Hiking Hamama Falls in Hawaii (on Oahu)
Note: Hamama Falls is not open to the public. It is illegal to hike this trail and to do so would be cause for citation or arrest. There is also a risk of falling boulders, landslides, and drowning….so if anything is wrong with you (physically, mentally, emotionally, don’t do it).
My second hike with Will involved some waterfalls and a really easy trail that ended with me looking like….elephant man.
It started off REALLY fun and easy. How easy? Like as in,”How easy is this trail, Will?” and he replied, “It’s a super easy trail, it’s paved and you can even go on it with slippers.”
Side Story: Mind you, the local word for sandals is, “slippers” and not flip flops because you “slip them on” and you don’t “flip flop” in them. He justifies that you “slip slippers on” and don’t “flip flop” with them on so I had to explain the SOUND the flip flops made and you’re kind of flip flopping around anyway. Yes, we actually had a serious conversation about this.
Anyway. I let him lead without any worries because – what could go wrong with a local Hawaiian guy at your side?
Apparently, about 20 F**ing bug bites.
The hike is pretty easy though. You get to walk by the menacing scary Lost looking door complete with security cameras. Along the way, there’s some little areas to take in some cute views.
It didn’t take long to reach the first waterfall and the water is FREEZING cold – at least to my standards which is the same if you’re like 5 years old. I’m sure any other local and any other winter-loving person would have scoffed at my complaining but I digress. It was still refreshing to dip around and of course, take fabulous photos of yourself underneath the cascading water waves.
Pro Tip: Don’t take off your shoes…or bring some water shoes. The rocks hurt.
After we enjoyed splashing around in the first waterfall, Will wanted to find the other and “better” waterfall that was around the vicinity. Not knowing any better, I was game. Down to clown.
After 10-15 minutes of looking, the already well-hidden trail seemed to change and Will couldn’t find a safe path for ME to get to the waterfalls because knowing him, he would’ve just done a backflip down into the water. During his Columbus-like exploration, I started to get attacked by giant invisible mosquitoes.
First was my legs, then my arms. Then my back. I actually ignored these bites until I felt my forehead. Not one, or two. or three but FOUR HUGE WELTS had grown on my head in an instant of five minutes. And they weren’t planning to go anywhere.
We went back to the original smaller waterfall where I just sat in the water, swollen and red with welts on every part of my skin. Will felt really bad and kept draping cold water on me to soothe the bites. The water was so cool that I didn’t notice the bites TOO much. Will? Left untouched. Not one single bite – of course.
If you look closely, it looks like I grew the islands of Hawaii on my forehead. Luckily, the swelling went down in a few hours on both my face and body. By the next day, it wasn’t too obvious that I was previously a Vietnamese buffet for the bugs.
On the bright side, I got some nice pictures of lush green foliage and a nice waterfall.
Must bring bug spray next time I go chasing waterfalls.
Some more information on getting to the Hamama Falls. There are the local experts who not only discover these hikes but shares them with the rest of the world. Clean up after yourself and leave nothing but (soft) footprints!
Update: Recently hiked Hamama Falls again in June 2016. It is a much more popular hike. Go in the morning and be quiet in the neighborhood! Continue to bring the bug spray!