Pali Notches Trail is a 0.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Honolulu, HI that features a great forest setting. The trail is only recommended for very experienced adventurers and primarily used for hiking and rock climbing.
Its a short, windy, extreme, and muddy trail that follows a cliff (pali) face up to two notches that supposedly were utilized by King Kamehameha to hold cannons, and to serve as a lookout post.
If not experienced, really suggest only going to puka. Going to puka can be a little scary already because of the wind near the top of the mountain. If you know what you are doing, go for it and go past the puka and head a top- would recommend that you wear proper shoes and go with someone. Both views are beautiful!
Trail head was roped off... seems very intense, would need rock climbing equipment at some parts. Met a local who said one lady dropped 350 feet recently and one guy was stuck up there for 5 days. She said don't go after it rains that's when mudslides and rockslides are most common. Didn't chance the trail alone. I can only imagine the amazing views from the trail.
this hike is no joke. and I'm talking the notches, not the puka. the notches in the rain and wind gust are really sketchy. the rope system needs a serious upgrade. I've never been the type to shy away from a challenge but due to the conditions and lack of any climbing equipment I stopped after the second notch. I always hike alone so that had alot to do with me calling it quits unfortunately. don't go alone unless u have some additional rope and maybe gloves as well. rocks can be very slippery in the rain, and yes many people have died. this trail should not be taken lightly due to you needing some skill and equipment to complete the hike to the chimney. good luck to all that attempt. I'll try again soon. bring a friend.
One of my favorite hikes. Got the best views. I've only been to the puka though. Going to the notches next time
Having been up here several dozen times, I consider this trail to be very dangerous. Some "serious" hikers will laugh and say it's easy because to them, it is. But more seasoned hikers would understand me, or at least have the wisdom to stop and ask why.
These mountains are soft, the ground crumbles away easily, many rocks dislodge with a simple tug in the right (or wrong) direction. Not to mention the extreme wind that normally whips over the mountain from the Windward side at 40-50mph gusts. Just earlier this month March 2016 a large rockslide happened right near the trail. The ropes here are old and should not be completely relied upon.
But if you're gonna go, you're gonna go. Here's a few tips:
-Bring your own rope. You'll want it for the 2nd notch.
-Don't rely completely on one or two holds. I've had too many rocks come loose on me up here.
-Beware the bees. On windy days, they are often all over the ground holding on for dear life.
-Enter respectfully. Superstitious or not, a lot of people died here.
I use to worry that I would get too comfortable hiking on a trail too often. Not the case here. The more I get to know this trail, the more I realize how dangerous these rocks and these cliffs can be.
The "notches" are man made. Two large sections of the ridge that were cut by hand in the late 1700's to house artillery and cannons prior to the battle of Nu'uanu. If you know about this historic battle, you also know that many soldiers died here. Over 700 skulls were found at the bottom of the cliffs, it is said the soldiers were pushed over, and some just jumped.