Travelers come from all over the world to experience Hawaii’s luscious landscape and incredible hikes, and to refresh themselves under one of the state’s many waterfalls.
Oahu, the archipelago’s most popular island with visitors, offers plenty falls to choose from, though many are crowded with people. Instead of opting for the most popular hikes, venture through the island’s less visited trails to find some of the island’s more secluded pools.
Koloa Gulch, located on Oahu’s northeastern coast, sits in the Koolau Range and provides a more secluded experience. Visitors must obtain a free permit to hike and camp in the area, and the eight-mile trek often keeps many away.
Sure, the trek is exhausting — it will lead you through thick vegetation and requires rock climbing and weaving through the Koloa Stream multiple times — but the view is worth every mile.
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To get to the trail, drive to Kokololio Beach Park. From there, walk about a half mile north on the Kamehameha Highway to Aakahi Gulch Road, turn left, and continue down the road until you’ve hit the trail, which is marked by a trail map. Once on the trail, make your way through miles of streambed before hitting a fork.
If you head to the right you’ll reach a large multi-level waterfall, to the left, you’ll find a smaller waterfall and pool. Reward yourself with a dip in the cool water — and a picture to prove you made it.
Before heading out, it’s important to check the weather, as heavy rains can cause flooding in the valley.
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