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Ko'olau Summit Trail (Pali Puka) is a 0.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Kaneohe, Oahu, Hawaii that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round.

Length 0.7 mi Elevation gain 485 ft Route type Out & Back

Hiking

Forest

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Muddy

Rocky

Scramble

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Getting There

Note: This trail has lots of steep areas and cliff faces, so please be careful. The Puka is below the narrow bridge. Its a great short hike, but do not let the length fool you- it is challenging! Though the route is short, the conditions can be windy, extreme, and muddy. The trail that follows a cliff (pali) face up to two notches that supposedly were utilized by King Kamehameha to hold cannons, and to serve as a lookout post. Wear shoes that are sturdy and grip well and look out for falling rocks and loose dirt. remember to test and shake that rock or branch before using it to pull yourself through. Many rocks are cracking and branches are loosening after long use. Not a good hike for kids or pets! This is a risky hike with rock scrambling and people have fallen and been seriously injured in the past. Use good judgement.

You will have to pay for parking if you are not military or Kama'aina.

Turn off of the Pali Highway onto the Pali Lookout road. Park and pay and then the trail head will be off on the right hand side of the Pali Lookout.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (273)
Photos (285)
Recordings (181)
Completed (825)
Laura Simons
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 2, 2020
HikingRockyScramble

I’m not going to say it was easy. It definitely wasn’t. But it wasn’t really hard physically, just mentally for me. There was a bit of a steep incline in the woods with roots and rocks then along the edge of the cliff going up rocks with ropes where you need them. There was a trail more inward in the woods that wasn’t right on the edge if you wanted it but there were parts where you still had to go along the cliff. Overall it tested my nerves but it was a gorgeous view and totally worth it. The actual difficulty of the path and going up the rocks was on the higher end of moderate (for Hawaii hiking) in my opinion. Just watch your footing and go slow!

Ashley Mokuahi
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 30, 2020
Hiking

Awesome day and conditions for this hike!

View Ashley's Recording
Chelsea McKay
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 27, 2020
HikingRockyScramble

One of the easiest hikes I’ve done on the island! The reviews are a bit overdramatic about the treachery of this hike. We went in the wind and rain also. If you’ve ever done a ridge hike before, this will be a breeze. Maybe don’t go if the winds are 40mph but otherwise the regular winds are fine. The entrance is the “No Hiking” sign posted by the bus parking. Once you are standing right in front of the huge vertical face rock, about 20-30 min in, the puka is directly under you, and you have to climb down to get to it. You will not be able to see the Puka until you climb down. Great views and pics!

Jessica Carroll
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 24, 2020
HikingRockyScramble

I did this trail yesterday. Definitely don’t attempt If it’s been remotely wet recently. Also when you cross the little bridge with the big talk rock in front of you climb down and the puka is below the narrow bridge. I didn’t know that and the all trails recording is wrong so I kept going and got stuck in some VERY sketchy rock walls and ended up falling down and loosing the trail all together. Had to slide down the rest of the mountainside and bushwhack my way out and it was a literal nightmare. The trail up to the puka is pretty much what everyone says. Sketchy at times and some steep parts but overall good hike. I wish I would’ve know that’s where the puka was and didnt keep going for a miserable experience

Katie Williams
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 23, 2020
HikingRockyScramble

Did this for sunrise, and wow was that beautiful! I will definitely be back for this. Just have to make sure to watch your footing when you’re ascending in the dark. Absolutely worth an early wake up to see the sunrise from the top!

Elijah Kelly
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 7, 2020
Hiking

Great trail - completed in March 2020. We were able to reach the summit in about 20 minutes (two 21 year old males). There are some steep spots with rope on the trail to assist you getting up. There is some edge hiking and high winds at time, but there are paths that are further in from the edge and the views are breathtaking

Breanna Danta
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 18, 2020
HikingOver grownRockyScramble
K.c. Ashby
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 22, 2020
Hiking

GREAT HIKE!!! Little steep and you have to be a little comfortable with walking on the edge. Park entrance was closed today. Recommend parking on the side of the Pali heading towards Kailua the walk past the gate to the start of the trail is like 200m where the opposite side is like a 1.5 mile walk up to the start.

Matt Graham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 22, 2020
HikingOver grownScramble

The Pali lookout itself was closed today, March 21st but we just walked from the gate where we parked our car. The hike itself can really get your heart going. Lots of steep areas and cliff faces but it’s exhilarating.

Dan Scantlan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 8, 2020
Hiking

Great hike. Wouldn’t recommend if you are scared of heights or don’t like walking along a ridge. I dont recommend doing this hike in high winds or rain IG: hikin_hawaii

Rietta Boksha
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 27, 2020
HikingRocky

Great short hike with some incredible views! You can take inner trails or an outer ridge just be cautious on the ridge. If you are on the outer ridge it will take you on top of the Puka so don’t miss it!

Yvonne Morin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 26, 2020
HikingRockyScramble

Nice hike with beautiful views of Nu’uanu Pali State Wayside, the windward side and Honolulu. It has an amazing view from the Puka. Can be a bit windy so use caution and stay low along the ridge if so, you can use the branches if they’re sturdy enough to grab onto while walking along. Check for sturdiness first. There are trails within the woods in SOME spots to hike through as well if you’re not comfortable along the ridge.

View Yvonne's Recording
Spencer Atkinson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 3, 2020
Hiking

This hike was fun. On the edge most of the time or you can take the inside route. If you're on the edge near the top don't miss the Puka. Great views and would definitely do it again.

View Spencer's Recording
Tina Atkinson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 3, 2020
HikingClosedRockyScramble

If you scared of heights you may not be able to complete. I was definitely scared and wanted to turn around a lot. Took us 2 hours to complete.

View Tina's Recording
Riley Glenn
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HikingClosedPrivate propertyRocky

A few sketchy parts, but as long as you are smart, you are fine. There is a trail right in the ridge but also one that is covered and a little safer.

Bas Wolkenfelt
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HikingClosed
View Bas's Recording
Ryan Santiago
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarDecember 22, 2019
Hiking

Here in Hawaii till the 2nd. Planning on doing this hike tomorrow! (26/27th) hit me up on Instagram if you’d like to join! @ry_guyyyy

Monika Dejna
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 16, 2019

Scariest hike ever. Continues after the rock hole. But beautiful view in the end on the top.

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