Waterfall Weekend

It’s sure nice to be in Hawaii during the winter. These photos are from Luakaha and Lulumahu Falls in Nuuanu. We ended up at Luakaha while trying to recreate a hike I once did from Jackass Ginger to the Pali Lookout, never going near a road. Rather unbelievably it seems that 25 year old memories are not very reliable navigation tools. Following a vaguely familiar trail uphill I heard a falls, so we climbed down a 70 degree slope and there we were. At that point we decided to go back to the car and take the easy route to Lulumahu, starting at the end of the Old Pali.

We went to Luaalaea Falls in Manoa the previous day but didn’t take a camera so you’ll have to rely on your interweb search skills to find some. The trailhead, beginning not far from the start of Manoa Falls trail, isn’t immediately obvious. If all else fails you can go east across the stream near the fence at the start of the Manoa Falls trail, head upstream a little and you should cross the small trail going to the right. It soon enters a flat area along the bottom of the ridge between Manoa Falls and Luaalaea Falls. After a short time on easy street you have to head uphill to get around dense vegetation. There are a lot of BS ribbons and trails on the ridge but keep to the right (east) and you’ll soon end up at the stream to Luaalaea Falls. If you’ve lost the trail at that point just head upstream and you’ll soon find it again.

Overall it’s not a technically difficult hike and just like Naniuapo it makes me wonder how Manoa Falls became the popular one. But old habits die hard so it was Saturday afternoon and we had the entire trail blissfully to ourselves.

On the way back if you are fed up with blundering around in the jungle you can go straight down the along the stream and end up in an orchard, and from there a road leads back to Waakaua St. Instead we decided to try to connect with the Naniuapo trail and took what seemed to be the obvious route. It started out well but didn’t last long as a number of recent large tree falls made staying on course much more difficult.

We ended up making our own trail and surprisingly ended up connecting very near the point I’d identified as the most likely trail when we’d hiked up Naniuapo before. Often topography limits the choice of routes so much you almost can’t help ending up close to the official route. At least that’s the way it works for me. Based on what I’ve read online recently I may have to do a rant about ribbons and GPS gizmos rendering people illiterate in reading trails.


4 thoughts on “Waterfall Weekend

  1. Pingback: Inside Lulumahu Falls | Mortality Sucks

  2. The trail you were looking for? I think I know it. I didn’t finish it but i’m positive we were heading to old pali rd. You want the judd trail. judd memorial? it is discribed as being full of switchbacks, and it really really is. the trail “ends” at a look out point over nuuanu. there will be a bench (the second bench you encounter on this trail i believe) there are subtle trails to the left and right of you along the ridge. To the right is a sign proclaiming that the trail ends and not to go beyond the sign. Go beyond the sign. keep going. it’s a pretty flat trail slowly gaining a bit of elevation it seems, but it is eroding, so watch your step, the path is only a food wide to begin with. That would be my suggestion, so good luck.

    • Thanks for reading and commenting. Past the sign by the bench is the trail up to Konahuanui. Fabulous views from there on a clear day. Haven’t done it for a very long time.

      The trail I meant went from Judd toward Lulumahu Falls, then behind the reservoir and over to the Pali Lookout. Came out near the off ramp from the highway to the lookout. I remember a lot of hao bushes and crawling required since I think that was the hike I ended up almost sticking my face into a pig’s butt as it was taking a potty break. Fortunately it was more scared than I was.

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