Palikea Trail is a 1.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Kapolei, Hawaii that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from June until September.
The trail is a scenic hike up to the top of the Waianae range at Pu'u Palikea. It provides views of Oahu's west coast overlooking Nanakuli and Waianae. This trail is located in the Honouliuli Preserve on the island of Oahu. This preserve of 3,582 acres stretches across the south-east slope of the Wai'anae Mountains and is owned by the Estate of James Campbell. The Nature Conservancy leases the land in order to preserve the contents which are the remnants of a diverse native forest. Within the preserve are more than 90 species of rare and endangered plants and animals. The rare native inhabitants include tree snails, happy face spiders, mints, hibiscus, Hawaiian sandalwood, maile, violets, Hawaiian owl (pueo), Hawaiian flycatcher ('elepaio), Hawaiian Honeycreeper ('apapane), and more! This area is not open to the general public and there are three locked gates to go through to gain access to the trail head. The Nature Conservancy offers two different guided hikes each month within the preserve if you would like to experience for yourself this amazing rare ecosystem and the amazing views that it offers. A permit is required in order to access the reserve. Contact the Nature Conservancy at http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/hawaii/index.htm
We followed the directions to get to the trail. Came to a government controlled area with no access to continue. Security guard also told us that all hiking and trails were closed inside the area. Complete bust. He said there were some trails around there but wouldn't recommend leaving your car there.
The Palehua-Palikea hike is what Stuart Ball refers to in his book, as one of the best trails on the island. We completed the hike in the early morning (sunrise), in the clouds and rain, and I'd have to agree that it was still one of the best, rain and all.
However, this is not a very accessible hike, as it is no longer owned by the Nature Conservancy, and was sold back to the state. However, it is maintained by those who live on the property, and volunteers.
They do community hikes, on the 1st weekend of the month. So if you want to do it, you must get a hold of the Palehua Ranger. He is awesome, and will give you a good understanding of the area, along with some history, etc.