Hike Through Halawa Valley to Mo’oula Falls

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/2.8, 1/1100 sec, ISO320
“Mo’oula Falls” Kaunakakai, 2022

Today we did a hike in Halawa Valley to Mo’oula Falls. It’s one of our planned highlights of our vacation and we were really looking forward to it.

But first we needed some breakfast so we headed into town to pick up some goodies and coffee at Kanemitsu’s Bakery and Coffee Shop. The pastries were delicious!

“Kanemitsu’s” Kaunakakai, 2022

The drive to Halawa Valley follows Kamehameha V Highway east for about 26 miles, and is really narrow for the last few miles, with tight turns, so drive slowly and carefully!

We were told to bring some snacks or lunch to eat at Mo’oula Falls so we stopped at Mana’e Goods & Grindz at mile marker 16. They opened at 8am, and we got there right before. Mana’e has a pretty big menu of local food and when we asked the lady taking orders what would be good to take on the hike, she suggested the bento, and wrapped it up securely with plastic wrap so it be okay in our backpack. Thank you Mana’e lady!!!

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/3.6, 1/1500 sec, ISO320
“Mana’e Goods n Grindz” Kaunakakai, 2022

We arrived at Halawa Park and met our guide, Greg of Halawa Valley Cultural Tours, who was friendly, funny, informative, and passionate about educating people about Hawaiian culture, and specifically Halawa Valley.

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/6.4, 1/160 sec, ISO320
“Welcome Gifts” Kaunakakai, 2022

At around 9:30 am, we proceeded on the tour to Greg and his father’s residence where we participated in a welcome ceremony. The whole time, the interesting information kept flowing and we could really feel the value of the tour. It’s well worth the price.

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18.8mm, f/2.8, 1/1250 sec, ISO320
“Cultural Hike” Kaunakakai, 2022

The hike up the valley to the falls was not too difficult nor long, but there are a couple of water crossings and your feet will most likely get wet. I suggest some water shoes or hiking sandals. The weather for our hike was perfect, with lots of sun, and a gentle breeze to keep us cool. There were lots of mosquitos, however, which attacked me when we stopped walking for our water breaks, so I recommend bringing mosquito repellant and using it liberally.

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/2.8, 1/850 sec, ISO320
“At the Falls” Kaunakakai, 2022

When we reached the falls, Greg jumped into the 30-foot-deep pool for a swim, and a few of us followed. The water was cold, but not unbearable, and I was able to swim to the base of the waterfall. It was awesome. Make sure to bring a swimsuit!

After that, Mariko and I broke out the bento and had lunch. It was a wonderful experience!

The hike back to Greg’s residence was quick because it was downhill, and there were less breaks and I believe we reached our car at about 3 pm.

I 100% recommend the Halawa Valley Cultural Hike. We expected it to be a highlight of our vacation, and it didn’t disappoint!

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