Manoa means thick, vast, depth, solid or thickness in the Hawaiian language. Manoa valley receives almost daily rain, even during the dry season. Manoa is the location of the first sugarcane and coffee plantation in Hawaii (1825). Today, Manoa is a residential neighborhood and home to the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Deep into the Manoa valley begins a trail that leads through a lush rainforest and ends at a beautiful waterfall. The waterfall is 100 feet tall and the amount of water varies by the time of the year and the amount of the rainfall. In the summer months, the waterfall may be described as thin.
The Hawaiian name for the waterfall is Waihi, which means “trickling water.” The waterfall creates the Manoa Stream, which begins at the base of the fall and runs through the valley. This stream eventually joins with the Palolo Stream to form the Manoa Palolo drainage, which then enters into the Ala Wai Canal. At the waterfall, there is a trail off to the left that takes the hiker up multiple switchbacks and through a bamboo forest. This Aihualama Trail offers beautiful views of Honolulu and Manoa valley. The Aihualama Trail is not suitable for novice hikers.
(Source: Na Ala Hele, the State of Hawai‘i Trail and Access Program, established in 1988 and administered by the Division of Forestry and Wildlife – Department of Land and Natural Resources).© Saepae, Y.S. and Kohr, M.K. (2016) Manoa Falls. All Rights Reserved.