Mount Kaala Trail

HARD 267 reviews

Mount Kaala Trail is a 11.4 kilometer lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Waianae, Oahu, Hawaii that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 11.4 km Elevation Gain: 1,642 m Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

trail running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

over grown

rocky

scramble

no dogs

At more than 6 miles and 5,000ft of total elevation gain it's one of the most difficult hikes on the O'ahu but it's worth the work to ascend to the highest point on the island. From certain points there are amazing views of the Waianae Valley and Coastline and of the North Shore.

hiking
7 days ago

This is a very difficult hike even if you are in-shape. 90% of the whole hike is incline. It took our group of 8 people about 6 hours to complete roundtrip (we did take alot of breaks). The trail ends at the Air Force station. Do not do this hike without bring LOTS of water and some snacks. One water bottle is NOT ENOUGH. I would not do this hike if it has been raining. It is incredibly steep and would become very dangerous if done in rainy weather. I would highly recommend this hike if you are up for a challenge. There is a small dirt lot for parking at the head of the trail. The first portion is a long paved road that takes you to the foot of the mountain. Then the trail becomes forest and goes straight up the mountain. Bring bug spray because there are plenty of mosquitos.

muddy
rocky
scramble
21 days ago

hiking
bugs
22 days ago

Great hike, first portion is a service road for a couple well stations but the grade and sun combination could be discouraging, once passed that there’s a small two track up to a small breakpoint, then it’s all trail from there. Well marked throughout, one thing that got me was the dead leaves over the dirt/mud on the way down can be a bit slippery at certain points. I did not finish, would not recommend the breakfast burrito and three cups of coffee as a starter. Round trip for me was just over 5 miles.

bugs
muddy
scramble
24 days ago

This trail starts out as a gentle incline-- it get a steeper and steeper as you go with little in terms of switchbacks. Use you hands or a walking stick sooner rather than later!! There were lots of mosquitoes at the bas of the mountain when under the cover of trees.

hiking
bugs
muddy
30 days ago

hiking
bugs
muddy
1 month ago

Went for hike on a hot, humid and sunny day. First 3 km were tough due to heat. Second half is steep, muddy and slippery, ie. you’ll get dirty! Better dirty than injured. Make sure to bring LOTS of water, ie 1.5L per person. The hike is hard and muddy. Lots of mosquitoes. No rewarding 360 view at the summit, as it is a volcano and the crater is filled with a swamp due to the poor drainage. The view is great along the way. No view at the top as there is thick vegetation (unlike your typical rockies mountain where it changes to a tundra or rocks. ) I give it 5 stars because I loved the fragrance of jasminoid trees, the biodiversity and the lush greenery along the way. If you’re looking for comfortable, clean and easy hike, this isn’t for you.

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

hiking
muddy
2 months ago

fantastic hike. be sure to follow the road all the way up, and stay straight once you get to the end of the road, don't go left toward the white tree ribbon marker. lots of rope climbs on the last quarter.

hiking
bugs
2 months ago

This hike is a bit challenging due to the 3-mile incline. You will start off on a cement road for about a mile. This is the EASY part of the trail. As you go up higher in elevation the views are amazing. There are few rope and rock climbing but not too bad. You’ll also walk along a fence for a short distance where the gloves will come in handy. Once you’ve reach the top, you will walk along wooden planks with chicken wire nailed on top. Please be careful!! There are some spots where the wire is sticking out and it’s a tripping hazard. It’s best to hike this trail early in the morning so it’s not so hot and avoid hiking it after a rainfall. As always, be careful of ferns and overgrown greenery. What may seem like a solid ground may not be. I recommend bringing the following: - At least 2 liters of water (I consumed 3 liters) - Gloves (for ropes and rock climbing) - Spikes (some areas were muddy & helpful going downhill) - Hat (limited shaded areas) - Snacks (to replenish your energy) - Bug Spray - Chapstick (I always carry this)

hiking
private property
rocky
3 months ago

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

3 months ago

amazing views, lots of exercise and some tricky areas but lots of fun

hiking
3 months ago

Am I biased because it was cloudy? Maybe.. was it because I was cold an ill prepared. Possibly.. would I say it was worth it?... well yea, and I’ll probably go again.

hiking
muddy
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

A little wet on the trail, but beautiful weather and great views. Took us 5 hours roundtrip with a few stops to catch our breath and the sights. It's tough. But rewarding. The change in climate zones and foliage is striking, and the grove of minimally picked-through strawberry guava is a delicious diversion.

hiking
muddy
4 months ago

Pretty sweet hike that will kick your literal ass. I consider myself fit and active, but came away from this hike sore in all the places. There are ropes that are necessary to use if you'd like to complete the last 1/3 of the hike. I repeat- rope climbing is absolutely necessary to complete this hike. Advisories: (1) Don't go on this hike if it has rained recently. Just don't. You will probably have to just slide down most of the mountain on your way down. (2) If your not into heights and real skinny razor blade-like trails, probably don't do this hike. (3) Don't go on this hike without at *least* 1.5 liters of wawa, and some sort of snack(s). Did it without any food and only 1 liter of water, which was not cool at all. (4) If it's cloudy, consider the fact that you may be disappointed to struggle strait up a mountain for 3 hours only to find that you can't see further than a few feet in front of you. Anyway, lots of type 2 fun. Highly recommended.

hiking
5 months ago

The last few rope sections were muddy and somewhat sketchy. Otherwise, a very fun hike.

hiking
5 months ago

Wow that was hard but also amazing!

5 months ago

This hike has a very steep incline for about the whole time. Must be in shape and have good stamina. After you hit 2.5 miles there are many climbs which require use of ropes. If you have never been on a hike with ropes, I recommend turning around. Great views about the whole time looking over the west side of Oahu.

hiking
5 months ago

Challenging and lengthy hike. Took about 5 hours round trip. Olomana in Kailua would be a good hike to challenge yourself on prior to tackling Kaala. Be prepared to climb into the clouds and not get any view from the top. Visibility was maybe 100ft when we last climbed this one. Fantastic views of both Waianae and Makua Valley while 3000 or so feet up. Punched into clouds soon after though. Honestly hit or miss given the altitude.

5 months ago

Awesome hike. Very difficult towards the top. Best hike on Oahu.

hiking
5 months ago

Awesome hike! Views are stellar! Super versatile trail with portions of it requiring fixed ropes on the way up. Slightly muddy in the morning but resolved quickly for the early afternoon. One of the best hikes I’ve ever done.

hiking
5 months ago

We climbed solo on Monday, December 24 and descended. It was said by the local people who passed by before entering the mountain entrance, "Climb 4 hours, take 4 hours, start time is late!" As a result, go up in less than 3 hours, go in about 2 and a half hours It was At the beginning of the climb, it was a gentle trail, but the steep slope continued immediately, and if I took a break on the way, I could not climb as my breath rose too much. When the view is open from the middle side, the Waianae Mountains, the sea and the city spread under your eyes, and you can see very wonderful views. However, as the altitude goes up, I grab the rocky area and further steep slopes with my hands with the guide rope and the root of the tree, and climb with all my weight. If the width of the trail is narrow, it is only about 50 cm, and it looks like it slips down due to the weight of Zack, and its limbs shake. Also, the view gets worse as you climb the wind and drizzle, and if you don't have gloves and windshells, your sweat gets cold and you get a fridge. As you climb up the rocky area, a flat artificial tree path appears suddenly, turning into a jungle-like vegetation, as if you were lost in the botanical garden, and when the tree path is over, you will reach the summit where you can see the radar site. The top is almost always cloudy and misty, so you can not see the view from the top at all. There is an artificial thing, but there is no road because there is a road at all. I stayed for 20 minutes for lunch break but it was not sunny. By the way there is a road, but you can not call Uber or Lyft at the top as it is for military use only. It was a very enjoyable process when the season changes with the sea bream, middle and bottom. Just before Shimoyama, there is a solitary stream, but going off the trail and going back into the solitary stream is a small waterfall and river where you can bathe.

hiking
6 months ago

I did this hike 2 days ago and it was amazing! It’s steep and steady incline the whole way up. But the views are phenomenal. There’s quite a few rope sections, but as long as it’s not too muddy, they aren’t difficult. Going down was more challenging technically than going up. Great hike! Beware if you drive out and park, do not leave anything visible in your car.

hiking
6 months ago

Wonderful hike! Didn’t get to complete it due my own poor shoe choices and the muddy trail right at the top of the peak. Round trip was 7 mi. Needed maybe a half mile more to go. Tons of rope set up at the top to help get you over obstacles. And I one part there is a ladder bolted right into a rock. Wonderful views on a clear day. I will return to summit Mt Ka’ala next time!

6 months ago

Pretty cool hike over a variety of terrain and “obstacles.” The 7.1 mileage looks like it didn’t include the section of planks that take you through the bog at the top and to the radio station. Our watch had it closer to 8+ miles. Definitely aim to do this hike on a clear day without any rain!

7 months ago

Toughest hike so far Mountain Ray.

hiking
8 months ago

8 months ago

Difficult trail. You need bug spray. We only hiked up about 5.5 miles. Took us 3.5 hours there and back. Very pretty jungle though.

8 months ago

There are many photos of the recent fire in the Waianae Ramble track.

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