Pu'u Heleakala and Nanakuli Trail [PRIVATE PROPERTY]

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Puaena Point Beach Park

Pu'u Heleakala and Nanakuli Trail [PRIVATE PROPERTY] is a 3.3 mile moderately 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, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round.

Length3.3 miElevation gain1,660 ftRoute typeOut & back
HikingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingViewsWildflowersWildlifeRockyScrambleNo shadePrivate propertyNo dogs
Description
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Facilities
Getting There

Short hike along the south ridge to Pu'u Heleakala in Nanakuli, Oahu. Watch out for wind gusts and no cover. Some rock scrambling and climbing required. This much shorter pu'u cannot be mistaken for its high relative on Maui (Haleakala). Although shorter, it still is a good climb to the top at about 1900 feet. There are two ways to reach the top of Pu'u Heleakala. One approach from the south and one from the west. The map currently shows the approach from the west. The south approach starts in a neighborhood and has several "No Trespassing" signs posted. You could reach it coming from the North, but that would mean having to scale Puu Palikea first. What makes this hike challenging is the heat since there is no cover at all on this trail. Be sure to bring lots of water. There are wild dogs guarding the trailhead but if you move past them calmly they won’t want to bother you.

Park at Nankuli Shopping Center or along Ulei Loop.

From Honolulu, travel H1 west till you reach Nanakuli. There are two entry points: 1) park at Nanakuli shopping center and start your hike from the back and base of the ridge, or 2) Turn right on Haleakala Ave, then left on Opuhe Street, turn left onto Mokiawe Street, and right onto Ulei Loop. Drive till there aren't any more houses on the left.

Weather
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Reviews (88)
Photos (147)
Activities (79)
Completed (159)
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Germ Bimpembo
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Hiking
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Dario Jimenez
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Hiking

Cops at the trailhead

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Hai F.
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Hiking
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Jeneen Montero
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HikingGreat!No shadePrivate propertyRocky
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Jennifer Sakumoto
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Hiking

Definitely would only do this hike on an overcast day. The heat is what would make this level of difficulty hard in my opinion. The terrain is moderate but unshaded. Luckily when we started it was slightly overcast and rainy so it wasn’t that hot. But on the way back down, it cleared up and we started feeling the heat. The strong winds kept it manageable.

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Petr Conely
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HikingGreat!Private property

Great trail once you get to the pillbox! As others have said; parking at McDonald’s in the shade is a great idea and so is starting early so you don’t fry in the sun. Their are “God Dogs” (wild dogs) guarding the trail head but if you move past them with calm confidence they don’t want to bother you, they just want to make sure you won’t take the kibble Simone brings up to them . Hike itself is very nice and a good cardio work out as the mountain is steep. Views are gorgeous. Noise from the dump/ rock quarry/ army base is constant and annoying until you go off the back side of the mountain and then it is serene.

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Daniel Tose
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Hiking
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Victoria Romanello
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Hiking

Can be slippery with loose rocks. Definitely start early! Beautiful view!

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iratwo pollack
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Hiking
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J Hayes
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Hiking

Not too hard if you avoid hot times of day. Able pets can make it no problem. Good view.

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jmarv 47
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Hiking

West side Oahu is always humid. Hiking this trail after 8am might be too hot already. Be ready with a lot of water. This trail, for me, is a good prep if you plan to hike its nearby trail Mt Kaala for they both offers an all uphill kind of hike, some Koko Head type. I took a lot of stops and reached the peak in 2hrs. https://youtu.be/ojgcM17Ro6g

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Justin Nambounmy
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HikingNo shadeOff trailRockyScramble

Not an easy hike for sure with no shade being a huge factor for that. Not your standard hiking "trail" there is a lot of climbing over rocks contributing to about 60% of the hike. I would 100% not recommend bringing pets or children or any inexperienced hikers with you on this trip unless they truly have the dedication. No actual parking for the trail so you do have to park at the Pacific Shopping Mall. Definitely bring an ample amount of water at least 48oz and even then use that sparingly. Started moving around 3:45pm from the parking lot reached the peak at around 5:30pm. Coming down took approximately 1hr 15min. The lone "pillbox" marks the beginning of the trail. You're greeted by a mildly strenuous rock climb which will have wind blown out of you contemplating why you agreed to do this to your body. You will stay on track so long as you stay on the ridge but at times it felt pretty easy to lose track of any trails made by others in the past, just use common sense and your best judgement. A lot of the rock scaling/scrambling parts are VERY sketchy and one wrong move you can end up falling. The layout of the hike is best described by short bursts of incline. I recommend to rest at the peak of each of these since following the individual peaks are downhills followed by an even steeper climb. It pretty much repeats this process up until you reach the halfway mark. At that point it becomes Koko Head on steroids with a constant increasing incline all the way up until you reach the final peak. The views are fantastic overlooking the neighboring valleys and overshadowing Maili Pillboxes. It's just unfortunate there are no actual spots to comfortably sit and rest besides the ground, definitely bringing lawn chairs next time. If you plan hiking this to watch the sunset like I did, you will definitely need a good light source on your way back down and even then it's extremely sketchy.

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Victoria Parris
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Hiking

Parked by mcdonalds under the trees for car shade. Started the trail at around 6:30. took 2 hours to get to the summit, and 1 1/2 to get back down. About 5 miles total in about 4 hours. IT DOES GET HOT. I agree with another person who reviewed that you shouldn't be on this trail after 10am! Luckily we started early so it was still nice going up, but coming down the heat was definitely uncomfortable. Bring lots of water, and then some. Maybe a snack. It's a workout but the views were worth it.

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Aaron Richards
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HikingGreat!No shadePrivate property

Easy hike, minus the heat. We got a lot of cloud cover the day we went. Nice views of the Waianae Range, Pu’u O Hulu, and the beach. Definitely bring a lot of water. Took us about three hours.

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Ricky Rader
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Hiking

Super fucking hot. DO NOT DO THIS HIKE BETWEEN 10am-5pm Im not joking you can have a very bad moment with this temperature. Bring more water than you think. West side it’s beautiful but all dry.

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Chelsea McKay
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HikingNo shadeRocky

EXTREMELY hot and dry on this hike. This hike is not a difficult one in terms of terrain, distance or elevation. However, the brutal heat in the dry desert climate makes this a tough-y. Do not do this hike unless during sunrise, sunset or extreme overcast. Park at McDonald’s, walk for 5-10 minutes down the road, and turn right through the gate across from the landfill. Go down this road for 5-10 minutes then you will veer right into the grass (hard to find the fork, so use all trails map). Then the hike takes you to a pillbox, and up a little mountain with a flag pole. Then the rest is just a straight up jaunt. Nice hike despite the trash near the pillbox. The brutal heat was also miserable though, there isn’t a single shaded section.

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Anthony Blanco
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HikingNo shadePrivate propertyRocky

Great Trail- did it with my team and it’s a non stop uphill with one rock climbing section that’s 6 feet (so hopping a fence). I parked at the McDonalds. Other than that it’s a beautiful hike that you will have you questioning on finishing it when it hits a certain temperature. Took us an hour and 45 mins to reach the top with all the breaks. You will not regret doing this hike.

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John Sage
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HikingNo shadeOff trailOver grownPrivate propertyRocky

Great if you like vertical hiking. The views are worth it. Hat and sunscreen recommended as your exposed the whole time. Careful for intermittent wind gusts of 50+mph.

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