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Waimano Ridge Trail is a 16.6 mile 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.

Length 16.6 mi Elevation gain 3,956 ft Route type Out & Back

Camping

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Running

Cave

Forest

River

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Bugs

Muddy

Rocky

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (0)
Getting There

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.

From H-1, exit at the Pearl City/Waimalu exit. Turn right on Moanalua Road at the end of the ramp. As Moanalua Road ends, turn right on Waimano Home Road. Continue on Waimano Home road until you reach a guard shack with a parking area on the left. Park here - the trails begin at the end of the chain link fence.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (125)
Photos (476)
Recordings (97)
Completed (318)
Michael Galvin
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarTue Jun 23 2020
Hiking

I’ve never not enjoyed a hike, until this one. The first 2/3 are great. Nice views of Waianae range and the valley. I’m not sure what’s off but I clocked 16 miles on two different apps whereas AllTrails has it marked at 14.6. Even AllTrails had me over 15 when finished. When I got to 7.5 miles and was nowhere near the end I started to get a little annoyed as the trail is extremely narrow, muddy and not well maintained. The edge of the trail slid out from under my feet twice and I almost went over. Can’t recall ever falling on a trail before but this one I went down at least 8 times. Not worth it if looking for a little exercise with great views. Only do this trail if you’re looking to push yourself or you like endurance hiking. The elevation changes aren’t bad and it not a very physically hard hike but the narrow muddy trail and inaccurate distance made it a mindfck for myself.

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Justin Swan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jun 20 2020
Hiking

It was fine. The easiest 14 mile hike you’ll ever do with a good view at the top of Kaneohe.

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TC Pounds
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFri Jun 12 2020
Hiking

We did this trail by accident. The goal was to hike to Waimano Falls but my GPS took me to Waimano Ridge trailhead. We got about 10 miles in and my kids didn't care about waterfalls anymore. When we got home I discovered that I'm a dummy. The trail has some very narrow paths and, if I remember correctly, we had to scoot through some natural tunnels. I enjoyed the trail. I would not do with kids again. It's dangerous in spots.

JOYCE Tupaz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jun 11 2020
HikingOver grown
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Matty Clem
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu May 07 2020
HikingMuddy
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Cody Miller
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Apr 18 2020
Running

Distance is accurate, 15 miles round trip from guard station/trail start. Trail is relatively gradual and well kept. Little over grown up top in comparison to the lower section. I think difficulty is rated simply to the amount of mileage. 95% of the people I saw were in the first 3-4 miles, alone after that. Plenty of water in the first 4-5 miles for my dog. Recommend no less than 3 liters of water. I ran out in the last 3 miles and I would consider myself “water efficient.” Took me 5.5 hours, beautiful hike and the view up top is worth it!!

View Cody's Recording
David Ribeiro
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu Mar 12 2020
HikingBugsMuddy

Great trail!!! Get ready to get muddy...

Joe Boyer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Feb 08 2020
HikingBlowdownOver grown
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Danielle Porter
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Feb 02 2020
HikingBugsMuddyOver grown

Great trail we had the kids and only did 3 of the tunnels. Then came back out through the bottom of the loop. It was a fun muddy hike. Bring bug spray.

Joe Boyer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jan 28 2020
Hiking

Awesome trail, great for running

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Rachel Zalewski
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Oct 19 2019
Hiking

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.

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Acachia Schoniwitz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Aug 08 2019
HikingBugsMuddyRocky
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Tyler Novak
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Mar 16 2019
Hiking

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!

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Buddhi Ciancio
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Mar 09 2019
Hiking

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!

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Nolan Bixler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Feb 23 2019
HikingMuddyOff trailOver grown

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.

Jonathan Riley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Feb 17 2019
Hiking

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

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Matthew Jones
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jan 24 2019
Hiking

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.

Matt Johnson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jan 19 2019
Hiking

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.

View Matt's Recording
Carlos Padilla
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat 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.

Rob Pekas
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu 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

Susan Seifried
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Nov 22 2018
Hiking

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.

Shawn Tamasaka
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Nov 17 2018
Hiking

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 :-)

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