Just before Manoa Falls, the marked ʻAihualama Trail branches off the falls trail to the left and scrambles over boulders. The trail quickly enters a bamboo forest with some massive old banyan trees, then contours around the ridge, offering broad and beautiful views of Manoa Valley.
After 1.3 miles of gradual switchbacks and a climb of 1200ft, hikers reach an intersection with the Pauoa Flats Trail, which ascends to the right for more than half a mile over muddy tree roots to the spectacular Nuʻuanu Valley Lookout. High atop the Koʻolau Range, with Oʻahu’s steep pali (cliffs) visible all around, it’s possible to peer through a gap over to the Windward Coast. The total round-trip distance to the lookout from the Manoa Falls trailhead is approximately 5.5 miles. You can also get to the lookout on tracks from the Makiki Valley and Tantalus Dr.