Kealia Trail

MODERATE 370 reviews
#1 of 4 trails in

Kealia Trail is a 12.2 kilometer moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
12.2 km
ELEVATION GAIN
767 m
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

hiking

mountain biking

trail running

bird watching

forest

views

rocky

The trail head is across from the parking lot and proceeds inland on a wide paved road. Go around the chain and go left at the fork (keep concrete hanger on your right). At the base of the ridge follow the trail as it switchbacks up the face. At the top there is a covered picnic bench. Continue inland and ascend fire road. When you reach a junction near an old fence line go right. You will pass a rusted water tank on the right. Enter the Kuaokala public hunting area. At the next junction turn left. Turn left when you reach the T junction. Pass a small water catchment and tank on the right. At the junction with the Kuaokala Trail bear right and slightly up to ridge rim. You will be overlooking the Makua Valley Military Training Area.

hiking
rocky
2 days ago

hiking
rocky
5 days ago

I loved the hike.

I was just going to go to the summit but definitely go through the gate up there, to the left and after like ten feet you’ll find the view you want on the right.
It was was mostly dry today but there was a thin layer of mud on steeper parts. It wasn’t too bad but I wouldn’t hike this trail after any rain or if it’s in the forecast, so check the forecast and recent weather before going.
I’d definitely repeat this next time I’m here, and I definitely recommend it as long as it’s dry.

-Texan living in Anchorage, Alaska.

hiking
6 days ago

This is a great hike but has some very steep sections which make for a good climb. Took us 3 hours to complete the whole trail.

hiking
20 days ago

I am a fast hiker and even run parts so that’s why the time is a bit fast. It’s a solid hike, your legs will definitely feel it. The trail continues on after the peak so you can explore more of you would like. The end of the trail is a bit confusing and overgrown. The view at the top was alright, but I think I would choose other hikes over this one.

hiking
22 days ago

We only did up to the picnic table. It’s been a while since we hiked, so it was a little harder on us than we’d have liked haha. We had our almost four year old who did it most of the way up on his own, and I baby wore my one year old. It was enjoyable and breezy, and the trees made it much nicer than a blazing sun trail. We saw some whales out in the distance too!

hiking
25 days ago

Lovely hike especially on the first part. Lovely views. Then it’s really a hike in the forest. Many birds. Once at the end we did not go past the gate. That is were there is the valley view which we did not see. You are always climbing most of the ways on a wide path. Careful coming down the steep parts as it can be slippery.

muddy
rocky
scramble
30 days ago

Didn't finish today because some of our group weren't loving the rocks and elevation change. Had just rained and turned it into a small stream for the first mile. Even still, gorgeous views, fun watching the planes takeoff and land.

hiking
1 month ago

Hustled up the best I could. Top a bit slippery from the rain last night. Love this one.

1 month ago

Only went a little beyond the picnic table. Nice day, dry. Great views.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Decent hike. Lots of switch backs and rocky terrain. View on a sunny day are epic

2 months ago

Absolutely loved this hike! Challenging but not too difficult for all hike levels. After the picnic table the trail gets pretty steep for about the whole next mile. The view at the top is totally worth it!

hiking
2 months ago

Tough going up in the wood. But again great wood scent. Nice views at the beginning and at the very end. Don't stop at the peak.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked Nov 2018.
This was a nice stroll in the woods with a pretty good view and little foot traffic from other hikers along the way. If you are looking for a light to moderate exercise or just need a semi-abandoned hiking trail to let the dogs roam free this is it. It’s a pretty chill hike and offers a fair amount of protection from the elements so it’s even good to do on a rainy day. The top of the hike takes you on what seems to be a Jeep trail through the rest of the way. I’m not how far that tail takes you because after about an hour and a half up we were still only a quarters way complete. I used this app to see a suitable point where everyone seemed to turn around and followed suit. Maybe one day I’ll come back and complete the entire thing before I leave the island.

hiking
4 months ago

A great trail for us and our pups. Slightly muddy in some areas but overall not particularly challenging while offering great views. Also not too crowded!

4 months ago

This was a moderately challenging hike. We are a fit couple who needs adventure, so turning back at the picnic table was not for us. After the table, it is mainly a service road, so not as scenic, until you get to the top. Great fun, not too steep.

hiking
5 months ago

This is a pretty safe, relatively easy trail that is easy to follow and offers pretty spectacular views of the North Shore. If you're just a couch potato, you'll definitely find it challenging as it's pretty much straight uphill, but it's not too difficult. It was very enjoyable.

hiking
5 months ago

difficult at first but well worth it

5 months ago

The cover photo for this hike is actually Kuaokala Trail and not Kealia Trail. Kealia is at the foothills behind Dillingham Airfield.

5 months ago

great hike. best on a day with some wind. was hot without a breeze

hiking
6 months ago

Great trail. It appeared to be very well maintained. Definitely not an easy hike. I started at 8 am and was sweating through my clothes after a mile into the hike. Going out to that great view is about 3.5 Miles. So many uphills. Don’t go right after leg day! There are some benches to rest. I’d be mindful if you plop down on a rock because I noticed there were ants all over the ground. Going back to the glider Airfield parking lot was a lot easier since most of it was downhill. Good hiking shoes are a must. You’ll want that extra grip when stepping over all the rocks. Watch your footing. Bring water. It’s beautiful.

hiking
6 months ago

Great trail and good scenery from the switchbacks. Only went up to the picnic table and back but it was great with the family in tow. Definitely want to do the entire trip one day.

8 months ago

Lots of rain on the Makua side today. Kuaokala was muddy and slippery but nothing major. Makua Valley was socked in but cleared up after 20 minutes. Bring water and a snack. 7.2 on my Suunto.

hiking
8 months ago

Nice hike the best views are when you are on the swtichbacks. Otherwise it is a nice stroll through shaded roads. The medium rating is probably merited, but families with older children should be able to handle this trail nicely. Take lots of water as it can get hot and there is now water on the trail.

very nice hike. only went to the picnic table. was very warm so try and go early. great view on the way up and down.

9 months ago

For the view, hike up to the covered picnik table (mud, rocks, narrow trail). Pass this, the remaining is a quiet ride to listen the birds (wide roads, rocks slates, muds and water holes). Not well indicated along the trails.

hiking
9 months ago

Pretty trail with beautiful views. As long as you arrive before the crowd it’s a lovely walk. It’s mostly shaded but sunscreen is probably a good call.
Several unleashed dogs and a couple letting their kids cut through the switchbacks. Other than some of the other people and the heat (usually later in the day) this is a great way to start the day.

hiking
9 months ago

We went up just to the picnic area and swing, but it's one of the best hikes I've ever done with two children in tow. Lots of shade and no mosquitos (at least today in May).

hiking
10 months ago

I have done this hike many times. Most times I do the entire 8 miles. We hike the way out and run the way back. Today we just went to the picnic table and found the swing. It’s a nice hike, lots of sun so wear a hat and sunscreen. Bring plenty of water because you will get thirsty in the exposed sun of the switchbacks. It’s an easy/moderate hike that can and is used for trail running.

trail running
10 months ago

Great trail, well marked. The switchbacks making way to the red dirt road offers a great change of pace.

Warning— beware of the large hill from waypoint 3,4. Specifically the area where the trail seems to make an S bend. The hill is deemed “Oh Shit Hill” and appropriately so. I ran down the hill in slick conditions and the hill overtook my body. With no natural bank to slow down, slick conditions, and nothing to grab onto, I plunged head first down the hill, ultimately tearing my rotator cuff.

I have experience trail running, and I was wearing my Salmons, but my experience and equipment provided a false sense of security. This hill is roughly 200m of straight, steep (I estimate 25% grade) slippery elevation change. Be careful walking down, and only run if conditions are dry.

The injury won’t stop me from frequenting the trail. It is one of my favorites and offers a fantastic workout.

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