Maunawili Water Tunnels and WaterFalls

by kenji SAITO on March 9, 2014

Exploring Maunawili Water Tunnels and WaterFalls

Rainy weather means waterfalls to most hikers. That is why I found myself with the caveman crew at the end of Aloha Oe Street. Brad and Scott ferried us to the Maunawili Demo Trailhead in Waimanalo. This is the same trailhead where a fellow hiker’s car got broken into on our last hike. Exercise caution and discretion when parking in any areas, remote or otherwise.

The fun begins

The fun begins

Hoping the chronics would leave the beater trucks alone, we left the Maunawili Demo trailhead and walked up the road until we soon accessed an unnamed trail. Linda and Scott would be our water tunnel and waterfall guides for today.

Follow the pipe

Follow the pipe

We followed the water pipe through the tree lined trail to a pumping station.

Watch your step

Watch your step

Metal grating covered the open water ditch as we continued our hike.

Break out the headlamps

Break out the headlamps

The group preparing to enter the Aniani Water Tunnel. It was going to be a dark and tight squeeze.

Missing the turf

Missing the turf

Scott found this crawfish crawling on the ground. Invasive species. Time to eat. Where’s the butter?

Chances of water = 100%

Chances of water = 100%

No need to knock. The gate was open.

Not for the claustrophobic

Not for the claustrophobic

The tunnel ceiling started out at around five feet.

The hiking grail

The hiking grail

Choose wisely Bob Tyson.

Low clearance

Low clearance

Tunnel ceiling dropped to about three feet from this point.

Pays to be skinny

Pays to be skinny

Towards the end, the tunnel ceiling was about two feet. We had to shed our backpacks to make it underneath the locked gate.

Follow the ditch

Follow the ditch

After we emerged dripping wet from the tunnel, we climbed a small hill and followed the open water ditch.

Recon & Rest

Recon & Rest

Taking a small break in this open area after leaving behind Government road that we had just traveled on. Brad ran up the hill to see if he could catch a view, while the rest of us waited.

Official trail

Official trail

No horses, just hikers.

Up?

Up?

A large tree had fallen and blocked the trail. Some of us went up and over…

Down?

Down?

…while the rest of us went down and over.

Waterfall sighting

Waterfall sighting

The first of many waterfalls we were to see on the trail, fueled by the constant rain.

Biggest waterfall?

Biggest waterfall?

Group photo at one of the largest waterfalls on trail, left to right: Tom, Will, Katherine, Marcus, myself, Linda, Brad (not in pic), Sara, Bob and Scott.

Stream crossing

Stream crossing

Crossing one of multiple streams that canvassed the trail.

Double waterfalls

Double waterfalls

Sara and Bob between two waterfalls. They were everywhere!

Waterfalls everywhere you look

Waterfalls everywhere you look

Ice cold water beating upon a rock.

Stream jumping

Stream jumping

Sara jumping over a stream. She didn’t want to get her feet wet.

See that waterfall?

See that waterfall?

Marcus spotted a waterfall tucked deep inside a valley. So we detoured off the trail…

We're here!

We’re here!

…and found ourselves at another waterfall. Surprise.

Rain forest

Rain forest

The constant misting of rain made for a cool hike, in so many ways.

Christmas berries

Christmas berries

Splash of color in the forest.

Headed upstream

Headed upstream

Like salmons, we went up this stream populated with huge ferns.

Waterfall, with a capital W!

Waterfall, with a capital W!

The biggest waterfall yet, the photo does not illustrate it to justice.

Where did you come from?

Where did you come from?

At the base of the waterfall is Oshanassey Tunnel, that could extend 50′ or 500′ into the mountain. Nobody seems to know. Brad tried to find out, armed only with a headlamp and barely enough head room. After being semi-submerged in the tunnel for about five minutes, he came back. A dead-end. Perhaps.

See the hand?

See the hand?

Tom took a quick dip in the tunnel. No other takers. Scott soon climbed up the hill to gain the upper waterfall. The group followed suit.

Worth the climb

Worth the climb

When we crested the hill, what awaited us was a spectacular waterfall soaring towards the sky. It made the hike.

Headed down

Headed down

Going down the connector falls trail.

Looking back at all the waterfalls

Looking back at all the waterfalls

The waterfalls were pouring down the mountains seemingly from every nook and cranny.

Rock hopping

Rock hopping

We took another detour off the beaten trail, where we soon found Cook Tunnel. Totally submerged and clogged with roots. Back to the trail.

Headed out

Headed out

Going down the trail, we passed the usually crowded Maunawili Falls. Not paying a visit today. We saw our fill of waterfalls today.

GPS Tracks

GPS Tracks

The 8 mile hike was filled with more waterfalls that you could shake a dowsing rod at. Time well spent with an awesome crew.

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