I’ve been missing my hiking days back home just a little bit, so I’ve decided to write this blog post about one of my favorite waterfall hikes back home on Oahu: Likeke Falls.
Where Is Likeke Falls?
Likeke Falls is a little waterfall tucked away in the Koolau Mountains on Oahu. To park, head to the Koolau Ballrooms and park in the back corner.
When Is the Best Time to Hike to Likeke Falls?
Likeke Falls is a pretty good hike regardless of the time of day. There is only a small section directly in the sun, so temperature isn’t really a concern. In addition, this hike is relatively hidden, so there are no “busy” times or “not busy” times.
What Should I Bring to Hike to Likeke Falls?
If you’re hiking, you definitely want to stay hydrated! While the hike is very shaded, it can be quite muggy, so you’ll be sweating a lot. You’ll want to replenish all of the water that your body has lost! Consider carrying your water in a reusable water bottle.
There are a couple of slipper portions on this hike, so athletic shoes will make the hike a bit easier than if you chose to wear slippers (a.k.a. flip-flops), for example. These Fila women’s hiking shoes have served me well. There is also a men’s option.
When I hike, I prefer to keep my hands free. If you agree, I recommend using a miniature backpack to store your water, phone, and whatever else you choose to bring.
I’ll be honest. Your athletic shoes will get quite muddy on the hike to Likeke Falls. To avoid getting mud all over your car, bring a plastic bag (or an easy-to-clean reusable bag) to put your muddy shoes in! Problem solved!
Flip-Flops (a.k.a. Slippers)
After you take off your muddy athletic shoes, bring a pair of slippers to wear in case you want to grab some food or go on another adventure afterwards.
Your legs might also get a little bit muddy on this hike to Likeke Falls. If you bring a towel and leave it in the trunk of your car, you can use it (and maybe a little bit of your water) to clean up your legs quite well.
If you plan on bringing your little ones on this hike, I recommend you have them wear some swimwear. Once they reach the little pools by the falls, they’ll get so excited and jump in! And you won’t want them to get their usual clothes all soaked.
Usually, I’d recommend that adults bring swimwear on these waterfall hikes as well. However, the little pools at Likeke Falls are simply too small for adults.
The little pools at the bottom of the falls may have a stray rock or two. To protect your little ones’ feet from getting cut, consider having them wear a pair of water shoes.
In many of Oahu’s freshwater pools, there is a strain of bacteria called “leptospirosis.” According to the CDC, leptospirosis is only harmful if it enters the body through an open cut (so if it’s scabbed over, you’re fine) or by drinking it. While some cases of leptospirosis may have bad flu-like symptoms, others have no symptoms at all. Personally, I have not heard of anyone actually getting leptospirosis on any of these hikes.
How Do I Get to Likeke Falls?
If possible, try to do this hike (or pretty much any hike on the island) with a local. Getting to Likeke Falls can be a bit confusing if you are unfamiliar with the trail. However, if that’s not possible, I will try to make this hike a bit more accessible for you, my dear readers. So, without further ado, here are some directions to the Likeke Falls hike.
From the Koolau Ballrooms parking lot’s back corner, you should see a paved path with a rusty chain across it. Pass the chain and continue walking on this paved path.
You will eventually come to a water tank covered in graffiti. If you can touch the water tank, you’ve passed the trail start. The muddy trail on the left should be just before the circular path around the water tank. In other words, when you are walking towards the water tank, look to your left. You should see a couple of gaps within the plants that lead to a muddy trail – follow this path.
Now, to get to Likeke Falls! For the next few minutes of the hike, the path is pretty straight forward. Eventually, you will reach a stone path. This used to be a path used by ancient Hawaiian royalty – pretty cool right? Anyways, this stone path will start to slope uphill. When this happens, look to your right. There should be a dirt path. Get off of the stone path, and continue walking on the muddy path. You’ve stayed on the stone path too long if it forks into two separate paths.
What Do I See at the End of the Hike?
Why, Likeke Falls, of course! If you continue walking on the dirt path, you will eventually reach a little stone bed with water trickling over it. Walk along the left edge of the little stone bed and Likeke Falls should be just around the corner. While this little waterfall is not as large as Manoa Falls, the lack of crowds makes this hike so much better in my opinion.
There is also a couple of very shallow pools of water that little kids love to splash around in! That’s where the swimwear and water shoes will come in handy.
I hope these directions help! I tried to make them as clear as possible for your adventure. Let me know in the comments if I need to clear anything up!
Looking for other Oahu waterfalls? Here are seven more!
Have you ever hiked to Likeke Falls? Tell me about it in the comments! (I promise I’ll respond!)
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