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Best trails in Waianae

2,415 Reviews
Looking for a great trail near Waianae, Oahu? AllTrails has 17 great hiking trails, views trails, wild flowers trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. If you're looking for the best trails around Ka'ena Point State Park or Ahupua'a O Kahana State Park, we've got you covered. You'll also find some great local park options, like Keaiwa Heiau State Recreation Area or Kailua Beach Park. Gearing up for a challenge? There are 9 hard trails in Waianae ranging from 3 to 32.5 miles and from 68 to 4,120 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
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Map of trails in Waianae
Top trails (17)
#1 - Puu O Hulu
Waianae, Oahu, Hawaii
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1221)
Length: 1.6 mi • Est. 1 h 6 m
This is a relatively short hike, for many the drive out to this location will take longer than the hike up to the top of Puu O Hulu. Be prepared for a hot and dry climb to a set of bunkers with some of the best views of Nanakuli and Waianae. Puu O Hulu is a small ridge that is situated on the ocean side between Nanakuli and Ma'ili. It is clearly distinguishable from its double back that makes it look like a camel's hump with a water tank lodged in the middle. This split between the ocean side (kai) versus the inland side (uka) makes for an interesting hike albeit an very open exposed ridge hike. It can get narrow in certain spots with drop offs to the left and right; though nothing dangerous. There are a number of bunkers at the top with the most spectacular pillbox painted a hot pink(!) Take your time to enjoy the 360 degree views. On a clear day you can see all the way to Kaena Point in the west, Mount Kaala in the North and Kapolei/Campbell Industrial Park in the south.Show more
#2 - Mount Kaala Trail
Waianae Kai Forest Reserve
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(447)
Length: 7.1 mi • Est. 6 h 30 m
At more than 6 miles and 5k feet of total elevation gain, this is one of the most difficult hikes on Oahu, but it's worth the effort to ascend to the highest point on the island. From certain points there are amazing views of the Waianae Valley, Coastline, and the North Shore.Show more
#3 - Kea'au Middle Ridge
Makua Keaau Forest Reserve
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(81)
Length: 5.9 mi • Est. 4 h 12 m
Kea'au Middle Ridge is located at the back of Ohikilolo Valley. It is accessed through the Kea'au Homesteads Road that leads to the Our Lady of Kea'au St. Francis Retreat Center. Before entering the center, there is parking in the turn out and a dirt road through a metal gate straight ahead (gate closes at 7pm). The trail begins here continuing on the dirt road to the back of the valley. Follow the DLNR markers which are mostly right turns for about a mile till you reach the dead end of the 4WD road and the true hiking trail begins. This trail starts out in a forested wood and steadily climbs up the middle ridge. There are lost of Silver Oaks, Ohia and Koa trees. Elevation is quickly gained and soon it opens up to an exposed ridge line marked by dikes and karsts. Travel carefully as some sections are very narrow and the rock is loose. There are three sections of hills and saddles before reaching a wall that looks impassable. There is a contour trail that then leads right and through the trees, steeply climbing to gain another ridge to the final hills to the top. If you think the first false peak is challenging, then know that there is yet another to the top just as equally challenging if not more. Be ready for a lot of rock scrambling and ropes. Sometime the path is not straight up but a little sideways too. When you finally reach the top it is well worth it. From here you are now on Kea'au Ridge overlooking Makaha Valley. On a clear day, you can see all the way to the north shore, past Mount Ka'ala, west to Kaena, and to the south east to Ko'olina.Show more
#4 - Mermaid Caves
Waianae, Oahu, Hawaii
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(48)
Length: 0.3 mi • Est. 8 m
Note: The tide in the caves can be very rough and it often gets very crowded down there. It will require some upper body strength to lift yourself out. Show more
#5 - Lualualei Lookout
Waianae Kai Forest Reserve
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(44)
Length: 4.2 mi • Est. 2 h 57 m
This side trail is part of a larger series of trails called the Waianae Ramble. It will take you to a nice lookout point overlooking Lualualei and Waianae valleys. Don't be disheartened by the sometimes overgrown California grass sections at the start. Section 1. Start from the same parking spot for Waianae Kai / Mt. Ka'ala hike. Once you walk past the main gate, look for an opening on your right (approximately 15-20 paces) with a dirt path heading downwards. There will be a dead tree on the left marked by a yellow, blue and white bottle caps. Follow this clear dirt trail down into a shallow (there is an easy break in the wall to step over) and bear right keeping the wall to your right. Soon the dirt trail will join up with a wider overgrown jeep trail with a gate on the far right (do not disturb the local resident there). Go left and the trail will slowly ascend and start to narrow as the sections are overgrown with tall grass. Climb through passing an old irrigation pipe. Don't worry if the grass is above your head! Soon, you will come to a junction where the road veers left and it is marked by a tree with a rock and blue markers. Do not follow the road and step pass the tree, going down and past another section of tall grass. The tall grass will then give way to a shaded trail of strawberry guava trees. Here you will be greeted by the gurgling sounds of water in the distance. Notice the broken flumes along the side of the trail leading to the old Kanewai ditch. Cross the ditch towards a tree marked with blue and yellow paint. Take a sharp right following the yellow painted arrows. This is the east section of the Waianae Ramble. Section 2. Traverse through a mixture of kukui, strawberry guava, coffee and yellow passion fruit. Still climbing this section at the start will have tall grass if not trimmed back. Power through the grass as the forest floor opens up to bamboo grass. You will cross the dry stream several times - but these are very small and you might not even notice them as stream crossings - since it is almost always dry. This section ends at a large junction with a large mango tree marked with arrows in yellow paint. This is the called the Jury Tree. Take the right turn from here. Section 3. Follow the path through kukui nut trees and coffee. Notice the two walls along the path that could have been part of a taro complex. The trail continues on to a section of ti trees heading east. Soon it become steep heading towards the base of a rock cliff. Be careful here as the kukui nuts litter the floor and can be slippery. Once up at the base of the cliff, turn right. This wall of rock is approximately 20-30 feet high. The path will contour along the wall heading upwards. Leave the wall climbing steeply up to the ridge. Soon you will pop out at the ridge crest with sweeping views of Lualualei valley and the Kolekole Pass. Section 4. Head left to view both the Waianae and Lualualei valleys from the base of the ridge. Head right to traverse the ridge towards Kauaopuu on the ocean side. This section is not a managed trail and therefore, will be overgrown and un-cut. It will head down first and then back up to open to great views of both valleys to the ocean. Head back the way you came in or bushwhack down back into the valley to connect back just before Kanewai dam. (Not recommended because it is very overgrown, you will have to bushwhack.)Show more
#6 - Lahilahi Point Trail
Waianae, Oahu, Hawaii
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(66)
Length: 1 mi • Est. 26 m
This hike definitely has a more technical part to it, otherwise could be rated easy. Show more
#7 - Kamaile'unu Ridge
Waianae, Oahu, Hawaii
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(49)
Length: 3 mi • Est. 2 h 18 m
#8 - Mauna Lahilahi
Makua Keaau Forest Reserve
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(75)
Length: 1 mi • Est. 25 m
#9 - Waianae Kai Trail
Waianae Kai Forest Reserve
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(13)
Length: 6.4 mi • Est. 6 h 4 m
#10 - Makaha Ice Ponds
Makua Keaau Forest Reserve
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(32)
Length: 3.4 mi • Est. 2 h 10 m
Users have reported that there is no parking within several miles of the trailhead. You have the option to park down at Makaha beach and add an extra 3 miles of road hiking.Show more
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