Kaipapa'u Makai

MODERATE 15 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
997 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.

20 days ago

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

1 month 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!

2 months ago

2 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

4 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.

6 months ago

This hike was just ok. The incline going up was more than I exp3cted it to be, which made me second guess the actual distance. Once you get past the small nature/rock garden the path gets over grown. I am 5'8" and grass and weeds were able to get me in the face. got quite a few scratches on my legs. If you're going to do this hike wear pants (unless you don't care about some scratches). I was not impressed with the view from the bunker, but there were some really nice views on the way up Turtle Bay area and the northeast. The incline on the hike was a little difficult for me, but someone with average to good fitness would probably have minimal problems.

ice climbing
9 months ago

The trail is a little overgrown, but easy. Only takes about an hour to the top. Be respectful to the residence.

9 months ago

Loved the views. I hiked up with four kids ages 6 to 10, and they did really well. We had to stop for breaks on the way up due to the climb, but the kids made it just fine. The kids enjoyed the bunkers. The trail to #3 isn't the best for young ones, a bit steep and slippery. The bunkers are all pretty close together, so it was easy to split and leave a small group resting at the earlier bunkers while I took the adventurous ones ahead to scout things out.

10 months ago

This was a fairly quick hike, with a view that cannot be beat! The third bunker is a little sketchy to get to so use caution, but the view overlooking Kokololio Beach is incredible.

11 months ago

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Super well cleared and marked and only took about 45 up and 25 back. Epic views, awesome windflowers

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Never found the bunkers

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Fun hike. Moderate difficulty is accurate. Mostly uphill to the bunkers and then downhill back. We accessed the trail off of kawaipuna street. Our group ranged in age from 9 to 40- something's and all could handle the distance and terrain. During cooler months, may be good to wear long pants (or high socks) given growth of brush. Bunkers' view was great - from malaekahana to kaaawa.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Great short hike with beautiful view of the North Shore.