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Okolehao Trail is a 3.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Hanalei, Kauai, Hawaii that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 3.4 mi Elevation gain 1,177 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Hiking

Nature trips

Forest

River

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Muddy

Rocky

Scramble

Description
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Getting There

As of April 2020, this trail is experiencing full or partial closures. Please call the park for current conditions. Also dubbed Hanalei River Trail and Hihimanu Trail, this ridgeline ascent behind Hanalei offers a one-of-a-kind behind the curtains view of the valley and the ocean beyond. After a few hundred yards of mild forest meandering the trail turns left and thus begins a challenging half-mile climb to the first vista, a clearing next to an electrical tower that gives a taste of what visual splendor awaits those who proceed. For many, this initial climb and view may suffice. For those who wish to venture on, the hike tames down a bit, following the ridgeline. Close to the one mile mark look for the notable tree known as "Woody." Keep climbing another 5-10 minutes and you reach the second flat plateau with sweeping views of Hanalei Bay, Hanalei Pier, the Kilauea Lighthouse, Princeville, the taro fields you left behind, and Bali Hai. For the truly adventurous, the trail continues on and after the 1.5 mile mark turns into a rope-assisted climb (literally) of Hihimanu Ridge (Kauais Twin Peaks)... often with significant mud. This last section is arduous, can be dangerous, and should only be attempted by experienced hikers who dont have a fear of heights. At the end of the Okolehao Trail is another plateau and you see everything you did before plus the Hanalei River coming out of the mountain valley and a close up view of all the mountains including Waialeale. In total you can see 1/5 of the entire island. The trail can be muddy and slick if it has rained at all in the last few days, so be sure to grab a walking stick at the trailhead from the pile near the bridge. If planning on doing the entire climb, itd be wise to start early and bring plenty of water. The round trip hike should take around 4-5 hours if moving at a decent pace.

Parking lot across from trailhead.

Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, 2270 Kalakaua Avenue, Suite 801 , Honolulu, HI, 96815, Phone: 800-GOHAWAII, Fax: 808-924-0290

You will find the Okolehao Trail off the main road from Princeville, headed west. Go toward Ke'e Beach on 560 leaving Princeville. Once you get to the bottom of the hill and cross the one-lane bridge, take an immediate left by the taro fields. You will go down the road about a mile to a parking lot across from the start of the trail.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (407)
Photos (389)
Recordings (307)
Completed (731)
Rye Jon
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HikingMuddy

Great view!

Monali Patel
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HikingBugsMuddy

Did this hike in Feb. 2020. It was super muddy! The nets on the ground were only somewhat helpful. I slipped a lot. The mid point views looking out on the taro fields and mountains were gorgeous. Quite an incline and due to the rain and mud we turned around before reaching the absolute top. Still got views and a workout.

Eric Howard
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 27, 2020
HikingBlowdownOver grownScramble

Fine trail. After the second lookout everything is overgrown.

View Eric's Recording
Angela McFadden
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 20, 2020
Hiking

I guess it depends on what you are looking for. We wanted an adventure a surely got it. It started raining on our hike and the trail was rather quickly filling up with water so we headed back down only after about a half mile. But we loved the overgrowth, the steep climb, the trees to stoop under, the entire feeling of being on this amazing island. We talk about it with fondness.

Larissa Rossen
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Hiking

Good steep trail, well maintained, with good views over Hanalei.

Donovan Caruso
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HikingMuddy

Went the day after very heavy rain. There was substantial mud in the beginning, but subsided when the climbing began. Lots of climbing, it is definitely worth making it to the second bench! It is not worth going higher, for the views, however if going for the challenge, then it gets quite steep and challenging. Still a great hike!

Charlie Kale
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMarch 17, 2020
MuddyOver grown

A good hike during dry months probably. Was very muddy, sometimes overgrown. Did not go all the way to the top of the second trail. Great views of Hanalei on a clear day.

Jody Phifer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 9, 2020
Hiking

Great trail. Definitely grab a walking stick. It rained off & on while we hiked & it wasVERY slippery coming down. I’d say it’s do-able for most kids. My 11 yo had no problems & we saw kids much younger doing it.

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Blomqvist & Jones
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 1, 2020
HikingMuddyScramble

This trail was a lot of fun. Yes, it’s muddy. Yes, it has some steep climbs. Yes, it will likely rain on you. Yes, the views aren’t the best you will find on Kaua’i. But, views aren’t the only reason I hike. This trail felt like an adventure. All of the steep bits have natural stairs made of roots or deep mud impressions from previous traffic. There was slipping and some sliding, but this isn’t a walk in a park, it’s the side of a mountain not far from the wettest place on earth. You will not be clean by the end of this trip. Welcome to the outdoors! Just watch your footing and your balance and you should be fine. We completed this without poles or sticks although that seems to be the common approach. We’d rather have our hands free to hold rocks, roots etc when needed. The one caveat I would make is that when you get near the end of this trail, it dog legs to the left for another 1/4 mile or so. This was the muddiest part of the trail and very overgrown. And once you reach the end, there’s nothing but a faded sign that says “end trail.” This was the one dissatisfying part of the whole hike. If you want to continue straight for another 1/4 mile, it would be more rewarding. However there will be a short but steep rope assisted climb shortly after passing this point. When you continue past the trail split, you transition to the Hihimanu Ridge Trail. We really wanted to finish this but we made it about .5 miles and a huge rain shower with strong gusts hit us. It was already past 4pm and we realized we would likely be coming back in the dark so we turned around. It apparently gets narrower and has several steep rope assisted climbs on the way to the top, so darkness and wind gusts made us put the remainder of the hike on hold for another day. This was definitely one the most fun trails we did on the North coast despite its lack of scenic vistas. Enjoy!

Lysandra Aaron
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HikingMuddy
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Kyle Windsor
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HikingMuddyOver grownScramble

As you take the trail up to the powerlines it’s muddy and steep at the beginning but not bad past the powerlines is very dry and a great trail all the way up to the look out and the two benches. If you keep going it’s extremely rugged and narrow on either side...very muddy. The views are OK but where the two benches are are the better views. This trail under delivers.

View Kyle's Recording
Gareth Cross
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HikingMuddyOver grownWashed out
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Gordon Hicinbothem
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HikingMuddyRocky

Loved the trail, but it was a pretty good uphill climb all the way out... which made for an interesting trip back down! Definitely got a workout today.

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Andrew gulbronson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 15, 2020
HikingMuddyOver grown

Awesome views of Hanalei Bay. The trail is hella muddy. Trekking poles not required but helpful, especially for the section after the second vista. Would not recommend going up that section in the rain, it's pretty slick. Overall solid hike in the 2-3 hour range depending how far you want to go.

View Andrew's Recording
Chez Adolphe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 13, 2020
HikingMuddy

Difficult trail as it is quite steep and muddy/slippery. I definitely recommend not going if it’s raining because you could easily slip. Also would highly recommend bringing a hiking stick, if you don’t have one there are plenty of sticks lying around that you could use. The view is definitely worth the hike!

Garrett Schiche
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HikingMuddyOver grown
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Greg Hoole
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HikingMuddyOver grownScramble

Do not attempt to do the last half mile of this hike if it’s raining. Probably not advisable even to go past the second lookout.

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