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Waimano Ridge Trail

HARD 88 reviews

Waimano Ridge Trail is a 23.5 kilometer moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Pearl City, Oahu, Hawaii that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 23.5 km Elevation Gain: 1,037 m Route Type: Out & Back

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

cave

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

rocky

no dogs

This is a very diverse trail with a combination of manmade ditch structures, natural streams, ridge crossings, and switchbacks. Segment 1: The Tunnels The start of the trail is graded and wide. It traverses a long fence at the start and finally turns into the reserve with a view towards Pearl Harbor and Waianae. Don't forget to take the right fork in order to stay on the main trail. Taking the left fork will traverse a shorter loop hike into the valley. Continuing on the main trail on the right will take you past the many Waimano ditches and tunnels. Some dry enough for you to walk through (watch your head). On passing tunnel #7 the trail will drop down to cross a feeder stream. Once you cross, look back to see tunnel #8. Climb up and forward, you will then see the state hiking sign. Going left will take you through tunnel #9 (one of the longest) while going right walks you past the tunnel. Both will meet back up just before the #17 scout rest post BSA Kamehameha District Post 540. Segment 2: The Valley Stream Nature From the scout rest post, take the trail heading down into the valley. There are three more tunnels that are less visible, plus a number of ditch features. The trail will also cross Waimano stream and take a series of switchbacks that start to gain elevation. This area is a beautiful respite featuring giant fan palm, huge stands of tall royal palm trees, lots of great koa trees, and steep drop-offs to the stream below. It also houses lots of endemic and foreign birds alike. Segment 3: The Never-ending Switchbacks At this point the path begins to narrow and can be fairly overgrown if not recently maintained. The trees are smaller and Ohia is in abundance. Keep a look out for the Lobelia and Ko'li'i. Although, it always seems like yet another switchback, take the time to enjoy the cool mountain breezes and clouds. Sounds of water will gurgle up to the swtichbacks as you wonder where is the KST. Once you reach the summit terminus the view of Waihe'e Valley, Kaneohe Bay, and Kualoa is very rewarding.

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail. We didn’t do the full trail but went 3.4 miles in from the Top trail to playing in the stream. Watch yourselves because some of the trail makes you want to go one way naturally but in fact it’s another. Notes: when you get to the pavilion the trail continues to the west of the pavilion and not behind it or in the forest! It’s very slippery after the rain but still fun plus there is tons of guava.

hiking
bugs
muddy
rocky
5 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

I didn’t bring enough water and didn’t charge my Phone. Those aspects sucked. I did go off trail once and although I sort of suffered. It’s not a “hard” hike per say. It is long. No doubt the length is tiring but the trail itself is pretty well kept and nothing Crazy!

hiking
10 months ago

It’s actually 17 miles. Makes sure you swing a left when you get to the two big tree stumps under the big tree. Check alltrails as you go to make sure you’re on the right track because you can easily go straight at the stumps and go the wrong way. Bring a rain jacket if you don’t want to get soaked. Pretty cold at the top. The view is amazing. You might have to wait awhile for the clouds to clear for the view tho. Bring snacks, it’s a long hike. The trail is still in good condition. It won’t need maintenance for awhile. Watch your step tho! Lots of opportunity to trip and fall to your death if you’re not careful. Take the hike seriously, but enjoy the ride!

hiking
muddy
off trail
over grown
11 months ago

This Waimano Ridge Tra was fun to explore with lots of vegetation, lots of trees, and a nice view of the valley below from a couple viewpoints. There is an upper and lower trail to choose from. I chose the upper trail, which runs along the fence enclosing the Hawaii Department of Health campus. The upper trail also passes by a small cemetery and two large fuel drums that are enclosed with fencing and barbed wire. Once you pass the fuel drums, the trail goes on for a mile or two. However, the trail becomes very overgrown after the first mile so I recommend wearing long pants and long sleeves if you plan to go bushwhacking. I ended up stopping at the last scenic spot before the trail starts disappearing with the overgrowth. I recommend the Waimano Ridge Trail if you are looking for a nice workout in the Aiea area, but expect to navigate lots of vegetation and be prepared to turn around if you don’t want to sift through overgrown trails.

I'm not reviewing this trail. I hate that you're making me rate it. That's not my thing.

hiking
Thu Jan 24 2019

Great trail with interesting terrain. Starts off with the Waimano tunnels along the irrigation ditches. Then opens to the valley with beautiful views along the ridge. The last 2 miles or so are a little overgrown and muddy but it ends with an amazing view overlooking Kaneohe Bay. Well worth the trek. Not kid friendly unless you have older kids with some hiking experience.

hiking
Sat Jan 19 2019

Awesome trail. Not very challenging, just long. The further portions of the trail can get pretty muddy and slippery, but the view at the end is worth it.

Sat Nov 24 2018

The hike is more challenging then the description indicates. It’s actually a HARD hike and the distance has been miscalculated. It’s a little longer than 14.6 miles as it states. Walking up to the picnic table should be considered moderate but then once you pass that picnic table and head on down to continue the trail, that’s when it becomes hard because of the overgrowth of bushes and lack of good footing that makes the hike difficult and challenging but doable. Make sure to wear knee high socks or something long that covers your legs as you will be walking through a few miles of bush overgrowth.

Thu Nov 22 2018

Went out with HTMC on 11/18/18. Trail was fantastic as were the folks in the club. I measured it at just over 15 miles much of which was muddy and somewhat difficult. Payoff at The summit was spectacular, would definately recommend this trail but only for stronger hikers with the right gear and mindset

hiking
Thu Nov 22 2018

I found this trail hard! Recommend wearing hiking boots, it was very muddy and the trail was hard to see in places, mainly during the last couple miles. The payoff is beautiful though and even though I fell multiple times coming down I would recommend this trail.

hiking
Sat Nov 17 2018

Hiking on O'ahu can be fun as long as you come prepared before your hike. Here are a list of suggestions and things to do before your hike. -Hydrate 16 oz to a liter an hour before a hike -Hiking shoes is best for this trail, you have been warned, lol!!! -5 mile + hike, a 3 liter bladder might be a good idea (mix it up with performance flavor water) -Plan ahead by knowing the weather -Bring body lotion for thigh chafing -POWER Pack battery -Cell ph cord -Cellphone -Headlight (just in case) keep your hands free hiking at night -Watch (know how long it took to reach your destination) -Find out when the sun sets (don't get caught hiking back in the dark, I can tell you countless stories of tourist and locals stranded in the dark with tons of mosquitos) -Pack SPAM musubi and snacks (you’re burning a lot of energy) -Portable water purifier pump (no need to bring extra water) -Know where water sources are -Pocket knife -Be courteous to other hikers -Bring along some Aleve just in case your knees starts to ache -Blister free crew socks or mole skin patch -Take a buddy on a hike, aka buddy system -Finally tell a friend where you are hiking and when you expect to finish the hike (keep in touch by text is best due to low cell signal) -Placing your cell in airplane mode might be a good idea to save battery. On the other hand, if your hiking alone and you fall off the edge the authorities cannot GPS your location. -Keep your hiking pack as light as possible. The added weight plus Hawaiian heat and rugged terrain will make this hike miserable. Unless your one of those crossfit buff person who luvs to burn those calories then keep that pack heavy. -Hiking shoes is best for this trail, you have been warned, lol!!! -Yard work gloves or Mt. rappel gloves -High top socks or long pants to keep your sexy legs scare free -Crampons—during poor trail conditions (muddy and slippery) -“Leave No Trace” rule -Hiking Trail Manner: when your hiking down a trail, stop and give way to the person hiking upward. Show some ALOHA :-)

hiking
Sun Nov 04 2018

People are getting multiple hikes at this location confused. We were thinking we were hiking the 2.2 mile loop hike and ended up taking the upper ridge 14 mile hike! We started the hike around 3:45 and ran out of daylight while on the side of the mountain towards the end. There were lots of dark scary tunnels and two stream crossings. We had to use the rope to climb along the edge of the cliff. It was very muddy and slippery! The trail was overgrown in parts so you couldn’t see the ground! There are many parts of the trail that the ridge has a treacherous drop off if you loose your step or slip! This one you definitely want to start the hike early and in good hiking shoes and bring insect repellent! This hike should definitely be rated “”hard” not a moderate!

Sun Oct 28 2018

long hike, moderately difficult until you factor in its length and last 2 miles or so, which together may make this more difficult than it looks on paper. last segment up to the summit is relatively muddy and overgrown. could do with a dog because no climbing. 6 hours at a moderate pace

Tue Oct 09 2018

It was cool going through a long tunnel scary at 1st but cool. It was as long as 200 yard Dash.

hiking
Wed Aug 29 2018

This trail should be rated as Hard. Nothing moderate about it. A lot of trails that can make you end up literally being lost and you having to make your own path to get back on track lol. Overall great trail to do.

running
Wed Jun 13 2018

This is a great trail for hiking or trail running. When you compare it with other trails here in Oahu, this trail is easy to moderate. Moderate mostly because it’s length. Very well maintained trail all the way to the last mile and a half, where it gets a little bit overgrown, but not too bad. On the last 2 miles you will notice more mud, more wind and a little narrower trail. The view at the end is beautiful when the weather is good. There are some sections with ropes to help you advance faster and safer, and they are usually where are dropoffs on the side of the trails. On the way you have a variety of plants, valley and mountain views, couple of stream crossing and you can even check out some old tunnels.

Fri May 25 2018

very diverse trail. ridges and water and tunnels. beautiful.

hiking
Fri Mar 23 2018

I highly doubt that the ones who say this trail is "moderate" "easy" or "kid-friendly" actually got to the ridge. The first 5 miles is quite relaxing. The last 2 is difficult, dangerous and time consuming but well worth it. Someone died on this trail a few years back. #YOLO

hiking
Mon Feb 26 2018

Great family hike. Very little elevation change, the tunnels are a lot of fun for the kids and can be bypassed if wet. Nice picnic table about 2 miles into the hike. Perfect turn around place for young kids and a good spot for a snack.

hiking
Sun Nov 12 2017

3.5 stars. Hmm...I'm not sure why this hike is rated "Hard". It's not very difficult at all. The elevation change is barely noticeable for most of the route, and there is only one small 10' feature where a rope is preferred, but definitely not mandatory. That said, it's really beautiful. Definitely worth the hike, but if you're looking for something challenging, this isn't it. Also, someone posted previously about this trail not being kid-friendly. That's inaccurate. I'd say if your kid is over the age of 6-8 and he/she can't handle this trail, you need to get your kids outside more.

Sat Oct 21 2017

Not kid friendly, steep slopes.

Sun Sep 17 2017

A long and wet hike. The end is a steep drop off and very peaceful.

hiking
Mon Jul 17 2017

The first thing I noticed was the prominently placed “Public Hunting Area” sign. I quickly checked myself to see if I was wearing even a scrap of hunter-orange, an upon determining that I was not, decided that my outfit of drab earth-tones was probably good enough to make me hard to spot, and thus hard to shoot, so I should be alright (don't be like me kids). This trail is easily my favorite of those I’ve hiked thus far on Oahu. Other than the occasional tunnel or rock climb, the hike to the bottom of the valley is a nice, cool, family friendly stroll through the woods; and those little adventurous diversions are perfectly placed punctuation in the poem that is Waimano Ridge. It’s scenery and birdsong all the way to the end. That said, I imagine if you get caught in the rain, this trail could become hazardous with little provocation, so keep an eye on the sky as you make your way. Oh, also, we did encounter a group of hunters hauling out a large boar carcass; they are out there. Both hunters and boar. Read Full Review: https://astephengetty.wordpress.com/trail-blog/waimano-ridge-trail/

Tue Jul 04 2017

Good trail. I'm definitely doing this one again! There are some incredible views and it's just a good workout.

Mon May 29 2017

Really pretty.

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