Kaunala Trail

MODERATE 39 reviews

Kaunala Trail is a 5.3 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Waimea, Hawaii that features beautiful wild flowers. The trail is rated as moderate offers a number of activity options. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
5.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1217 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

backpacking

camping

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

bugs

muddy

over grown

washed out

hiking
1 day ago

Just did this hike. It was a nice trail, well maintained; about 1/2 was on a road. It was a little rainy today so I didn’t want to deal with anything too slippery. This fit the bill. Only a few slick spots. It was very easy to follow. Not sure how someone could get off track. Lots of wild orchids. The biggest disappointment was that I was hoping for more eye candy. There was only a view of the north shore at the peak and a couple of spots on the return. The forest and gulches were beautiful, but I was hoping for views of the Bonnzai Pipeline. Would need to do the Ehukai pill box hike for that.

18 days ago

The only reason I'm marking this one at 1 star is because we didn't actually take the hike outlined. There is a spot where the road forks and you either climb over a gate to the right or duck under a flag-marked line to the left. TAKE THE LEFT FORK. We accidentally took the right fork and ended up a good 6 miles out away from where we wanted to be. It's an easy mistake to make if you don't have a good map, because both forks look very well travelled and like they could be a hiking trail.

hiking
2 months ago

Overall, excellent hike for a family. We took our 5 year old daughter and 7 year old son and they made it the whole way...in the rain. However, we had 4 pig hunting dogs come up behind us on the trail which scared me a tad considering I had my kids with me. But they didn’t bother us. Maybe not the best place to hunt for pigs and this is a fairly well trekked hike.

hiking
3 months ago

We crossed paths with a gentleman named Issac on his way down the Phantom Road. He was a civil engineer that worked on it. They built the road only 8 years ago and it took two and a half years to build. Built for the military and "possibly" as an emergency access or escape to/from the north shore. Never planned to be open to the public. Road washed out three years ago and they closed it. That's only 1.5 years of use. The whole road is 19 mikes long.

hiking
4 months ago

Just as others have said.
By my reckoning though, it is 5.06 miles INCLUDING that non-trail proper access road stretch from where you park to the actual trail head; total distance walked from car back to car again is 5.06.
That "phantom" road that some speak of is (I think - I'm pretty sure) an Army road dating from the early 21st century for the Stryker vehicles to get up into the Kahuku Training Area. Since the stryker brigade have given up their heavy vehicles and converted to foot infantry, I don't think the Army (definitely not the State) will anymore pay for that road's upkeep. I walk the K-loop in mid Sept 2017 and at least four spots the paved section was washed away at least halfway. It won't be but a few more storms/years and the road will be cut completely in several places. Should still be trafficable by foot when that happens, but may entail a significant down-then-back-up to cross the forming gulches.

hiking
5 months ago

The Kaunala Loop Trail is really an amalgamation of three separate paths. Each of which with something different to offer.

The Kaunala Trail proper is about 2.5 miles long and offers wilderness, shade, wildlife and cooling waters.

The service road is coarse gravel and stone hill climb to an amazing view spanning from Kaena Point to Wahiawa.

The phantom road, as I call it, offers visions of a post apocalyptic world without people. This derelict stretch of road doesn't appear on any maps I've scene and has a very "zombies around the corner" vibe. Fun for the whole family.

For full review visit: https://astephengetty.wordpress.com/trail-blog/kaunala-loop-trail/

6 months ago

Deceptively long hike for me and the kids. Took us four hours.

hiking
7 months ago

neat trail, more truck trail than hiking though, rained a bit that day....

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