Explore the best trails near Waimea with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Ryan B. on Russian Fort Elizabeth State Park
Dirty, rough road with very little appeal
Damien P. on Koke'e State Park Nature Trail
The ferns are difficult to walk though - it's a fairly long trek through the bush. Do not overlook wearing long pants even in the heat or you will leave scratched up. The end result is spectacular and gives you incredible views of the na Pali coast.
It's an exhausting trek back up.
I hiked the Canyon Trail via Cliff trail in Waimea Canyon. This is one of new favorite hikes! You start by walking along a dirt road lined with sweet smelling flower bushes. The trail takes you through scenic goodness with some woods, cliffs with rich orange dirt overlooking the canyon, and a couple of short waterfalls. I can't begin to describe the beauty and peaceful state it brings. I went mid-Sept and it wasn't very crowded. A shortish hike with not much elevation change. Easy and a must-do hike!
This is not a trail but the ruins of an old rock fort (really just a pile of rocks) originally built in the traditional star shape. There are no buildings, no water and it is hot and boring. The only good thing is that it's visible from the road and a short walk.
Geomar C. on Honopu Ridge
wonderful views at the end .. if it wasn't for the overgrowth of ferns it would be easier .. also halfway through the trail looks sketchy, loose footing on a cliff.. my 7 year old daughter managed easily... recommend only if you are in shape.
Cat S. on Pu’u Eke & Pu’u O Umi Forest Reserv...
This trail is about 6 miles return. The first segment is a 4WD across the neighboring grassland to the Pu'u O Umi Forest Reserve. Then it is a hike along the forest fence line to the second a-frame stile for access to the trail. Once on the trail, it is a good adventure through the pristine Ohia to get to the top. It is a cloud montane bog with lots of lichen and moss. The Ohia are one of the tallest around and the views across the "bowls" to Kaumo and Umi are majestic.
Watch out for the rolling fog that makes its way in after noon. You will need a compass due to poor visibility. Start early so that you can get in and back out before it rolls in. This trail is a favorite of local hunters, so watch out for wild boar. All in all, there are beautiful views of Mauna Kea, Hualalai, and even Haleakala from here.
Cat S. on Honopu Ridge
I don't have the gps track as it was impossible to get a signal uup here. There must be some jamming device causing this to happen.
Cat S. on Honopu Ridge
The less travelled ridge trail along Na Pali coast. This one starts in Koke'e State Park at about 4000 feet. It is less travelled because it is not a tourist trail, but rather a hunter's trail and it is no longer maintained since it was damaged by Hurricane Iwa in 1982. It is only about 4.2 miles return, but it feels like 8. The elevation drops 1400 feet which means that on your way back it will be all up hill. This trail is rated as difficult because much of the trail is a bush whack through very high and dense Uluhe (a very thorny type of wild fern). But the end provides for a huge reward in the magnificent views that await. You can see Honopu Valley and its secluded beach (only accessible via a swim from the neighboring Kalalau Valley). At the end you also get a bi-coastal view of the Na Pali coast.
Very similar sort of hike to the Nualolo and Awaawapuhi trails - walking from the highway out along the ridgeline until the ridge gets sufficiently thin that it's not safe to walk any more. The difference, of course, is that each of these are on a different ridgeline. The Honopu trail offers something a little different, because at the end you can see down to Honopu beach, which is difficult (not to mention illegal) to get to any way other than swimming. So your only options for seeing it (and the ridge that splits the beach in two) is from a helicopter, a boat, or this hike. Looking down on the beach (and the helicopters) well beneath you is fascinating, and gives a great idea of scale. The view from Awaawapuhi is a bit wider (i.e., you can see a bit more side-to-side), but I liked this hike just as well because of the addition of the beach view.
Picture a trail that cuts through the forests and at the end before your very eyes below around 3000 feet below is the vast blue Pacific Ocean. This trail will not disappoint. Ensure to wear long pants and be aware that there are pig hunters on the trail. There are many tracks because of that, plus the pigs travel the trail as well. Ensure to stay on the most travelled trail and you will not wander off. Take plenty of water because the climb back up is around 1000 feet.