Kaipapa'u Makai

MODERATE 29 reviews

Kaipapa'u Makai is a 2.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Honolulu, Hawaii that features beautiful wild flowers. The trail is rated as moderate offers a number of activity options.

2.4 miles
879 feet
Out & Back

kid friendly



nature trips

trail running




wild flowers



old growth



washed out

no dogs

A relatively short hike that takes you to 3 bunkers. Great views of north east shoreline. This trails starts off on an access road to a water tank. Turn left at the tank to follow the trail heading into Kaipapa'u Gulch. Turn off right heading up the ridge at the first red dirt opening. If not, the trail will take you to the stream. The trail steeply ascends the ridge through iron wood, and then opens up to christmas berry. Soon you are in a Hau territory. A couple of switchbacks and you ascend higher up the ridge. Look out for the eroded spots. On reaching a large eroded area just past more iron wood, turn right along a narrow ridge heading makai. There are three bunkers at the end of this trail; all belonging to the WW II era. They were once part of the Hawaiian Seacoast Artillery Command established from 1942 to 1946 that had acquired 8 twin gun mounts from the aircraft carriers Lexington and Saratoga to create 4 land batteries and a series of communications bunkers that controlled them. The bunkers at Kaipapa'u were simply known as station M. This is a great lunch spot, where the views span more than 180 degrees.

8 days ago

9 days ago

Fun hike that turns into a mini ridge hike once you get closer to the bunkers. The bunkers themselves weren’t too interesting, but the views from the 2nd and 3rd bunkers are definitely worth it.

Tip for those who accidentally end up hiking this trail in rubber sandals like I did: go barefoot to get down to the third bunker! There’s a lot of loose red dirt that’ll be hard to navigate in flip flops or slippers, so going shoeless might be your best option.

1 month ago

2 months ago

Beautifull view!!! Where the sand is red you gotta climb. Look for the pink flags. Dont get lost, there are pink flags that leads else where. If you can look at the map.

2 months ago

Didn't realize there were three bunkers at the very very end. Good thing I met another hiker when I was walking back. Turned around and was rewarded with an amazing view at the final bunker.
Kid friendly trail too!

NOTE: spikes are recommended going to third bunker. Steep and a little loose dirt.

2 months ago

3 months ago

3 months ago

3 months ago

Great trail, bunkers are a bit disappointing but the hike up and back is worth it on its own. Very steep.

4 months ago

4 months ago

It's a nice trek through a variety of different landscapes.
Make sure you see all 3 Bunkers.

4 months ago

5 months ago

So it was a really good trail. I wouldn't say it was moderate

6 months ago

7 months ago

First half hour is all uphill so pace yourself and take frequent breaks. View from Bunker #2 is gorgeous.

8 months ago

It's a pretty good climb, so be ready for a workout.

Follow the pink flags tied to trees. If you end up down by the river, you're off track.

There's a point where you can go towards the bunker or Koloa.

Happy hiking!

9 months ago

9 months ago

We are staying in Hauula we had not had rain for 3 days when we tried this trail so unlike the other reports there was no mud on the trail however this did create another problem for us. When you get to the final ridge line there are many eroded areas, on the way out/up was not really issue as we knew clearly to follow the ridge and the pink blaze markers toward the bunkers , what we did not realize on the way back down the ridge was that we had over shot the turn , down the ridge. This is because we were the only ones on the trail and there was no footprints or obvious path along the ridge in the eroded swatch of dry clay. also the trail turn off it is a bit over grown and easy to miss, and to confuse further us were blaze markers following the ridge (west) away from the coast past the turn off. We thought we had passed the turn off down the ridge but were still finding blaze markers in front of us, so we followed them for another 1/4 mile or so, when we finally convinced ourselves this was a different trail we turned back and spent about 30 minutes searching for the turn off down the ridge which we found eventually. I am not sure what that other trail heading up the ridge was , and I can't find anything on any of the maps. There was a sign with a name on it at one point, but it must not be used any longer. In any case this should not be a problem if you are just careful to make a note of turn on the ridge , which we did not. But made for a fun adventure. The trail is a bit steep and I can see how in the mud might be a bit slippery on the way down

10 months ago

I thought this one was hard. Too muddy going up with too little to grab onto. Ascending is not particularly difficult, but coming back down is very challenging, especially one section where the trail curves with weak vegetation on one side and a short but troublesome drop off on the other. That section desperately needs a rope. If it's rainy, prepare to get covered in mud. If you manage to go on a day when the trail is dry though, it would honestly be a pretty perfect hike. The ridge is drier and easier to navigate than the ascent/descent, and the views from the top are pretty great. Just make sure you go when the weather has been dry enough for several days to dry out the hardest muddy sections.

11 months ago