enjoy the manoa falls trail with kids

The Best Kept Secrets Of The Manoa Falls Trail With Kids

The hike up Manoa Falls will be a new memory that lasts forever in your family’s history!

Ready to take your family on an unforgettable hike? 

Manoa Falls is one of the most popular hiking trails in Hawaii. The trailhead is located just a short drive from Honolulu, and the journey to the falls takes visitors through the lush rainforest.

I’ll share exactly what it was like when we went hiking in Manoa Falls with 3 kids. Plus, I’ll tell you how much weight everyone should pack and which clothes (Editors Rating 8.6 out of 10) are important for this trip!

Why You need to visit Manoa Falls Trail

The views along the way to Manoa Falls are breathtaking. There are a lot of green trees and flowers which make for some great photos! It took us about an hour or so because we had 3 kids with us but if you only have one then this hike would take less time.

You just remember that each person must follow behind another at all times so they don’t get lost on their path (or worse yet…abandoned).

How to Plan

Manoa Falls Trail with kids

Planning a family vacation to Oahu can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to feel that way. I’ll tell you what clothes (Editors Rating 9 out of 10) and packs are essential for every day of exploring this island paradise with your kids (and help make sure they’re happy).

1. Preparation

Before you go on the hike, make sure to wear comfortable shoes (Editors Rating 9.2 out of 10) and clothes. You will also want to bring sunscreen, insect repellent, and a hat. It is also a good idea to bring water and snacks.

2. Hiking the trail – What to expect on the hike

The hike to the falls is an easy walk, and it is a great way to get some exercise while enjoying the beauty of nature. The trail is well-maintained and there are signs along the way that will help you stay on track.

Tips for hiking the trail with kids

Here are a few tips for hiking Manoa Falls Trail with kids:

  • Manoa Falls is a popular attraction that we recommend visiting early in the morning to avoid crowds. As it turned out, when my friend and I went there at 8 am on Saturday rather than later afternoon as planned (to beat some traffic), there were few other visitors around!
  • Do not plan on swimming in the pool at the bottom of this fall. There were lots of signs saying that you should NOT swim, and it’s because Leptospirosis is threatening!
  • First and foremost, make sure your children are wearing proper footwear (Editors Rating 9.2 out of 10). The trail can be slippery in places, and good shoes (Editors Rating 9.4 out of 10) will help prevent slips and falls.
  • Hiking with kids is a bit more time-consuming than just taking an hour. You’ll want to plan on spending two hours or so if you have children with you.
  • Secondly, stick to the marked trail. It can be tempting to explore off the beaten path, but Manoa Falls Trail is located in a rainforest, and many dangers are lurking just off the trail.
  • Finally, keep an eye on your children at all times. The waterfall is very slippery, and there have been accidents in the past. Make sure your kids stay well back from the edge of the falls.
  • When you get back from your hike, rinse off those dirty shoes at the little restaurant you find there. They have a hose where it is easy to spray off shoes.
  • If you want to make a full day of it, I suggest visiting the Lyon Arboretum (a botanical garden). Reservations open one week in advance and they will use up all their same parking lot too!

Following these simple tips will help ensure that your family has a safe and enjoyable hike (Editors Rating 9.6 out of 10) on Manoa Falls Trail.

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3. What to bring on the hike

mānoa falls trail hiking

There are a few things you should bring with you, though, to make sure everyone has a good time.

  • First, pack plenty of water and snacks. Manoa Falls Trail can be pretty strenuous, and it’s important to keep everyone hydrated and fueled up.
  • Second, wear sunscreen and hats. The sun can be brutal in Hawaii, even when it’s not that hot out. Third, bring insect repellent. There are a lot of mosquitoes on Manoa Falls Trail, and you don’t want anyone to get bitten.
  • Finally, make sure to bring a first-aid kit, just in case anyone gets scraped up or hurt during the hike (Editors Rating 9 out of 10).

With these items in your backpack, everyone will be able to enjoy Manoa Falls Trail safely and comfortably.

4. The falls and what you’ll see there

Along the way, hikers will have the opportunity to see native plants and animals, as well as cascading waterfalls and stunning views of the Manoa Valley.

The Manoa Falls Trail is an easy hike that is suitable for all ages and fitness levels, making it a great option for families or groups of friends. Visitors can also extend their hike by continuing to the Manoa Cliff Trail, which offers even more spectacular views.

Whether you’re looking for an easy day hike or a longer challenge, the Manoa Falls Trail is sure to please you.

What are the Things You must remember before going to Manoa Falls Hike?

There are a few things you must know before going Manoa falls hike with your kids.

  • Manoa Falls parking is a small lot located down an incline from the trailhead. There’s no fee to enter, but be sure you lock your car and do not leave anything valuable in it!
  • Hiking with kids is an experience like no other. It will vary depending on how you hike, if they are experienced users of the trail or not so much – but even then there’s always something new to learn! For example, we ended up extending our trip after enjoying Aihualama Trail which takes one close by Nu’uanu Lookout Park & omission falls (which itself offers stunning views).
  • Hiking is a great way to enjoy nature and get exercise, but it can be dangerous if you’re not careful. Make sure your shoes are durable enough for the terrain ahead of time so that they don’t break on difficult hikes or leave blisters from toe-tingling rocks!
  • As I mentioned above, ensure that you pack your rain jacket for men (Editors Rating 9.2 out of 10), women (Editors Rating 9 out of 10), and ponchos if hiking in Manoa Falls. It rains almost daily on this part of the island so don’t let a weather forecast for an upcoming beach location fool you!
  • When you get to the falls, make sure there are plenty of snacks and water available. We brought our kids some fruit along with their favorite Cliff Bar–they were super happy!
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5. Post-hike fun

However, the trail is best known for its stunning views of Manoa Falls, a 150-foot waterfall that cascades down the side of a lush mountainside. After a moderate hike through the rainforest, hikers are rewarded with a refreshing swim in the pool at the base of the falls.

The Manoa Falls Trail is a great place to enjoy a day in nature, and it’s also a perfect spot for post-hike picnic lunch. Just be sure to bring plenty of mosquito repellent!

FAQs on Hiking Manoa falls trail

 hiking Manoa falls trail

Q1. Is Manoa falls an easy hike?

The falls are accessible via a short and easy-to-follow trail that starts from the Manoa Falls Parking lot. The 0.4-mile round-trip hike takes about an hour to complete and is suitable for all fitness levels.

The trail meanders through the lush rainforest before arriving at the base of the 150-foot Manoa Falls. Visitors are welcome to swim in the pool at the bottom of the falls but should be aware that there is no lifeguard on duty.

Although the Manoa Falls Trail is relatively short, it can be slippery in places, so hikers are advised to wear appropriate clothes, take hiking sticks or have comfortable footwear, and take their time.

Q2. How long does it take to hike Manoa falls?

The round-trip hike takes about two hours, making it a great option for those who want to experience some of the island’s natural beauty without spending all day on the trail.

The Manoa Falls Trail is well-maintained and easy to follow, and it provides hikers with stunning views of the waterfall and the surrounding forest. It is best to start early in the morning if you want to avoid the crowd.

Q3. Is the Manoa Falls hike kid friendly?

The trail is short and relatively easy, making it a great choice for families with young children. Falls are not recommended for very young children or those with limited mobility. Overall, Manoa Falls is a great option for families looking for a moderate hike with some stunning views.

Q4. Is there a bathroom at Manoa Falls?

There are no bathrooms located at Manoa Falls, but there are restrooms available at the Manoa Falls Trailhead. Visitors are also advised to bring plenty of water, as there is no potable water available on the trail.

Q5. Is Diamond Head hike kid friendly?

diamond head hike kid friendly

However, if you are looking for an adventure and your kids are up for a challenge, Diamond Head is definitely worth the effort. The views from the top are breathtaking, and you can see from Waikiki to Kaneohe Bay. Plus, there is a museum at the top of Diamond Head that your kids will love. 

Q6. Was Jurassic park filmed at Manoa Falls?

While Manoa Falls is a popular spot for filmmakers, it was not used as a filming location for Jurassic Park. However, the Manoa Falls Trail was used for the film’s opening scene, in which Dr. Alan Grant and his team approach the site where the dinosaurs are being bred. 

Q7. Why do I recommend Manoa Falls for your family and kids?

The hike to the falls was awesome! It took our kids about 50 minutes, but they were so happy that we did it all in one piece. The rain made me a little worried about how long getting back would take.

Since there’s no shelter or anything around for protection from these sorts of things but luckily once you’re past those initial head-high rocks everything else is flatland again 🙂

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