Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Chinese Bu
I'll speak instead of write... check out my latest with Kaleo and his crew!


Sunday, June 12, 2011


From Hawaiian BU

Sometimes I wonder if there are things in this world you are deliberately not told about. I'm not talking about the secret of Santa Claus or things you learn after time. I mean, are things that exist in this world that someone has discovered, yet will not share with the rest of world. I'm thinking it may be to protect it, either from what you may do to it, or what other s you tell may do to it. I sincerely hope its not to hoard it for yourself. That leads us to today's waterfall, Naniuapo.

What is Naniuapo, you may be asking? Well, during my many excursions into the Manoa forests, I would run into other hikers, and me being the welcoming type, I usually ask how they're doing. It was during one of those conversations that another hike mentioned to me had been to the other waterfall to the left of the one I was going to. Assuming that he was referring to another waterfall, I told him yes. That somehow stayed in my mind.

The next thing I also noticed during these hikes was a tour company that always brought tourists into the same hiking area I was going into. However, they never went to the waterfalls I was going to. I remember once seeing their group, and some of the tourists were wet, like they had gone swimming. Now, I know you can't swim at the waterfall I thought they were going to, so it piqued my interest.

I was bumming around the internet, and I found their website. It lead me to a youtube video that gave me many clues. After that, it was on like Donkey Kong, I had to find out what this was. I read geocaching websites. I looked over terrain maps. I scoured my Hawaiiana books. The only mention I found was in my place name book. It mentioned Naniuapo as a stream in Manoa. In fact, it is only mentioned as a stream in all those references, never as a waterfall.

Well, I found it. It's not that hard of a hike, but there are absolutely no ribbons to speak of leading up to it. You have to trust your instincts when you do this hike-follow the stream, and never let it out of your site. There are several stream crossings that you must do, but there are ropes at each one, a big sign that the trail is maintained, and they don't want you to get lost.

About 150 yards down from the waterfall, there is this super beautiful pool that you can access via a side trail leading down into the stream. The pool is surrounded by bamboo. It's a shallow pool, but big enough to dunk your body in. And the water is VERY clean. From the pool, you can see the waterfall in the distance.

This waterfall is absolutely spectacular. I would estimate that it's about 200 feet tall, starting with one beautiful ribbon of water falling over the top ledge. It then hits another short ledge, which it then breaks up into two streams of falling water. After this, it hits another, bigger ledge, and breaks up into four streams. It is inspiring!

There is no pool at the bottom of the waterfall, so get your swim in at the lower pool. I spent my time up there being thankful that I had found it, and wondering why I had never ever read anything about something so naturally beautiful. I'm positive that the Hawaiians must have surely known about the falls, yet I can't find any narrative about it. If you have one, can you please share it with me?

I know that the lands that front the waterfall are private property, or they used to be. According to the tour group website, they have permission to be up there. I will agree with this- There are reasons why you never learn about such things.

From what I know, here are the waterfalls one can find in the back of Manoa, from Ewa to Diamond Head: Aihualama, Waihi or better known as Manoa Falls, Lua'alea, Naniuapo, and Waiakeakua. Does anyone know of any others?

If you want to know how to get to Naniuapo, I better trust you with my life, or a supremely hot local lady may work on me as well. Know that you have to deal with going on private property, and timing is an issue as well, since you don't want to run into the tour group. Other than that, another waterfall in the bag!

BTW, Chinese BU ended up going to Kalauao today with a whole bunch of people. He claims to have some pretty cool videos of the waterfall. I'm very excited that he reports that the waterfall is raging right now. I'll be going there later this week with the teens!

Aloha and have a blessed week!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Mauanwili Demo to Maunawili Falls

From Hawaiian BU

I have always been the type of person that wants to try to find new paths to the same solution. I love games that allow for various paths that can be taken in order to win. I also like to come up with variations of hikes, just to keep things fresh and exciting. Another reason for this is because we hike alot at the YMCA, and you need to come up with something new when you have teenagers that stay with you for four + years.

With this in mind, I decided to take my college students out on this exploration. I like to test out hike ideas on the college group, because they can handle variations better, and they give real good feedback into what's possible, and what should be avoided. Teens usually will just go full blast into something, without thinking of the consequences.

I have never done the Maunawili Demo trail to full completion. I'm trying to save that one for a day right after a major rain, just to see all the falls coming down the Koolaus. But I figured we could check out the connector trail from the Demo trail to Maunawili Falls below. I also wanted to investigate the way up Piliwale (I just want to know where it is, I don't want to go up it!)

I really like this way to Maunawili Falls better than the normal trail that everyone else does. The Demo trail is basically a flat trail with so many awesome view points, and no hikers on it whatsoever. The only people we encountered were trailrunners, and we went on a Saturday.

It's a pretty short distance to the connector trail, just around 2 miles. It is marked with a sign right on a bend in the trail. The connector trail is overgrown, with choke ferns overtaking the plastic steps that were previously placed for footing. After the fern portion, you come to an ironwood forest, and the sounds of people at the falls start coming into play. After about a 15 minute ramble, you reach the plastic bench and the way down to the falls on your right.

As I said earlier, not a single person besides our group went to the falls on this path. When we got there, there must have been at least 60+ people there, lounging, swimming, talking, bombing, doing illegal stuff, all kinds of things. Obviously, people go to Maunawili Falls on the weekends. It was so crowded, I decided not to go in, and let my students go investigate the second waterfalls. They reported that it was fun jumping into the pool. Haven't been to that one in a long time.

If you really want to go to Maunawili Falls, I highly recommend you use this route instead of the other way. It is much prettier, has less usage, and the view of Olomana and Waimanalo are unobstructed and really unmatched. And it in a month, I'm guessing all those Strawberry guava trees we passed should be filled with fruit.

Ok done for now. Need to go meet my family for dinner. Word is Chinese BU is hitting Poamoho Trail tomorrow. Be safe out there homie!

Me? I'm hunting down a waterfall in Manoa Valley. I hope I find it. If I do, expect another writeup soon. Happy Hiking!

Waimoku Falls

From Hawaiian BU

I freely admit it- We don't upkeep this thing. A lot of times, both of us go on hikes with many different people, and have done so many the past six months, that I have forgotten which ones we have done, even as a tandem. Chinese BU is way more extreme than I am, but he does have his limits. I've almost given up on him writing about his different exploits, but they are so damn cool and amazing, that I still want to hear about them and read what happened. Even a couple of videos, please Chinese Bu?

Anyway, I decided to write about our visit to Waimoku Falls in Haleakala National Park in Kipahulu. Chinese BU works with 8th graders at Kaimuki YMCA, and he put a lot of effort into planning a trip to Maui for his kids. The things we did on the trip were amazing and fun, and after having talked with the kids about their experiences, I know that Chinese BU's hard work really made an impression upon them.

We stayed at Camp Keanae, and I must tell you, that place is serene, and perfect for the weekend we had planned. If you are a waterfall junkie as much as we are, you must drive the Hana Highway. There are so many waterfalls along the way, it almost feels like a completely different world. For me, it was just an absolute dream, and I certainly will spend a weekend there just doing wateralls.

Getting to Waimoku is fairly simple: just drive the super long Hana Highway, past Hana town, all the way to the Haleakala National Park, and park your vehicle in the main parking area. The park usually charges a fee to park there, but trust me, it's worth it.

To get to the falls, follow the signs up the valley. Because of it's location in the National park, it's fairly easy to get to the falls. I remember hearing stories about people wandering in the bamboo forest and not being able to find it. Don't worry, this trail is just like Manoa Falls, there is no way you can get lost going to the falls. The park has even created a boardwalk inside the bamboo forest for you to easily make your way through.

Also along the way, you can hear the water roaring down the stream to your right. It got me excited, and the 2 mile plus it took making our way up the valley really flew by without strain.
We also were taking many breaks to accommodate our 8th graders, allowing them to absorb the scenery.

You also cross 2 bridges, both with significant drops to the deep water below. I have seen several youtube videos of people jumping to the bottom, but since we had the kids in tow, I wasn't willing to have them jump from the same spot. Gotta be fair when you work with teenagers!

When you arrive at the falls, it is a sight to behold- over 400 feet tall, with multiple streams falling down into a rock-laden pool. There is a hill located to the right of the falls, which you can climb to the top and get a real nice vantage point of the falls and the pool. There were several families that were taking advantage of the pool, and you could tell that some of the really young kids there had made it up on their own power. We even saw a small boy make it up the trail barefoot!

I really found a good sense of peace at this falls. I know I have complained about "tourist" waterfalls before, but I must say that this waterfall really has something special about it that draws you to visit. Maybe if I had easier access to it, I might get tired of it. But I have always wanted to see this waterfall since small-kid time, and I think that has stayed with me throughout the years.

After the visit to the Falls, you must go to the Oheo Pools, better known as 7 Sacred Pools (even though there are more than 7!) There is a nice easy path that leads in the opposite direction from the same parking lot towards the ocean and the pools. These pools are very awesome, and there are many places you can find to jump from and bomb tourists. In fact, they really think you are some type nut, because when I jumped from this one point, all the tourists busted out their cameras and started taking pictures of me. Just be sure you check the pool for it's depth before you decide to jump from one of the high points.

I've got to share with all of you, the Hana coast hands down got the best stretch of waterfalls in the Hawaiian Islands. If waterfalls is your thing, you've got to visit there. And you should really start from Waimoku and make your way back towards Kahului.

I've got to thank Chinese BU for the opportunity to volunteer with his group, and letting me join in on the fun. I think I'm going to write about one more adventure, and then call it a night. Hope you guys stay safe out there in hiking land, and see you on the trails!