Honopu Ridge

HARD 54 reviews
#8 of 17 trails in

Honopu Ridge is a 4.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Waimea, Hawaii that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,597 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

forest

views

wild flowers

blowdown

bugs

muddy

over grown

rocky

washed out

This trail has not been mantained for years, but volunteers have helped clear the trail. Wear long pants, ensure that you're well protected. There were pig hunters on the trail as well. It's well worth the hike.

hiking
muddy
over grown
11 days ago

Wow ! Stunning views at the end. Well worth the mud and the slips and slides. If you’re not into getting muddy don’t do it. But if you love adventure this is perfect. I would say difficult rating is well justified due to the muddy nature of the trail and the drastic inclines and declines. Be sure to wear light long pants or you will get scratched by overgrown plants.

It’s a fun ride down, and even crazier coming back up again! Loved it, did slide down quite a few times due to it being slippery and maybe myself being a little uncoordinated

1 month ago

We hiked this today. I would rate it on the easy side of difficult. That said, today was near perfect conditions. It hasn’t rained in a couple of days and it was pretty clear. The views were epic. You can see the hole in the Honopu arch near the end. We stopped where this trail says, but I could see that you could go further. The first portion didn’t look terribly difficult, but I suspect it wouldn’t be long until it was a knife edge ridge.
I have hiked Nu’uolo, Awaawapuhi, and Kalepa. Each trail is unique and I recommend them all. I am completely amazed at how the view differs on each trail. Now as for challenging, what to expect: there are a few places you may go off trail, especially in the beginning, make sure to use your GPS and read a good description of the trail. There are definitely lots of the scratchy ferns. Wear pants or some kind of gator. We did not and my legs are full of hash marks. Be prepared for lots of climbing over fallen trees, ducking under low branches, all while navigating turns and steep slopes. Finally, WATCH YOUR STEP. While there is a lot of vegetation making this Ridge feel unexposed and safe, there are lots of areas where the vegetation is not supported by dirt, and/or you could see a crack in the dirt that if stepped on could give way. Be mindful and respectful of the ecosystem. Stay away from the edge. I fear in another few years this trail will be one of the past because of improper care.

hiking
4 months ago

Could have been epic. I didn’t do enough research on this hike much to my wife’s dismay. We bailed about 1.5 miles in as the views started to get good. Until then, it’s a slog through scratchy brambles and muddy downhills. It’s probably worth doing, just manage your expectations. Bottom line - the price to entry is high.

hiking
5 months ago

This was our 2nd hike of the day and it kicked our butt coming back. It's mostly downhill to the end so a lot of uphill back. I suggest light pants as there are a few areas very overgrown for decent lengths (multiple areas). It's at least half shady and we thought we wouldn't get a view with all the cloud coverage, but you absolutely do. actually yields pretty cool photos with the clouds. We went nearly to the end to where you can see the water from right to left. don't let the step dirt path towards around 2 miles deter you.

there's not a waterfall that we saw.

5 months ago

Hard trail especially for somewhat of a beginner! My legs still are sore two days after!!!!! But WOW the views are spectacular and well worth the pain!

hiking
6 months ago

The reviews here a spot on. I'd recommend if it has been raining to do it a different day. The trail will be muddy and your climb out will not be fun along with damaging the trail. We wore shorts and short sleeve shirts, got scratched up a little but nothing too bad. It is overgrown but I prefer it that way sometimes, it cuts down on the crowds. The trail is well marked with colored tape in the trees. Views at the end are the best I found in Kauai. You can continue past the end waypoint on all trails but there is a lot of exposure so do so carefully.

hiking
6 months ago

This trail is not officially maintained. Much of it is between very pokey ferns and some is in woods. There is no view until the end. Not worth it. The Kalepa trail is much better for almost as good a view.

6 months ago

The volunteers must have been through recently. The brambles were reasonably well cut back. Went after two days of heavy rain followed by an off day and did not encounter mud. It’s a spectacular view at the end and a good workout. Boots advisable and I was happy to have poles.

walking
7 months ago

It really is hard trail even though it doesnt seem like it in the beginning, its harder the way back because you go more up. But Its totally worth it, the view at the end is breathtaking!
As amateurs we had shorts and short sleeves on but we survived and it wasnt bad though if you can wear long pants at least do it

hiking
7 months ago

We live in Oahu and this was our first hike on Kauai. The last mile or so is breathtaking and worth the almost two miles of slogging through mud and brambles in the forest you have to do to get there. I find it hard to imagine getting better views of the Napoli coast from above anywhere else. If you go to the end (we stopped just short of the end) this is 6 miles round trip. The end marked on AllTrails is not the end.

hiking
9 months ago

Being a former Boy Scout, I consider myself a amateur hiker. During a recent trip to Kauai, my wife (5 months pregnant) and I joined two other couples on a hike of Honopu Ridge, on a whim. Long sleeves and long pants are A MUST if you value your skin. I highly recommend at least 1-2 L of water, and a healthy supply of carved snacks for fuel along the way (mainly for the trip back).

The trip to the end of the trail was not much of a beat down, but the return trip is when you really start to feel it. You are met by a few, small "steep" grade changes while still in the foliage, so be mindful of roots and other foot holds to make use of when ascending/descending, ESPECIALLY when it's slick. The ferns can get quite thick at about the 0.75-1.5 mile mark, coupled with a few low hanging brush/trees.

Once you make it to the actual Honopu valley, the trail starts to follow the ridge, with some more difficult climbs (6:1 up to 9:1 slopes). You'll want to be careful about your footing in some areas because there isn't anything stopping you from a long fall down. Once you get to the ridge, but before the trail ends, you will have plenty of spots for pictures and taking in the breathtaking views if the cloud cover cooperates.

When you reach the official end of the trail, you will be standing on a section of the ridge composed of red dirt/rock/clay overlooking the Honopu Arch (distinguished by beach on both sides). The area is just flat enough to take a break, throw out a blanket, and just soak in the views that most people only see from a helicopter.

Overall, I feel the trail is hard because of the elevation and it's length. The return trip is when you really start to feel the tiredness set in. But when you get as your reward is well worth the sore legs.

hiking
10 months ago

Views were amazing- totally worth the effort! Trail crazy muddy and slick! Other reviewers weren't kidding about long sleeves and pants. While there is a narrow trail, the brush is thick!!

10 months ago

I’m from Washington state so I hike for elevation gains and views. This hike is one of the most breathtaking I’ve ever been on - even being from Washington. It’s what people pay $250 for a helicopter tour to see... you can look over all of the kalalau trail and even see a little bit of ke’e beach. I was delighted. STUNNING. please do not go when it’s muddy unless you’re used to Hawaii’s mud, the rocks become slippery and even with backpacking boots it wouldn’t be smart. You almost need crampons, haha. Elevation was great, it is a hard hike but honestly I felt the hardest part was the thorns on the trail. Lots of overgrown foliage, I felt like it was all the more wild because of it but I am scratched up. The app tracking helped at the start of the trail but I didn’t need it after the first .3 miles.

hiking
11 months ago

This trail is absolutely awesome. Be ready for lots of mud in spots, and if you have trail shoes you’ll be fine. It felt like we went through several different climates along this trail. It starts out in a beautiful forest, turns into brush with steep climbs and descents (not the most fun part- you will get scratched by bushes), then the dryer areas toward the end which is mostly clay but there are random patches of grassy areas with some trees. You’re hiking mostly down on the way out, mostly up on the way back. Make it to the end because the view is the best I’ve ever seen. There is nothing like it!!

hiking
Sunday, January 07, 2018

An amazing adventure! A difficult but worthwhile hike. I would recommend long pants because there are at least 15 briar patches (pin needle dried ferns) to walk through which left my legs bloody and sore. my family of four made this trip and had a fantastic day. We noticed a lot of helicopters going into the canyon where they filmed Jurassic park below us. Trail is a bit muddy and slippery. walking stick would of been helpful.

hiking
Monday, December 04, 2017

Amazing hike! Trail defiantly is overgrown and wore shorts in which my legs got pretty chewed up. Completed in 3.5 hours but was moving and didn’t see anyone on the trail the entire time. The views at the end are incredible and great change of scenery throughout the hike.

hiking
Saturday, July 01, 2017

Probably the best hike I've ever been on. Be prepared for lots of overgrowth and unclear trail markings, mostly near the trailhead. Long pants are a must. Even a long sleeved shirt for certain portions. Absolutely worth it as the view was stunning and the trail was completely ours. Didn't pass anyone on the way out or the way back in. Humidity, the unmaintained trail, and the elevation loss/gain make this not for the first time hiker. Expect 4-5 hours at a moderate effort with time for viewing.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Completed twice, 2011 and 2013. One of our favorite hikes. Wear long pants if you do not want to get your legs cut up as others have mentioned. On a clear day you are rewarded with breathtaking views of the coast. Watch for helicopters below when you near the end. Watch weather prior to leaving as coming back in the rain is not fun (from experience. Do not think you can just walk up and complete; not for beginners. Start early end early and go get a drink.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Completed twice, 2011 and 2013. One of our favorite hikes. Wear long pants if you do not want to get your legs cut up as others have mentioned. On a clear day you are rewarded with breathtaking views of the coast. Watch for helicopters below when you near the end. Watch weather prior to leaving as coming back in the rain is not fun (from experience. Do not think you can just walk up and complete; not for beginners. Start early end early and go get a drink.

hiking
Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Definitely a bush whack. We were looking for a view of the Napali and we got just that. Not an easy hike. Round trip took us 5.5 hours. The end view was incredible but not as majestic as we would've hoped. Wear leg protection as the brush hurts. We wouldn't do the hike again, where as we would do the awaawapuhi again.

hiking
Wednesday, December 28, 2016

This is a tougher hike but worth it as you are likely to see no one else on the trail. Make it to the end and you are rewarded for all your hard work. Wear appropriate shoes.

hiking
Saturday, November 19, 2016

The ferns are difficult to walk though - it's a fairly long trek through the bush. Do not overlook wearing long pants even in the heat or you will leave scratched up. The end result is spectacular and gives you incredible views of the na Pali coast.

It's an exhausting trek back up.

hiking
Sunday, June 28, 2015

wonderful views at the end .. if it wasn't for the overgrowth of ferns it would be easier .. also halfway through the trail looks sketchy, loose footing on a cliff.. my 7 year old daughter managed easily... recommend only if you are in shape.

hiking
Saturday, October 04, 2014

I don't have the gps track as it was impossible to get a signal uup here. There must be some jamming device causing this to happen.

hiking
Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The less travelled ridge trail along Na Pali coast. This one starts in Koke'e State Park at about 4000 feet. It is less travelled because it is not a tourist trail, but rather a hunter's trail and it is no longer maintained since it was damaged by Hurricane Iwa in 1982. It is only about 4.2 miles return, but it feels like 8. The elevation drops 1400 feet which means that on your way back it will be all up hill. This trail is rated as difficult because much of the trail is a bush whack through very high and dense Uluhe (a very thorny type of wild fern). But the end provides for a huge reward in the magnificent views that await. You can see Honopu Valley and its secluded beach (only accessible via a swim from the neighboring Kalalau Valley). At the end you also get a bi-coastal view of the Na Pali coast.

hiking
Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Very similar sort of hike to the Nualolo and Awaawapuhi trails - walking from the highway out along the ridgeline until the ridge gets sufficiently thin that it's not safe to walk any more. The difference, of course, is that each of these are on a different ridgeline. The Honopu trail offers something a little different, because at the end you can see down to Honopu beach, which is difficult (not to mention illegal) to get to any way other than swimming. So your only options for seeing it (and the ridge that splits the beach in two) is from a helicopter, a boat, or this hike. Looking down on the beach (and the helicopters) well beneath you is fascinating, and gives a great idea of scale. The view from Awaawapuhi is a bit wider (i.e., you can see a bit more side-to-side), but I liked this hike just as well because of the addition of the beach view.

hiking
Sunday, May 20, 2012

Picture a trail that cuts through the forests and at the end before your very eyes below around 3000 feet below is the vast blue Pacific Ocean. This trail will not disappoint. Ensure to wear long pants and be aware that there are pig hunters on the trail. There are many tracks because of that, plus the pigs travel the trail as well. Ensure to stay on the most travelled trail and you will not wander off. Take plenty of water because the climb back up is around 1000 feet.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

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