Awaawaloa via Wa'ahila Ridge Trail

MODERATE 218 reviews

Awaawaloa via Wa'ahila Ridge Trail is a 5.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Honolulu, Hawaii that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
5.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2080 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

bugs

muddy

old growth

over grown

rocky

scramble

washed out

Starting from Waahila State Park, it takes about an hour to reach the Kolowalu junction to the left and the ridge to the top on the right. For the most part the trail is very well graded even past the unmaintained section. Mostly a ridge hike. Can be windy most of the time. Heavily eroded sections but they do not pose extreme danger. Some rock scrambling but very doable. To get to this hike drive to the top of St.Louis Heights and park in the Wa'ahila state park at the top. Park hours are 7am-745pm. The hike starts off pretty simple on a wide path the just keeps going up. You soon get to a junction where you go left and from then on the hike starts going up and down over the ridges. There are some rocky sections that involve small amounts of climbing up and down but other then that the hike is pretty easy. Once toward the top you get great views of Manoa Valley and Palolo Valley. At the end of the trail you meet the kolowalu trail which is a steeper hike that will take you down into the back of Manoa Valley. There is also a trail past the end of trail sign. This goes to the top of Mt.Olympus and should not be attempted by novice hikers. Hike this section at your own risk as you are not suppose to go past the end of trail sign but people do anyways. If you do choose to go past it be aware the trail gets a lot skinnier and has numerous rope sections that you will have to climb to reach the summit.

6 days ago

Great trail! We went early (8am) and found ourselves to be one of just a few on the trail, but by time we were done it was pretty crowded. Myself and my husband are very active and found this hike to be the perfect challenge; not so hard that he had a problem carrying our 25lb son on his back vis hiking back or that I had any issues keeping up being 5 months pregnant. Parts are very steep, but over all it’s a very balanced course. We did go past the “trail not maintained” sign, but only .4 miles past it as it was getting pretty narrow. Trail is almost completely shaded, so stayed nice and cool. Various lookout points even if you do not make it to the top, so certainly worth doing.

hiking
11 days ago

Nice hike. It took 4 hours round trip. That was taking my time taking a few pictures and video. It hadn’t rained in probably 5 days, so the trail was totally dry. If the trail is dry you won’t need to use any of the ropes. Take the trail to the right at the sign that says the trail ends. It’s a good workout, but shouldn’t be a problem. If you hike the Rockies in Canada this one won’t be a problem. It was sunny and windy which was nice. It kept you cool. No bugs at all. Take water and Gatorade. It’s worth going to the top. You can see the north side of the island once you get there.

hiking
14 days ago

Awesome hike with stunning views over Honolulu and Waikiki! Had 10 days in Oahu and was very happy we chose this one. We ended up getting to a “Do not go past this point” sign and took the trail to the upper right and continued on for another .75 mi. There are some ropes to help you up steep parts but then it opens up to a “helicopter pad” type grassy area with near 360 degrees views. This is an awesome hike. I would definitely advise against trying this right after a rain though, certain parts get slick (it started to rain a bit during our hike)!

hiking
1 month ago

Well maintained trail. Took me 4 hours to complete.

hiking
1 month ago

It is a pretty great hike with amazing views on the way to the top. I would rate it as a hard moderate hike. Could be harder, but definitely isn't easy.

You should check the weather! Don't go if its raining. Believe me, don't do it.

We had good luck and on our way to the top very nice weather. Even without rain it was really muddy! Sometimes you can use ropes. Sometimes just your hands. On the way back we had rain and it was like hell.

Some parts are a little bit dangerous, especially if it's rainy. On your right and your left it's a long way down. Take care of your steps!

hiking
1 month ago

Great view at the top, and good views/rest stops along the way. Moderate hike.

trail running
1 month ago

Our first trail in Hawaii, it was great but little bit wet and slippery because of the rain. When we reached the top it was foggy and we couldn't see much. But definitely something to recommend.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail. Much better than expected. Parking lot at Base. Directions take you right at the top of the hill instead of left at top of the hill. Follow the the pink markers at any splits. Ropes are about 1.75 up. Helpful. First summit is at 2.0. The next half mile I was told very muddy. By looks of the climbers coming down, I skipped it. View from first summit was great.

trail running
1 month ago

This hike/run was one of the more rewarding trails I've been on. The gradual change in vegetation as you steadily get to higher elevation, the breathtaking views along the way and the sheer challenge of getting to the top of Mt. Olympus are worth every muddy step of this hike. Getting to the summit is not for the faint of heart as you will have to scramble up rocks, navigate slippery hillsides on narrow ridges and use ropes to hoist yourself up steep paths, but the view of Manoa valley as you get to the top is amazing. I did the round trip in just over 2 hours, but count at least 3.5 - 4 hours if you're just walking/hiking.

hiking
2 months ago

I went to the summit and was surprised with how well the trail was. Make sure to pack a light rain jacket or an extra shirt as it is windy and can get quite cold. I had a small snack facing Kaneohe then headed back. Took me 4 hours but could be done quicker. Not a novice trail.

2 months ago

What a hike! Super long & variant. Took us 5hrs round trip with break, & we didn't quite make it to the top. Definitely wear hiking boots, too long of a hike for medium sized dog.

hiking
2 months ago

great views along the route. solid climb. plenty of parking. clearly marked trails. strawberry guava in abundance. the only drawback was the mud because it had just rained. everything was slick but still very passable. because of the steep climb the temperature decreases steadily on the way up. it was very cool and breezy at the top which felt great.

hiking
2 months ago

This is a great trail that quickly follows the ridge. A lot of ups and downs and occasional (but significant) rock scrambling. We didn’t make it to the end - too many steep climbs (and ropes). There’s a beautiful viewpoint at the Rec Area entrance.

3 months ago

Definitely one of the most beautiful hikes on Oahu and is one of my favorites. Also a good place for birding and is where I saw my first native Hawaiian forest bird, the female amakihi. I posted up a photo I took of it and is a beautiful small green bird. A must do!

hiking
4 months ago

Great views but be prepared from rain.

4 months ago

Great hike with some rope sections versus the end. The start is very easy and till the end it's getting more demanding. The weather was not that good and due to the rain in the night and previous days before it was yery muddy. If you have the possibility to wait for some days without rain it's much easier. However, it was no problem for me anyway. All in all a solid nice walk.

hiking
4 months ago

Goodness this was a fantastic hike! I have been hiking here 1-2 different hikes a week for almost a year and this is a top 5. We parked at the park just like directions said to and we followed Wa'ahila to where it ended and just continued up to the right until the top of Mt Olympus. The clouds broke for us once we got up top so we had the joy of seeing all the amazing views. It took us almost 4 hours total but we are very fit and we trail ran the whole way down once we got past the ridge so that made it quick. Our breaks all combined were probably 30 or so minutes. We took a breather at each flat open area and had about a half of a PB&J up top while we waited for the clouds to break. Pretty easy hike to follow, there are a few forks but they all link back up. Just make sure that at the end of Wa'ahila at the "end trail" sign that you stay to the RIGHT past the sign to head up to Mt Olympus. My micro spikes made my climb easy but my friend had normal shoes on and she made it up fine too. It was a nice dry day up top so that helped.

4 months ago

nice mellow hike

hiking
4 months ago

I attempted this on a rainy not so great day and got spooked. It was starting to get pretty slick and I was by myself. But, what I saw was pretty cool. Lots of ups and downs on the ridge - I mean you are immediately up on it and the view was killer. I wish I had been able to stick it out. (They were also filming Hawaii 50 up there so that was pretty out there.)

hiking
5 months ago

I'm a newbie at hiking but I gave this one a shot! I was huffing and puffing but I made it and I'm glad I stuck it out. If I can do it you can too! Mahalo to everyone that commented before me. It gave me a real sense of what I was getting myself into

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