Kalauao Falls (Aiea Loop)

Location: Southeast Oahu,  Keaiwa Heiau State Park & Ewa Forest Reserve
Maps: USGS 1:24K: Waipahu, Kanehoe
Trail: 4-mile round-trip to lush valley, multiple water crossings and a waterfall with pool, 700' loss
Fees: None

Light rain fell on us when we started this hike, and heavy rain fell on us as we ended it. Dave, Andra and I took this trail in November 2004, which starts out as the Aiea Loop Trail then branches into a very steep downhill mudslide towards the valley below. In the rain, the trail turned into soup, with pools of orange water in a tunnel of strawberry guava. Our boots sunk into the muck with each step, or, as the incline increased, we slid down the slope. If not for trees to hang onto, we would have fallen all 700 feet to the valley bottom. As it was, we tediously picked our way down the rocky, rooted slope and found ourselves beside raging Kalauao Creek, much too ferocious at the time to cross. Since the trail crossed the stream 8 times, we decided it was not even worth attempting an initial crossing of the muddy rushing waters, and turned back uphill for the slick-trail climb out. Despite the mud, the rain and the obstacle of Kalauao, the hike was very enjoyable, and I hope someday to return to it in fairer weather for a look at the supposed falls upstream. For a great description of the hike, see Stuart Ball's, The Hiker's Guide to O'ahu, Revised Edition.

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Page created December 5, 2004; Updated 2-6-08