Explore the most popular hiking 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.

hiking
3 days ago

Definitely pack enough water and snacks.
The parking and facilities are excellent.
The hike is just beautiful!
Trekking poles helped a lot!

Beautiful nice and long - and rugged.
Pretty difficult at times, but fun!

I loved this hike. The view at the top of the ridge was well worth it. BUT. This trail IS and/or can be very difficult. I had a relatively good route up and only slowed down at one part with tree roots and the many stairs toward the top, however I would definitely recommend either shoes with good traction or even hiking boots! The route going down, on the other hand, due to being tired and rain while I was going up.. was very difficult. It got significantly more muddy and slippery. I would not recommend this hike to anyone that does not have experience in hiking or someone looking for a fun hike. It can easily turn into not so fun!

My recommendations:

1. Shoes with traction or hiking boots
2. Lots of water
3. Start early! It gets hot! And it’s not a super quick hike. You’ll wanna get done before sundown.
4. Travel with a buddy! There are some dangerous spots. Always have a bud to be by your side!
5. Positive attitude (it is a bit difficult! Keep your eyes toward the sky!)

This was a pretty challenging hike, especially after some solid rainfall in the morning. Would definitely recommend wearing sturdy hiking shoes, as a lot of the trail is muddy and wet—as a result it is very slick. The different terrains as you make your way up in elevation is a cool part of this hike. The stairs up to the top were particularly frightening for us, however definitely worth the view. Will admit we did this one on a whim and were a little unprepared in terms of gear, water, and bug spray, but when prepared it is definitely a good one. This was our last of our trip and it sent us out with a bang!

hiking
20 days ago

Hiked the ridge after the valley. Total miles - 8.06. Fairly wet and muddy with both hikes. The views atop the ridge are awesome.....from Diamond Head thru Hanauma Bay and Koko head, across Makapu Pt and all the way to the Moks and K-bay.

May ready for the stairs - thanks Sierra club for keeping those maintained.

hiking
20 days ago

Fun shade canopy trail that can be muddy. The out and back trail is a good path. Part way in there's a sign for the ridge trail. We took that one on the way back. No mosquito action only nats towards the end with the rotted mountain apples.

25 days ago

I enjoyed it. You need an ID To get past the gate. There’s 10 parking stalls up top. Theres no bathroom up top either so go before you make the drive up. Take plenty of water. Wear good hiking shoes and clothes you don’t mind getting muddy. I recommend a walking stick. A lot of the trail is slippery and very narrow. Towards the end are a lot of stairs. You get to the top and you’re standing in the clouds. Go early (before 10am) if it’s your first time so you give yourself enough time to enjoy nature and the view...just breathtaking.

Amazing view from the top! Be sure to bring hiking shoes and not tennis shoes especially if it’s been rainy. I went and it was extremely muddy but worth the trek to the top

There are a lot of stairs towards the end, so be prepared for a fun and challenging incline! It's worth the effort to get to the top.

Hiked many times, one of the best summit views on the island, both the south east Corner all the way to Honolulu, and valley view North East side out to Kailua and Kaneohe...a must hike! Wet, dry, or tacky trail will as always, will affect the experience...the top half is a bit challenging, with 3 steep hills just before the 400 stairs to top.

We began the hike at 4am and were the only people on the mountain on a Friday morning. It was peaceful but weird hearing all of the noises you can’t see. When we got to the top we waited for the sun to come up and It was actually chilly which was fine by us! Very beautiful and multiple places to take beautiful pictures. I didn’t believe the reviews when it said “you’ll know when you’re at the top” because it only said 3 sets of stairs (there are about 5 sets with breaks in between) but yes you know when you’re at the top because it says “end of trail”. Not a challenging hike just long because we did it with a flash light. 1 hour and 15ish minutes and about an hour or less going down. There are a lot of short cuts you can take up the mountain and down but we didn’t because of the darkness. Did get lost on the way down during the wide open pin needle part, but going up, stay to your left and going down the pine needles, stay to your right! ENJOY!

1 month ago

did this hike last week. pretty easy. gets the heart pumping but nothing crazy. can get slippery and muddy. recommend hiking boots unless you want your sneakers ruined. unfortunately it was very cloudy and had to wait between breaks in clouds to see the coast but it was still pretty awesome when you'd get a glimpse of it. might want to do some research as to when the best time of day is to hike due to clouds. this was about a 4 hour hike for us, stopped a handful of times to rest a couple mins and drink water, spent around 20 mins at top. good shade coverage. husband got bit by Mosquitoes so consider bug spray.

Fun, and easy trail that leads to some neat pools at the end. HEAVY mosquitoe action out here, so bring the bug spray! Dog friendly. :-)

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike take plenty of water and keep more at the car for when you finish. be ready to get muddy

Not much of a view as the rain came about half way into the hike. Other than that, its a nice intermediate trail to the Koolau as always.

If you cant find parking or denied access for some reason, try starting from Niu valley at the end of Anolani St.

This was a great hike with a mini Koko Head at the top of the trail. Best views of the island!

It was great but lots of mosquitoes and gnats.

Hiked Sept 2018,
This hike was pretty much a walk in the woods. There is plenty of tree coverage so it’s good to do on a hot day or in the middle of the afternoon. It’s pretty dog friendly so if you have any four legged children they are going to have the time of there life.
The trail starts at the back of a residential neighborhood. This is both a good and bad thing because it’s a pretty upscale neighborhood so you don’t have to worry about your car being broken into while you’re immersed in the woods, but bad because finding a place to park can be a pain in the ass on a packed weekend.
There is plenty of natural beauty surrounding you on the way up and you’ll be zigzagging your way through the woods for at least an hour and a half, if you’re in no rush and want to take I. The sites along the way. There will come a point on the trail where there is a break and the valley is to your left with the ridge line continuing on your right. If I were you, I’d finish to the summit first and then back track to see the valley. I say this because the stairs are pretty brutal toward the peak and you’ll need those legs to reach the top. All in all I definitely plan to come back to this trail a second and third time. It’s a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

I highly recommend this hike. It rained on us a bit early, but even with that, was a fun hike. It does get rough when it gets muddy, but definitely nothing too crazy. The views are stunning. Complete panoramic views.

Great trail to hike! Well worth the time. Take time to enjoy the views at the top.

hiking
2 months ago

http://www.kitv.com/story/35116536/hikers-becoming-a-growing-problem-for-residents-near-kuliouou-ridge-trail

Please dont bring bus loads of people to this trail.

hiking
2 months ago

This should be rated as one step above moderate. Excellent hike. Need high ankle hiking boots as the overgrown tree roots and rocky road it’s an ankle breaker. Get those leg muscles ready for stair climb at the top and decent back down.

hiking
2 months ago

-Overview-
As my friend put it: "One of the best views in O'ahu without the difficulty or dangerous ridges." You get a fantastic panoramic view of SE, and E coasts of O'ahu. Great first taste what O'ahu has to offer without the risk of many other trails.

-Conditions-
My friend and I hiked this at night to get the sunrise in the morning. Started at 4 AM and reached the peak by around 5-515. We stopped at a little picnic spot halfway up which I thought was very unique for a trail like this. As we reached the top, the steps helping you up the broad ridge were fairly muddy but that was to be expected at the time of day and the elevation.

-Views-
When you get to the top, there are several spots letting you see narrow views of the island. At the top you can see Diamond Head, Koko Crater, and a breathtaking view of Waimanalo. Seeing the town and the rest of O'ahu light up as the sun came through the clouds was so picturesque!

This was my first hike in HI, lots of variations in terrain. The steps near the top were a muddy mess and they made me feel the burn. I was sore for 4 days after, but I really enjoyed the views from the top and the experience as a whole.

Easy, but It’s a long hike!
Once you reach the top, you will really enjoy the breathtaking view!

hiking
3 months 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.

hiking
3 months ago

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.

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

Hike:
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.

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

Ratings:
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.

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