they are still there, they will help you in those head scratching moments. One of those markers is at the entrance to this path.)

    Watertank-take footpath left now.
  4. After a small rise on this foot path you will come to your first head scratching moment- a fork in the path. Remember to look for the ribbon markers and go to the left on this one. You will follow this path even though some parts seem overgrown until you start to hit the cobblestones that will let you know you are on the right path.
  5. The path will present you with some dense vines that you have to duck under.

    Part of path
    Part of path
  6. Eventually the path will present you with a wide old cobblestone road. This is the original Old Pali trail that was once the main trail between here and Honolulu.  After hitting this trail start looking for the large white tree on the right side of the trail with several carvings in it. (People have carved names and initials here.) Don’t forget to look for the ribbon marker.

    The very important tree
    The very important tree
  7. At the larger white tree hang a right..it starts with a couple of steps down. The foliage and vines will become dense and require you to bend over quite a bit here. This continues for a bit.
  8. You will begin to see a small stream and hear the water fall in the distance.

    The stream....so close.
    The stream….so close.
  9. As the stream gets a little wider you will turn a corner and there is Likeke Falls!

    The bottom of the falls
    The bottom of the falls
  10. Across from the falls is a lookout that has a great view of Kaneohe.

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