Kea'au Middle Ridge

HARD 42 reviews

Kea'au Middle Ridge is a 9.5 kilometer heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Waianae, Oahu, Hawaii that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
9.5 km
ELEVATION GAIN
821 m
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

hiking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

scramble

no shade

historic site

no dogs

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. 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.

hiking
rocky
scramble
5 days ago

Excellent trail to hike. Starts out on a dirt road and eventually changes to a single track up pretty steep hills. Ropes are provided that make going up and especially going down much easier. Bring a lot of water as parts are pretty open to sunlight. We had to climb thru a fence gate at the beginning to get in but the locals were nice and wished us a “good hike”. Excellent views.

hiking
private property
2 months ago

Gave it a go amidst review debate about private property. Ended up being recon mostly, walking a portion but between bad weather on the mts and the locked gates along the way decided to turn back. Will give it another shot when weather is more conducive.
There are two gates; the first by Farrington Hwy was open, but encountered a heavily locked gate along Keaau Homesteads Rd.
Did see 2 hikers with a dog give it a go, but rain started to pour.

hiking
muddy
no shade
2 months ago

As catsmallears said before, This is NOT private property. As far as I know you should even be able to drive up the road to the actual trail or to the top of the initial hill as on the Honolulu parcel website shows the road is public. For them to being do that and saying you need to have a tour is disgusting and shows what has happened to oahu, making a fee to enjoy the aina. im saddened to hear about this, anyways just enjoy the hike. if there is any saying anything they are speaking nonsense.

hiking
3 months ago

Was an overcast day so it wasn't as hot as it can get on the west side. The views were awesome, clear enough to see the North Shore, Kaena and Ko'olina and of course the Makaha Valley, Mount Ka'ala, Kalena and Kamaileunu etc....

hiking
3 months ago

one of my favorite hikes. dry, exposed hike but with excellent views along the way and once reaching the summit. either need to street parking and hop the gate or wait until 7-8AM for it to be opened. never had a problem accessing the trail personally. somebody went a little rope happy; would really rather see some trail work to create switchbacks until the actual climb portion instead. moderate difficulty 4-5 hours

6 months ago

The Ohikilolo Adventure Park cannot block you from accessing the trail as the Keaau Makua Public Hunting Area is owned and managed by DLNR and they must allow public to access it. You should call DLNR (1-808-643-DLNR) and tell them the situation.

7 months ago

This is through private property and I couldn’t access it. They have two huge dogs that came chasing me and thankfully I was able to get back outside of the gate before they were able to catch me. I also called the ohikilolo adventure park which owns the land and the operator said that unless I had a tour booked with them, I couldn’t get in. Waste of my time since I drove over an hour for it and had spent time planning this hike for two months now. I really wanted to do this hike and came solo. Such a bummer :/

hiking
7 months ago

The view from the top is worth the steep climbing. Would be very difficult (seemingly impossible) if it were wet.

8 months ago

Drier side. First mile has lots of horse abuse. Beyond the pasture it’s a steady climb through low trees. Lots of goats and grouse. Nice views. Very few other hikers.

8 months ago

fun hike up a dirt trail that turns steeply uphill (45degrees) before becoming a nice bouldering/climbing ridgeline to the top. great views. caution the exposed hike is a lot of sun. the gate at the bottom doesn't open until 7-8 am so be prepared to street parking and hop a couple fences. 4 hours for an experienced hiker at a moderate pace

hiking
Friday, March 23, 2018

Very nice hike with an amazing view. It is not as difficult as rated. Although there are some airy spots on the ridge, nothing is too challenging, and the trail is easy to follow.

hiking
Monday, February 05, 2018

Eden Hansing, there is no Air Force gate. You don't need a hiking permit. I believe the one you are talking about is the Satellite Tracking Station at Kaena Point. Those who gave 1 star for this track,you were most likely on the wrong one.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

This trail is closed by the Air Force and you won't even be able to get to the trail unless you fill out the hiking permit and get it signed before you come. From the armed gate you're about 2.6 mi away from the trail so you can't even try to walk in. I'm turning around now and going south to the Kaneana Point state park

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Strenuous. Steep , it's an entire uphill climb. The rocks are crumbly and expect rock climbing on cliff sides. Lots of scrambling. We had a rope snap and almost lost a friend so please don't trust the ropes! Amazing views. Take caution but enjoy the challenge. Took us 2 1/2 hours to summit.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Super muddy made worse by the rain. There's a horse tour place near the entrance that looked fun. Sweet ridge hike though. The cloud we were hiking in opened up for a bit on the way down and the valleys adjacent to the ridge are gorgeous.

hiking
Thursday, April 20, 2017

Trail start/end on some farm land with cows, bulls and horses. Trail is steep and slippery if wet. View just amazing, probably one of the best trails I hiked on Hawaii.

Full report:
http://mvkazit.blogspot.com/2017/04/makua-keaau-middle-ridge.html

hiking
Monday, February 27, 2017

If you are up to the challenge, this ridge hike is strenuous and steep. There are a number of drop offs and rock climbs. Be weary of the crumbly rocks as these can break off pretty easily; so always test before putting your full weight. We also encountered a lot of wild life as this is a public hunting area as well. Lots of goats and pheasants; not to mention a number of cows too. Watch out and stay clear of the bulls. At the top of the ridge we were rewarded by expansive views of Ohikilolo, Makaha, Mount Ka'ala and view of the ocean to Ko'olina and Kaena. This is one, I would definitely do again.

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1 month ago

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