Old Pali Road: Judd Trail & Waterfall

In the ancient days, traveling over the Pali Mountain was a very treacherous undertaking. In fact, traveling around the mountain by canoe was considered easier. Some did, in fact, walk over the mountain, and eventually a very narrow trail was worn into these steep cliffs. In 1862 the trail was widened for horse-drawn wagons, but there were continuing complaints about the difficulty and danger of the trail. Later, a narrow 6-foot wide road was constructed with a very steep grade, and was eventually widened and strengthened in the 1900s to allow automobiles to use the road.


This road is referred to as the “Old Pali Road”, as the modern day Pali Highway now serves as the route over the mountain. However, a stretch of the Old Pali still exists and winds through a beautiful tree tunnel with a hidden waterfall.

Judd Trail runs parallel to the road in the bordering jungle. It’s a gorgeous little trail that features a stream, multiple small waterfalls, and plenty of Hawaiian wilderness. Towards the end of the trail is a swimming hole known locally as “Jackass Ginger”. The swimming hole features a small cliff to jump off, a natural water slide, and a series of small waterfalls. You’ll know you’re at the swimming hole when you see a grassy area and a couple of houses– how lucky to live right next to a gorgeous natural swimming pool, right? 


It’s a great place to take the family for a hike and swim. You can park along the Old Pali road, but don’t forget to bring your valuables with you. Also, there can be some mosquitos along the trail so bug spray might be a good idea!


Shaka Guide’s South Shore Oahu Tour takes you to the Old Pali Road and Judd Trail, in addition to many other must see destinations!