Laie Falls Trail
Laie Falls Trail is an 8 mile long, out and back hike that leads to the Falls.
Located at: Poohaili Street, Laie, HI 96762.
Note: The trail is pretty long and pretty hot/dry. While there is a lot of shade on the trail, it’ll be important to bring plenty of water and wear sunscreen.
I recommend parking near the playing fields at Laie Park on Poohaili Street and walking to the trailhead. It’s a pretty good walk and it seems a little sketchy because of the farms and homes that are surrounding the area, but it was fine and we waved to everyone who seemed friendly enough. There were signs at the trail head saying do not enter. We walked right through them, but if you’re concerned, you can get a permit at hawaiireserves.com.
As most of you already know, I am absolutely terrible at posting right after an adventure. It usually takes me a few days, or in this case like three weeks. But hey, I’m still posting it and still sharing an incredible hike with everyone! This was a tough one. Toward the end with only a few miles left, I was kind of wishing we were already done. I couldn’t believe how far we had actually traveled until the way down seemed a lot longer than the way up. This really doesn’t make sense if you consider the amount of times we stopped on the way up to pose for pictures or climbed to try to get a better view.
The hike was beautiful! I probably said “Oh my gosh,” “Oh my goodness,” or “Oh wow” way too many times throughout the hike. All of it was just so different it was easy to be in awe of the beauty. Unfortunately the pictures I took do not give this hike all that it deserves and I definitely recommend it. It is considered moderate to difficult, but it really just depends on your hiking skill level. There were a few people trail running it, but maybe they’re just crazy. The elevation change from the start of the hike is approximately 1400 feet.
Choosing the featured image for this post was extremely difficult. Not only did I apparently not take as many pictures as I thought (and most of them I stole from Blade), there were so many different environments (can I call them ecosystems?) along the way. I’ve mentioned it before in one of my other posts, but the trail would switch between hot desert with squelched earth and very small plants, to the greenest pine trees which brought me back to my roots in the Pacific Northwest, back to hot desert, and finally to jungle-rainforest where we were eventually led to the waterfall! It was tough, I fought with myself over whether the waterfall would be the featured image, would it be the pines, or maybe the red clay? I finally decided to go with the simple option and post the group picture of Blade, Abby, Jimmy, Nate, and I in one of the drier spots with the beautiful ocean in the background! You can enjoy the rest of the photos from the hike in this post!
From the Sahara Desert…
To the drier PNW pines…
To the tropical rainforest…
To the beautiful blue sea…
Due to time constraints, and starting the hike around 1:00pm, we chose to go to the right and only explore Laie Falls instead of the summit.
The actual waterfall was a little underwhelming to be honest. It was my first “waterfall hike” and I guess my expectations were a little too high based on photos I’ve seen of other hikes on Oahu, Kauai, and Maui and thought it would be the same–that’s what I get for not doing my research before hand! I imagined crystal blue waters where you could see the rocks at the bottom, and a waterfall 30+ feet high. This waterfall isn’t huge, its about 15 feet or so high and splashes down into a small pool. The trip down to the waterfall was pretty cool though. There were ropes to hold onto because it was pretty steep and a little slippery so remember to watch your step! Blade and Abby decided to swim in the pool while I insisted on just putting my feet in to cool them off from the hike. I’m sparing you from their waterfall kissing photo, but you can find it on Blade’s FB page if you’re truly interested. As you can see in the photos the water was more of a greenish-brown than a crystal blue color. Not the prettiest, but Blade and Abby got some cool photos out of it and that’s all that matters–especially the picture of Abby freaking out when she had to swim back out of the falls, haha!!!
Warning: I conducted some light research (after the hike–dumb) on if it is okay to swim in the water. I found the article on lookintohawaii.com which stated “As with all fresh water streams, the threat of Leptospirosis is real so swimming or drinking the water is not advised.” If this grosses you out you’re allowed to stop reading, but Leptospirosis (Lepto for short) is a bacteria spread through the urine of infected animals. It tends to be a problem in tropical environments like Hawaii because there is a lot of rainfall that washes the animal urine into the waterfalls and streams. This might be why Blade has had a wicked cough for the past few weeks, but Abby is completely fine so who knows? It is definitely recommended though to stay out of the pools of water unless it is flowing quickly (which it was) so they should be good right? What a terrible way to end a blog post, right? But I guess it is important information. I just chose not to swim in the water because I couldn’t see the bottom and if that doesn’t freak you out then please enjoy at your own risk!
I cannot wait for the next adventure!! (which I’ve probably already done and won’t post for another three weeks, haha). Just kidding, I will try to be better at posting my trips right away. I doubt anyone reads the whole thing anyways.
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