Truly a 'Sacred' Place
by Sharlyn Ruhe
(San Diego, CA, but currently in Ko Olina, Oahu)
My first time hiking the trail to Sacred Falls was in 1994. The trail is through the rain forest of Oahu, or at least that's what it felt like.
Wild fruit trees, such as the Malay apple litter the trail. They hang down and will hit you in the head if you're not paying attention. But they make for an excellent snack along the trail and are watery and refreshing for those hot humid days.
The trail is also lined with wild flowers and indigenous plants, that tickle your senses with their tropical fragrance.
On the first hike my friends and I learned that the wild ginger flower nectar can be used as a natural surfactant, a shampoo or soap, which we used on our hair while bathing in the pool. It left our hair silky smooth and fragrant.
Although the trail can be treacherous and slippery at times, the walk along side a bubbling creek makes the adventure challenging but also soothing. The key was to get there early, so that you can spend as much time in the pool and taking pictures before it gets dark.
I would describe the experience as a natural trail spa where at the end of your trek you find yourself in the most amazing view of the falls with an opening to the sky. It's as if God carved out that piece of ravine just for you with the falls coming down from heaven and bathing you in the sunshine and coolness of the water.
And as you are walking along you are reminded of nature in every way, with it's fragrant flowers and refreshing fruits and then finally the rain forest opens up, and there you are facing THE FALLS feeling minuscule by its grandiose and yet so rewarded by its beauty.
I have hiked to other falls in Hawaii
, but nothing has compared to Sacred Falls. I never left Oahu without seeing Sacred Falls before they closed it down as the visit would not have been the same.
I am in Oahu now (9/27/2011), and wishing again that I could make that same hike.
It was not well known, but should have been the best known falls in the island, in my opinion, if not, truly, the most "sacred" one!