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hiking
1 day ago

Boy... not sure where to begin with this hike. I should start out by saying we did this hike at 04:30 to make it to the top by blue hour. The path is extremely slick and steep in some areas. You NEED to pay attention to where you step and what you hold onto. The ropes are a godsend but make sure they’re sturdy before using them. The area behind the puka is incredibly dangerous as it’s very, very narrow and slick. However, the views are more than worth it. Watching the sky turn golden from the puka was great but the real views were on the ridge walking back. Definitely worth it.

this is the sencond time I've attempted this trail. It's been closed off with a sentry manning the gate (on base Schofield Barracks) Apparently the trails too through a live firing range. So if you go when they are shooting your not getting in.

hiking
5 days ago

This morning, my friend and I read a review that said, “F this trail I almost died” and we didn’t take it seriously. I understand now what the person was talking about. She and I are experienced hikers and climbers, I’d say, and we both have a very high — what you could call — “adventure tolerance.” This trail was, straight up, unsafe. Perhaps it was different before heavy rains, but much of the trail was crumbling off the mountain. Based on a below review we did the trail counterclockwise, which I was very grateful for, because there was a very muddy wall with a flimsy rope.....like, that was the trail. And on the side of that was crumbling cliffside. My friend and I looked at each other saying maybe we should go back, but it was nothing we weren’t used to, especially after doing Moanalua, so we decided as long as it didn’t get worse we would keep going. However, it continued to get worse, so much so that we couldn’t really go back because we were afraid we might slip down in the mud going downhill instead of up. There were several times when the trail was as wide as one of my boots. I was never not confident that it would be fine, though I can say I’ve never been happier to see stairs once we finally summited — mind you we believed we had summited several times before being discouraged to see yet another uphill ridge-line with even more slippery cliffsides. When we got to the summit, we saw a sign facing the other direction, and when we turned to see what it said it was a warning sign for a hazardous cliff. I would definitely listen to that sign if you do the trail the clockwise direction, and turn around, and I do not recommend doing the trail the counterclockwise direction after how hairy the ridge-line was. It seems as though the trail has definitely degenerated from lack of use and has perhaps begun to fall down the cliffside, on the right and the left, making it perilous to attack.

Made it almost all the way to the K2 summit on 7/4 but it was pretty cloudy and a few of us didn’t feel comfortable making the last climb of the hike. The whole thing was really pretty but definitely some slippery spots - the trail did give way on one of the really narrow parts and I took a tumble about five feet down the side of the mountain but was able to dig my fingers in and stop myself. If you’re going to hike in Hawaii, don’t wear tennis shoes. Everything is muddy. I immediately ordered real hiking shoes and have been fine ever since.

Hiked 8/12. Challenging but enjoyable hike. Agree with earlier reviews…wear pants! It’s extremely overgrown most of the way. I also stopped at the 3.5 mile peak due to heavy cloud cover and fog. The risk wasn’t worth the gain to fight my way the additional quarter mile to the Lanipo peak. That portion of the trail is basically non existent. Plenty of flowers and creepy crawlers to check out along the way.

lots of ups and downs and good views along the way make this a fun hike that I'll definitely do again. pretty exposed though, so make sure to have plenty of water. last portion rather muddy but not usually so for a ridgeline hike ascent. final 0.2 miles along KST has a lot of slick spots and a few portions without a real trail, which I'd avoid if you're not looking for a challenge. about 4:30 in decent weather by an experienced hiker, suggest pants for second half or so.

rock climbing
16 days ago

did this home on a very windy day. very fun and awesome views. a little slick but I think as long as you've done a few hikes before you won't have any trouble

hiking
16 days ago

Be careful! All Trails does not lead to the correct trailhead. I ended up on the Notches trail and it was intense and dangerous due to wind and slippery slopes.

You will know you’re at Pali Puka trail if you see the “Trail Closed” sign. Facing the Pali lookout, the trail is to the left NOT RIGHT. It was a great hike, definitely recommend.

I would not attempt notches trail in wind, rain, or alone.

hiking
21 days ago

This is a fantastic hike! The trail generally ends where the lookout "hole" is. For more experienced hikers/climbers, keep going. When you're standing at the lookout, behind you there is a trail that goes into the woods and leads to a muddy climb with ropes to the top of the mountain. You can explore a little further even. The entire ridge is able to be hiked, so you could continue on to Lanihuli (completely different peak). If you do plan on doing that start early and again, its only for experienced hikers.

Parking:
Park along the western side of Tantalus Drive near the Kalawahine trailhead.

Hike:
From the Kalawahine trailhead, hike 1.2 miles (ignore the two Manoa Cliff Trail forks to the right) until you reach Pauoa Flatts. Take a left and follow along the boardwalk through the forest (ignore the Nu’uanu Trail that forks to the left) until you reach a fork. Take the left fork and continue uphill to Nu’uanu lookout. From the lookout, there are two trails. Take the one to the right to continue to K2.

A short distance along this section the trail forks. The right fork leads to the peak trail; the left fork continues around the west side of the mountain as a cliff trail. I highly recommend the left fork as the peak trail is overgrown and far more physically demanding.

There are some stunning views along the cliff trail: Nu’uanu Lookout, Kapalama Ridge, the Pali Pass, Upper Manoa Valley and far across the Ko’olaus when the skies are clear. You also get an upper-deck view of Lulumahu Falls and a gorgeous two-stage waterfall (which appears to be accessible via a side trail) near the headwaters of Nu’uanu Stream. The top 20% is always sloppy muddy. Near the peak, there are tons of convenient mud ‘stairs’ and deep trail ditches to keep you safe from falls. The view is often socked in by cloud cover, but K2 is a rewarding hike nonetheless.

Duration:
This hike should take between 4.5-5 hours.

Difficulty:
I would put this hike on the lower side of Hard (probably more accurately Upper-Upper Moderate by Oahu standards). The drops as you hug the mountainside are a little intimidating, but not too bad. The climb to the peak is pretty physical, and the span between some ‘stairs’ seems to favor those with longer legs.

Ratings:
Payoff: 7.5/10
Intensity: 9/10
Risk: 7.5/10
Wayfinding: 8/10

hiking
30 days ago

The views are simply amazing. If you don’t like wind or ridges it’s not the trail for you. But if you live insane 360 views that will take your breath away then you are good to go. I went for sunrise and it was one of my favorites ever.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike trail slippery at points but doable we got to the top in about 50 min and it took about that long to go down. Be careful going down. This was quite taxing physically.

Sign at the entrance says closed

Hardest hike I have done...1 ridge climb. Made it to the top which was socked in... very muddy today. But a great day!

Not very long, the beginning is the hardest because of some very steep stairs, but after that well worth it. Probably wouldn't spend more than an hour on the trail, including stopping for pictures.

Hiking the 3.5 miles to the first peak, Ka’inawa’au Nui Summit, is peaceful and beautiful. I went during the week and only saw one other person the entire day. As mentioned many times before, DEFINITELY wear pants. Mine were pretty much destroyed by the time I was done but better them than my legs. However, the reason I feel compelled to write this review is to give a heads up about the last part of the trail, the section from the Ka'inawa'au Summit to Lanipo Summit...
I DO NOT recommend hiking this part of the trail unless you are a very experienced hiker! It is EXTREMELY overgrown, so bad that I wasn't even sure there was a trail there at all and had to use my hands to clear away vegetation the entire time just to be sure that my foot would land on earth, and not thick roots disguising a sheer drop off the side of the mountain. This, and the fact that the ridge is very narrow, very steep, and the winds can be very strong up there make it extremely sketchy. Also, the plants are so overgrown that their are vines constantly wrapping around your ankles and threatening to trip you as you make your way, which adds another element of danger to the mix.
The views from the first summit are beautiful, and getting there is quite an accomplishment in itself, and although clouds and wind rolled in while I was making the final ascent to Lanipo Summit, I cannot imagine that the views could have been any better than at Ka'inawa'au had it been clear. Unless someone does some major clearing of the trail, it is simply not worth the danger and difficulty to do the last part in my opinion.
This being said, the rest of the trail has spectacular views from the beginning, and a nice mix of ascending and descending sections that help you not get too worn out during the 7+ mile roundtrip hike.
The whole thing is overgrown though, so just be extra diligent about only stepping on the path because some sections offer a false sense of security when actually there is a small area that is solid ground.
Overall it's a moderate hike until the very end, and really nice, but I regret attempting the final quarter mile section and highly recommend sticking to the first summit.

hiking
1 month ago

Difficult trail, but really enjoyed myself. I would follow the red/orange trail markers once you see them. I repeatedly got lost during this hike, but the view at the end was beautiful. I would check the GPS at times to check if you’re on the trail to make sure you don’t head off to different areas.

lower forest section, ridge section, and final forest/rock climbing section to summit. amazing views! do not bring kids.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice views and a fun climb

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful and challenging hike. At the top trails are connected and you can explore even farther. Be prepared before the hike.

let me just say the Pali puku is worth the heart ache of constantly looking down a 2000ft cliffside dive to death lol once you climb to the Puka the view and photos are breathtaking and worth the climb. Now if you go past the Puka you are faced with sheer rock face with trees and branches as well as ropwbto help you assend to the top of Pali. Worth everything minute

hiking
1 month ago

This hike is NOT a joke. Everyone’s comments are accurate. Keep going past the Puka to get to a much higher view. Extremely steep climb up with the assist of ropes that are there. Use extreme caution. Views are stunning.

Great trail for the family! 7+ month pregnant wife, 2 kids and I did really well on it. We didn’t travel the whole trail because at approx 3/4 of the way through the trail became thin with a drop off down. Not bad but we didn’t want to chance it. Great views!

on Pali Puka Trail

2 months ago

Wonderful views from the top. Hiked along ridge- steep drop off. Don’t do when muddy. Kept going past it and found some ropes to get up to a higher view. Wind through puka was the best. Not super busy, but ran into a few people.

Great views from the top.

trail running
2 months ago

This is a great trail for hiking or trail running.
When you compare it with other trails here in Oahu, this trail is easy to moderate. Moderate mostly because it’s length. Very well maintained trail all the way to the last mile and a half, where it gets a little bit overgrown, but not too bad. On the last 2 miles you will notice more mud, more wind and a little narrower trail. The view at the end is beautiful when the weather is good.
There are some sections with ropes to help you advance faster and safer, and they are usually where are dropoffs on the side of the trails.
On the way you have a variety of plants, valley and mountain views, couple of stream crossing and you can even check out some old tunnels.

Good hike to strongbody thru. Nice being at the top of the summit

very diverse trail. ridges and water and tunnels. beautiful.

Challenging but rewarding. Only saw two other people on the trail. Bring lots of water and snacks.

Amazing and hard hike, unfortunately no view on the top. We lost our camera on the way to the top (counterclockwise route). The camera is a Panasonic Lumix. If found, please call: (808)-224-6158.

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