Halawa Valley Waterfall Hike

Hiking into Halawa Valley on Molokai is hiking into one of Molokai’s most ancient places. The Halawa Valley trek will lead you past the ruins of structures believed to have been built by Polynesians around 650 AD, through thick foliage, and through a river. You will ultimately end at the double tiered 250 foot Mo’oula Falls where you can swim in the cool waters at the base of the waterfall.

When we visited Molokai on our most recent visit to Hawaii, we wanted to experience the Halawa Valley waterfall hike because it sounded like a beautiful way to spend the day and because of the rich culture and history associated with the valley.

The hike to the Mo’oula Falls is only possible with a guide as you must cross onto private property for access. The Solatorio family provides guided hikes from their property to the falls through their Halawa Falls Cultural Hike.


To start the hike we waited at the Halawa Park where a member of the Solatorio family, Gregory, met us to escort us to the family property. Along the road to the gate, Gregory explained to us how it was customary to announce your arrival by using a conch shell to request permission to enter and wait for a response back before walking onto the property.

Gregory passionately told stories of his family, the history of the Valley, and Hawaiian culture for about an hour as we enjoyed fruit from his land.

After Gregory retold the history of the Valley we were on our way to the Mo’oula Waterfalls. We hiked across a river and through thick brush before we reached the ruins of a Heiau, ancient Hawaiian Temple.

Along the way, Gregory would stop to describe the plants we were seeing and the structures that were on the property. We were able to use one plant as a mosquito repellant and he described a nut that you could use as a slow-burning fuel which are the same nuts you can see on his necklace.

By the time we arrived at Mo’oula Falls, we were all pretty warm since it was rather humid out. We enjoyed taking a dip in the chilly water and relaxing on the rocks while eating our lunch before heading back out the same way we came in.

We returned along the same path that we took in, altogether the hike was about just over 3 miles round-trip.  It was an amazing way to spend the morning and early afternoon before heading back to our Airbnb to relax.

Tips for Hiking Halawa Valley

  • Don’t attempt to do the hike on your own, arrange a tour with Halawa Valley Falls Cultural Hikes
  • Be sure to make a lunch/bring snacks as food is not provided
  • Make sure you have bug repellant as the mosquitos can be horrendous. We like these Ben’s Tick and Insect Wipes
  • Leave EARLY to get to the meeting spot since the road is windy and very picturesque
  • Wear breathable, quick dry clothing. Check out my Hawaii Packing List to help give you an idea
  • Pack the right gear for hiking and for Hawaii

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Daina - Founder of headedanywhere.com

Daina - Founder of headedanywhere.com

Writer, Photographer

Daina is the sunset and ocean obsessed photographer and writer behind underwater and adventure photography blog, Headed Anywhere, featuring photography tips and hacks to simplify your busy life.

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