Explore the most popular birding trails in Kuliouou Forest Reserve with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

4 days ago

Humid but not hot due to tree and then fog cover. Occasional fantastic views. Muddy, trail runners are okay. Overall great!:)

Great ridge trail. Challenging, but much safer than others I have hiked. Not a great hike for small children, but everyone else can enjoy it. It was muddy today, recommend hiking boats or trail runners. Tennis shoes might not cut it for some people.

Awesome hike. According to my GPS it 2.3 miles each way and all uphill. My five year old was a trooper and did it, but she has been building up to these hikes. l carried my three year old in a kid carrier and l would highly recommend a good walking stick for coming back down the summit stairs. All in all one our favorite hikes on the Island.

This is one of my favorite quickies. An excellent workout (1700’ elevation gain in the first .3 miles) with some unique views of Kuliouou and ‘Aina Haina.

Park along the road before the trailhead in a respectful location. Residential parking manners apply.

Before the trailhead, follow the paved road down and turn to the left. Just before the substation, you’ll see a trail to the right that instantly climbs into the trees.

If you get a little lost in the ironwoods, just look for a slightly worn path in the needles. Pink ribbons are visible all along the way. There are plenty of ropes for the slope scrambles near the top.

This is probably not a good hike for dogs or children.

Payoff: 9/10
Intensity: 9/10
Risk: 7/10
Wayfinding: 7/10

We are moderately experienced hikers. I have a moderate fear of heights. My husband has what I would consider a normal, healthy respect for heights. We started on the western ridge and the hike was challenging but fun until we reached the koolau summit trail. I knew this would be challenging for me based on the reviews. What I did not know was that just before reaching the eastern ridge, the easier way home, we would come upon a “landslide” section. We encountered other folks along the trail who had apparently traversed this section- at least from the east. My husband managed to crawl across it (twice because I could not continue). On his return a bit of earth under his hand gave way and toppled the 100s of feet to the windward side. I had summoned every bit of my mental fortitude to make it that far and to have to turn back nearly brought me to tears. MY ADVICE if you still want to try this loop is to start on the east. If you can get across that washed-out section on the KST- the rest of the trail at least from a heights and trail integrity perspective will be easier. Alternatively, the western leg of this loop is beautiful and you can stop at the summit where it meets the koolau summit trail. I think the washed out section is legitimately more dangerous than necessary. There are plenty of other choices on this beautiful island.

Did this hike 7/26/2018 arrived at 1pm. I wish i checked the weather bc the whole trail was muddy going up. When I got to the stairs at the top there were no views because a cloud had taken over everything. As i was coming down it started to pour fairly heavily. That being said i’d do it again on a clear day

Hawaii Loa Ridge Trail is not on a PRIVATE property but it is a NA ALA HELE STATE TRAIL. It is just that to access you, you have to go through a security check point. All you need is an ID ( and available parking spots at the trailhead) to hike it. It is the same like Wiliwilinui.

Both Hawaii Loa Ridge and Wiliwilinui Ridge can also be hiked via Kulepeamoa in Niu valley and Wailupe in Aina Haina without having to go through the checkpoints.

27 days ago

This was a great hike! You go through all different types of forest and terrain including a lot of pine trees and a lot of stairs both natural by roots and built stairs as well. The view at the top is breathtaking if it’s not foggy which can happen a lot in the area.

Very beautiful, easy to follow, breathtaking view when you reach the summit.

Beautiful hike with amazing views at the top. Super muddy and slippery during the final stretch, but completely worth it. We recorded nearly 5 miles in just over 2 hours along this trail.

1 month ago

Absolutely breath taking and rewarding! The trail is very prominent and easy to follow. This trail really shows off the diversity of the Hawaiian ecosystem, the trail goes through so many changes of venue with regard to plant life as you hike the switchbacks up to the knifes edge Ridgeline, looking down on the most beautiful rain forests and blue ocean. You’ll constantly catch yourself turning around for a peak at the view, wondering when the summit will arrive; trust me when I say that YOU WILL KNOW WHEN YOU GET TO THE TOP, it is unmistakeable and gorgeous.

Climbing the upper section can be slippery and muddy, also look out for the tree root systems that canvas the ground because these are super slippery on decent; otherwise, it’s very manageable for any age other than the fact that is long and steep. I recommend starting super early with the intent to summit for the sunrise, the trail is very easy to navigate by headlamp. Have fun!!!!

It’s a hike! Moves you through lower island trees to a pine forest and then the last stretch puts you into the rain forest. The last third is very steep but the view is worth the effort (if the fog lifts).

Great hike. Some areas are pretty steep and lots of stairs. Worth every step for the amazing view at the top. Went early so avoid the increase number of hikes later in the morning.

I tracked it on my Garmin watch in hike mode, was a total of 5 miles (granted we parked at the bottom of the street) took about 2 and half hours to do it. Lots of fun with beautiful sights.

1 month ago

6/30/2018-Started hiking around 0745 and encountered 38 groups/solo hikers. Most of the groups seem to start hiking around 1000 and would guess it’s because more of the residents head out for the day to free up street parking. The weather was partly cloudy and there was more of a breeze on the switchback than the ridge but the top was awesome.

more like 1.5 hours to top. we left car at 430am and got to lookout at 6am. wonderful hike.

nature trips
1 month ago

Lots of different terrain in one hike. Love the roots scramble.

make sure you take the ridge trail or you will spend 45 mins round trip on the valley trail. Beautiful but waste of time. the pine tree Forrest on the ridge is awesome

This is a great hike, but it does get steep at the end, with at least a hundred stairs. Recommend bringing plenty of water and don’t forget your sunscreen as the last section of stairs has no shade. Also, be wary of the pine needles, mud, and the slippery roots.. had a few hikers twist their ankles and hurt their rears when they slipped on that dangerous combination on the way down.

Bring bug spray
Great for my dogs

Great trail but it’s actually 4.7 miles long and has 1/2 mile section that is straight down on both sides. My wife has a fear of heights and this really got her. The write up says nothing about this section but if anyone has a fear of heights stay away from this trail. We have been on 75+ hikes using AllTrails and they generally are accurately described, but this hike should be listed as hard

The hike took us 1:45 to reach the summit, and another 1:45 to descend. The hike begins in a gated community with beautiful houses - show your Hawaii drivers license to the guard and he will issue you a hiking permit for the day.

Overall, the hike is pretty comparable to Kuliiuou and Wililinui. The hardest part is the final ascent to the end. Definitely wear sturdy hiking boots, as the footing is uneven, rocky, and at times slick and muddy. Great views!

So funnnn

2 months ago

Great hike! Not too long, and awesome view on the top! Recommended it!

Great hike with great views.

Awesome hike. the loop was too dangerous to continue due to heavy rain eroding the soil.

Not 4 miles round trip, more like 6 miles from parking, using all switchbacks and staircases... made it to the top, but whiteout conditions with clouds...

2 months ago

Awesome hike. Awesome views with different sceneries throughout. Worth it.

This was a great hiking trail, I would consider this Hard on difficulty level. I recorded the hike using my FitBit and it recorded 6.7 miles, took us about 6 hours total. We followed the trail on a clockwise direction and it took us about 4.5 miles before reaching Pyramid Rock. Once you get to the Koolau Summit Trail the marking is poor and we got lost on two different occasions (this probably added another hour and another mile). Multiple dangerous areas, definitely not for kids or pets. Great views, totally worth it!!!

try to go when it’s clear, the view is worth it!

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