Likeke Falls + Old Pali Road

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The Likeke Trail to Pali Falls is a great hike for kids. It’s 1.4 miles roundtrip if you start from the Ko’olau Golf course. This is a section of a 5 mile round-trip hike up to the Pali Lookout and back. Do apply insect repellant…

Treachery: some slippery roots and rocks, but no more so than any windward hike. The falls were very tame (it’s August so less rainfall) on our hike today but during winter and spring there could be much greater flow. The pool could be a bit deeper and the footing trickier.
Lunchspot: a good stopping point is at the falls – there are some rocks to sit on.
Sun exposure: It’s shady the whole way!
Exertion: Easy incline. Our group of hiking kids included 3 3yr olds and a 2 yr old (oh, and my infant). The kids could hike the whole trail on their own with helping hands along the way.

Trailhead directions: Park in the back parking lot of Ko’olau Golf Course (45-550 Kionaole Road, also the home of First Presbyterian Church of Honolulu, which now owns the club and course) – keep going straight as far as you can past the main entrance and park in the last lot on the right. The trailhead is a road that goes uphill behind the treeline. You’ll see a water tank in about 100 yards. Go left just before the water tank – the trail enters a dense forest. Follow the trail as it turns into a very old road – this is the ancient Pali. At 0.3 miles go right at a large tree (you’ll see a picture of the junction in the album for this hike). This trail takes you to the falls.

If you continue straight up the old carriage road at this junction instead of going right, you can follow the trail about .25 further where it meets with the Old Pali Rd. If continuing on, you will wind around through the forest heading generally uphill, then contour across to a ridgeline where you can see the two roads – old and new – through the treetops. Continue straight down the stairs at this junction (don’t go right or left on the faint trail following the telephone poles) and you’ll be at the Old Pali after a few switchbacks. Continue up the Old Pali (bear right when you emerge from the forest) all the way to the Lookout. You will have to climb under the new Pali Hwy using a rickety ladder, so be prepared to help young children. This can be a bit more challenging hike to do if you don’t know the way, so consider finding someone who has done it for your first outing.

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