Chasing Waterfalls in Mormon Town

La'ie Falls is a great hike.  We started at approximately 0940 and finished at around 1330-1400.  According to AllTrails it's approximately 7.9 miles out and back, according to my GPS we did 8 and some change.  I believe it varies on how far into the valley you go.  In stark contrast to the last few hikes I've done this trail was a gentle pillowy kiss from a giant warm down duvet on a cold "winter's" night.  It was a nice surprise seeing as how I had assumed this would be as difficult as Ko'loa gulch. ( Now, I normally do but I didn't read up before we went on this one.  I just vaguely remembered seeing pictures from Kenji Saito's blog.  Hahahahahah. )

Leaving La'ie park, we started up the road.  You go straight through the second yellow gate, do not turn off the path.  You start your gradual incline through a mob of Ironwood on a very wide easy to trek path.  When you finally pop out you'll be greeted with my favorite kind of view: Iron rich soils contrasting against the vibrant green False staghorn with the backdrop of a perfect blue sky. ( If you go on a nice day, as we did. )  We followed a well maintained path going up the ridgeline, and were met with 2 random palm trees.  My jaw dropped when we came up to the grove of Norfolk Pine also known as the Hawaiian Christmas tree.  I've seen a lot of Cook and Australian pine/Ironwood, but never a wild thicket of Norfolk so that was a nice treat for my nerdy ass.  You can click here for a short read on how to tell the difference between the Cook and Norfolk.  It's not often that you can go on a hike with such stunning sights and a well enough maintained path to where you don't have to look at the ground 80% of the time for fear of tripping and eating shit.  If anything you might get a little winded going through the strawberry guava forest, but I promise coming down will be a breeze.  We didn't go all the way back into the valley, maybe just 50-100 feet past the 2nd waterfall.  Theres a rope to climb on the right hand side of the waterfall that can be accessed via swimming through the pool.  The pool of the 2nd waterfall is fairly deep(at the deepest point from what I checked, roughly 9 feet).  Unbeknownst to us at the time, there was a random giant boulder in the middle of the pool so please do not jump in.  Eric jumped in and missed it by a cunt hair.  Still scraped him a bit, but that could've ended a lot worse.  I already felt bad cause I was the one that was checking the depth of the pool.  If you don't want to get wet; stay to the left there is a very small and easy to miss path that goes up past the first waterfall and on past the second.  After eating lunch and taking pictures we zipped back up and down through the valley and back to the cars.

( This is actually from last December, I've just been hella behind on posting.  Lol.  I saw on AllTrails that the Hawaii Reserves had this hike closed prior to the lockdown because someone was bit or chased by a "wild dog."  I have, since December, done this hike quite a few times.  Not once have I seen any wild dogs.  However, keep in mind that when going out into nature or even stepping out of your front door there will always be risks.  That's your own Kuleana. )

  • 23 Lovely group photo courtesy of Jeff.  From left to right:  Nelson, Jeff, Alex, myself, and Eric.

Tips for when you head out there:

  • Crampons aren't necessary, but they are helpful.  I'd recommend putting them on once you reach the junction that starts descending back into the valley again.  Where the "La'ie Summit/ La'ie Falls" sign is.  It starts getting muddy from there on.  We all brought ours.
  • Bugspray & Sunscreen is a must.


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