Kaipapa'u Makai

MODERATE 31 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.

DISTANCE
2.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
879 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

old growth

rocky

scramble

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.

hiking
2 days ago

Parking is in a subdivision. Be quiet and respectful an you wont have any trouble. There is a no trespassing sign on a chain as you approach the trail head This is posted by the Water District. you will pass by a large holding tank on your way up. To say the trail is lightly trafficked would be an understatement we saw no one...this spooked my wife out a bit. You do head into the jungle without a living soul in sight. About half he trail is a jungle hike, even though it climbs pretty steeply. Once you ht the ridge line it opens up and the views are great. from this point its not creepy (according to wife). There are three bunkers. Great views and great spots for pictures. Especially the second bunker. The third bunker you decent down from the second. Getting to the third isn't much of a problem but get back up from the third can be difficult. Lots of loose dirt and little rocks makes its tricky. I had to use the vegetation on the right side for hand holds to get back up. Wife says she will skip the third bunker if we ever go back. the view is as good or better from the second bunker. Important to note. Stay to the left when you hit the water tank and when you hit the red dirt as desribed in an earlier post the trail veers off to the right and up the hill. If you go left (which looks like the main trail) you will not head to the bunkers. Its a different hike

12 days ago

27 days ago

28 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.

hiking
2 months 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.

3 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.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

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

hiking
4 months ago

4 months ago

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

5 months ago

6 months ago

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

6 months ago

8 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!

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
10 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