Manoa Falls

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Mānoa Falls (2012)

Manoa Falls is a 150-foot waterfall located in the Manoa Falls Trail in Honolulu, Hawaii.[1] Swimming in the pool below the waterfall is highly discouraged because there is a threat of becoming infected with Leptospirosis. This disease causes mild to moderate flu-like symptoms that can last for up to 1 to 2 weeks.[2] Many tourists are attracted to the waterfall and the scenery throughout the Manoa falls trail leading up to it. Another attraction near Manoa Falls is the Lyon Arboretum. The Lyon Arboretum preserves many endangered Hawaiian plant species.[3] The hike to Manoa Falls and back is around a one-hour round trip.[1] The waterfall and surrounding area experiences rainfall almost everyday, and flash floods are also possible.


Manoa Falls is located on the island of Oahu in Honolulu, Hawaii in Manoa Valley. The Manoa Falls is 150 foot waterfall that empties into a small pool of water. The waterfall is nestled in the mountains of Koolau in a tropical rainforest.[4] Since the area surrounding the waterfall is considered a tropical rainforest, it is prone to heavy rainfall often making the ground damp and muddy[1] The high amount of precipitation leads to a high amount of plant life near the falls.[4] There is often less water in the waterfall during the summer months, which leaves peak tourism extending from summer to fall, before the rainy months of November–March.[1]



Swimming in the pool at the bottom of the falls is discouraged. This is due both to occasional rockfalls and to the bacterial disease called Leptospirosis, which causes severe flu-like symptoms. Leptospirosis is found in freshwater and is common in tropical climates. In Hawaii, rats and mice often carry the disease and can easily transfer it to humans through their urine.[2]


A 19 year old valedictorian from Kaiser High School, in Honolulu, Hawaii, died from falling from the top of Manoa Falls on June 15, 2016. Kirsti Takanishi died two days after the incident and the cause of death was determined to be from blunt force trauma to the head.[5]

A 27 year old man died from falling from the top of Manoa Falls on December 17th, 2018.[6] The man's name has yet to be released.


The Lyon Arboretum is located in the Manoa Valley section of the Manoa Falls Trail. It contains over 5000 plant species. Some plant species included are heliconias, gingers, aroids, bromeliads, and some native Hawaiian plants. Many tourists visit the arboretum but some also go for research and academic purposes. It provides several different programs that develop innovations to restore endangered native Hawaiian plants.[3]

Ginger Plant found in the Lyon Arboretum.


Parking is available at the base of the park, at the end on the Manoa Road. Charge is $5 per car. You have to get a parking ticket from an attendant, then go inside and pay for it. Place ticket to be visible on car dashboard.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Lee, Diane (March 29, 2012). "Oahu Hike of the Month: Manoa Falls Trail". Honolulu Magazine. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "What is Leptosporosis". Hawaii State Department of Health. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "The Gardens & Trails". Harold L. Lyon Arboretum. 2016-03-30. Retrieved 2016-11-15.
  4. ^ a b "Manoa Falls". Discover Hawaii Tours: Hawaii's Ambassadors of Hawaii. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
  5. ^ Blair, A (June 20, 1016). "Kaiser High School 2015 valedictorian dies while hiking Manoa Falls". Hawaii News Now. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
  6. ^ "Man, 27, dies after falling about 75 feet at Manoa Falls". Retrieved December 18, 2018.