Awaawaloa via Wa'ahila Ridge Trail

MODERATE 280 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
1,998 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.

hiking
27 days ago

Fun, moderate trail to the ridge. The final stretch has rope work and is fairly steep but only for a short little while. We started with a group of about 14 but then only 5 of us made it to the very end. Even if you don't hike the full length, the views are worth the hike and you can turn around at any point since it's an in/out trail. This trail connects to Ka'au - would love to come back one day to go up this trail then come down Ka'au side. Final note: keep an eye on the weather in the days before doing this hike, there are parts that would essentially turn into mudslides after heavy rains.

1 month ago

I went up Ka’au Crater trail, hiked along the ridge to mt Olympus, and came back down this trail. It was amazing, but I was pooped! I timed it poorly, and finished the lower half of the trail in the dark (the sunset and night pictures overlooking Honolulu are from me, lol.)

It was dreamlike. The top of mt Olympus was isolated from the rest of the island by a cloud. Coming down, I was suddenly exposed to a view of sunset over Honolulu. I was covered in mud from Ka’au crater, and tired out from climbing up the hill so fast to try to get back before night. Nightfall on the ridge was magical. The wind in the trees was like a lullaby. Even though it’s under 10 miles from Honolulu, the stars are much clearer there.

Is night hiking a thing? I guess there are a few places I could have died. And I admit I missteped and fell a few times.

2 months ago

Was a really nice trail. Be sure to bring spikes with you or sturdy hiking shoes as the path was very muddy. Took 3 liters out there with me and only had 1 when I got to the bottom. Lots of incline and decline.

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

Great hike. The views along the ridge are amazing. Be prepared to get wet and muddy. It is strenuous and easy to twist an ankle. I recommend shoes with strong grips or mini cleats.

hiking
3 months ago

Not a bad little trek. eas raining off and on but took us 3 hrs there and back went passed the sign up to mount Olympus. nice views along the way

hiking
3 months ago

I found a car key near the final approach to Olympus on May 12th. If it is yours please leave a review w. contact info. Great hike btw. Enjoyed the hike. Sunny day on Oahu, not on Olympus!

hiking
3 months ago

I did this hike about 21 years ago and it was amazing.... and pretty easy.

As you hike the ridge line, clouds would hit one side of the ridge and mist over you as they raced to the other side.

Towards the end, there is some scrambling but you are rewarded with a breathtaking view of the valley below...

..well worth it!

walking
3 months ago

Easy hike. Beautiful views

hiking
4 months ago

The trail is as described, we went 5 days ago and it was still slightly muddy from the rain 4 days prior. So just keep that in mind, it does not dry up quickly

hiking
4 months ago

Love this trail. Challenging at times but lots of nice pathed straight-aways, cool trees and plants that provide shade and epic views of the city. Basically you end up hiking in the clouds! Highly recommend but wouldn’t bring small children, I saw two families that had to turn around. It’s definitive not the easiest hike but worth the effort for the beautiful views / photographs! Good work out, too!

6 months ago

Awesome

6 months ago

great hike. nice views. once you get to the trail end sign take a right and start going up. you will constantly be using ropes to climb up and down. we brought our dog and for the most part she could climb it but there were times where i had assist her and lift her up cause she couldnt climb it.

6 months ago

Great hike for two relatively new hikers. We went to the right past the do not pass sign. Round trip to top took almost exactly 4 hours with a few stops. Would not want to do this in the rain, particularly the last bit. And would be remiss if we didn't thank profusely whoever put in the ropes!!!

7 months 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
7 months 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
7 months 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
8 months ago

Well maintained trail. Took me 4 hours to complete.

hiking
8 months 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
8 months ago

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

trail running
8 months 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
8 months 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
8 months 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
8 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.

9 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
9 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
9 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.

9 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
11 months ago

Great views but be prepared from rain.

11 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.

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