Okolehao Trail

HARD 14 reviews

Okolehao Trail is a 4.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Hanalei, HI that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

4.1 miles 1269 feet Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

muddy

scramble

Okolehau is a 2.8 mile trail located near Princeville, Hawaii. The trail is primarily used for hiking. Also dubbed Hanalei River Trail and Hihimanu Trail, this ridgeline ascent behind Hanalei offers a one-of-a-kind behind the curtains view of the valley and the ocean beyond. After a few hundred yards of mild forest meandering the trail turns left and thus begins a challenging half-mile climb to the first vista, a clearing next to an electrical tower that gives a taste of what visual splendor awaits those who proceed. For many, this initial climb and view may suffice. For those who wish to venture on, the hike tames down a bit, following the ridgeline. Close to the one mile mark look for the notable tree known as "Woody." Keep climbing another 5-10 minutes and you reach the second flat plateau with sweeping views of Hanalei Bay, Hanalei Pier, the Kilauea Lighthouse, Princeville, the taro fields you left behind, and Bali Hai. For the truly adventurous, the trail continues on and after the 1.5 mile mark turns into a rope-assisted climb (literally) of Hihimanu Ridge (Kauais Twin Peaks)... often with significant mud. This last section is arduous, can be dangerous, and should only be attempted by experienced hikers who dont have a fear of heights. At the end of the Okolehao Trail is another plateau and you see everything you did before plus the Hanalei River coming out of the mountain valley and a close up view of all the mountains including Waialeale. In total you can see 1/5 of the entire island. The trail can be muddy and slick if it has rained at all in the last few days, so be sure to grab a walking stick at the trailhead from the pile near the bridge. If planning on doing the entire climb, itd be wise to start early and bring plenty of water. The round trip hike should take around 4-5 hours if moving at a decent pace.

hiking
13 days ago

This was ridiculously muddy and swampy. You can't take in any of the scenery because you're too focused on keeping your footing and not slipping down the trail. It's really steep in spots, going up was much easier than coming down.

1 month ago

Beginning of the trail was very muddy. The way up to the first look out ( bench) was ok if it's wet it can be a bit slippery. However if someone want to do the whole trail be aware. It's slippery, the path can be very narrow and one has to slow down In order to make sure where to step. Couple of place are a bit sketchy. On my way to the end a couple of people turned around because they thought it was too dangerous. I don't think the view at the end was worth it. Again, the first lookout I would recommend but not the whole hike.

1 month ago

3 months ago

Very spectacular views!! A variety of terrain and beautiful flowers. Amazing hiking trail... a must for the adventurer!

5 months ago

Being an avid hiker for many years (2-3 day/wk), in good shape, in my early 30's. One of the more challenging trails I have done on the island. I hiked at an aggressive pace, so it was a great workout. The first 3rd of the trail is pretty straight foward, I agree with some of the other reviews though, once you ascend higher up, the trail becomes more narrow, and less pronounced. If you stick with it, you get amazing views of Hanalei Bay; it's definitely worth the effort, and loved the hike. Highly recommended it, but if it has rained within 24hrs of your hike, the trail may be a bit slick in areas, and cause it to become more difficult.

hiking
6 months ago

We are in our mid-fifties and found this to be both challenging and not as much fun as we had hoped. In mid-March and with recent rains, much of the trail was very slick and parts were treacherous. Poles and good boots recommended - at least we found they helped a lot.

The view of the coast, sweeping from Hanalei Bay off to the east were wonderful.

hiking
7 months ago

This wasa frustrating trail. The views often were very good, and the first mile of the trail was fine, albeit a tad muddy in spots. Once you get further in there are the occasional spur trail, and it is not a real heavily traveled trail so overgrowth can be a problem. We pushed on but once we got to what I believe the 4th rope, with no end in sight we decided to turn around.

Not a bad trail by any means, but considering how many absolutely PHENOMENAL trails are on Kauai it isn't the best choice.

hiking
7 months ago

8 months ago

hiking
1 year ago

Nice hike. Be sure to look at your map because at one vista there is another smaller trail which is slippery and steep and takes you back to the main trail. I do want to hike again to the top peak.

hiking
1 year ago

The first 1/2 mile of the hike was extremely muddy, which is to be expected this time of year. Wear shoes that cover your ankles and bring plenty of mosquito repellant! After you get past the first little bit of the trail, it begins to get very steep before it levels out. It also is much dryer as well making the hike much more enjoyable.

Overall, try it out. the views are great and it's only about a 60-90 minute commitment. If you aren't staying in the North Shore, I wouldn't drive far to do this hike. If you're down south and you want to drive to the North Shore to do a hike, do the Kalalau Trial. I'd drive and fly from anywhere in the world to do that one!

hiking
1 year ago

The bench is gone. We went as far as the 8th rope section. The view is awesome!

hiking
2 years ago

Great hike. Very muddy. We forgot to grab a walking stick and wished we had! The bench at the second plateau has been broken... bring a nailgun and you could make future hikers very happy! This is a popular spot with locals because it's off the normal tourist hiking route.

hiking
3 years ago

Hike through a humid rainforest with a bit of mud. Elevation gain is closer to 1,200'. Make it to the bench for a fantastic view of Hanalei Bay. Hike past the bench is more challenging, especially in the rain. Worth the effort.