A Beautiful Waterfall

I’ve been pokey with posting my adventures. A couple of weeks ago, I went on a hike to the beautiful Lulumahu Falls with my cousin “E” and friend “L”. This was my first time on this trail; I didn’t know what to expect.


FYI: this is a permitted hike, here’s the link for where to get the permit.


We started out early, it was slightly drizzling. I was prepared for wetness and mosquitoes, wearing long pants and my trusty insect repellent [Natrapel Wipes, 20% Picaridin, no deet]. “L” had been to this hike before but did say she and her daughters did get a little lost. We started out confident and prepared.

one of the several stream crossings

We follow the pink ribbons past a stream and a grove of yellow ginger in bloom. The beautiful scent greets you as you come upon the ginger plants.


What comes with a wet trail? Many fungi of all different types. They look so beautiful, I’m sure they are all inedible. I thought of trying to look for elephant ear fungus, but the waterfall was calling me.


The important stream crossing

Biggest stream crossing

If we only knew this, stream crossing would be an essential section of our hike. We have been following the pink ribbons till this point. My cousin “E” said there were also pink ribbons with black polka dots. But at that moment of the hike, I didn’t see them at that point. We saw a pink ribbon across the stream. We went right and crossed the stream. From that point, we continued to follow the pink ribbons. At some point, we started seeing pink and yellow ribbons, some very hard to find, and large sections with no ribbons. We kind of e we were getting lost, and “E” decided to leave breadcrumbs so we could find our way back. Thinking about it now, we should have turned around at that point. But we still felt like we were on the right track and could hear the stream.

E's breadcrumb
E’s breadcrumb

I don’t know how long we continued on, but we were lost. Somehow, we made our way back, without using ribbons (we couldn’t find them anymore), to the before the large stream crossing. We meet two hikers returning from the falls, who told us to follow the stream and look out for the pink ribbons with the black dots.

Our mistake was to cross the stream and continue straight instead of following the stream. We made up to the waterfall with a few more stream crossings and boulder scrambles, always looking out for those pink with black dot ribbons.


Lesson Learned: if waterproof boots fill with water, it takes a while to drain.


boots in the stream
me and my stick vs boulders and the stream

Now on the right track, I started taking pictures of the hike. This hike is at the base of the Ko’olau mountain, right before the Pali lookout. And it must get more than its share of rain. Everything is lush and green. Here are some things I saw going up to the falls.

We made it!

Walking up to the falls, you never have it in full view; you either are below it or scrambling over boulders, but once you walk around the last grouping of boulders, this tall and mighty waterfall comes into view. Wow! What a beauty! Not that I want to get lost (one plus, I did get a workout), but this beautiful waterfall is made up for our extra stroll through the woods. We were soaking wet from the sweat and humidity of the day and all smiles that we had made it.

Happy smiles! Left to right: “L”, “E”, and me

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