Kaunala Trail is a 5.3 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Haleiwa, 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
1,217 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

backpacking

camping

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

partially paved

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

bugs

muddy

over grown

washed out

4 months ago

Really great trail if you want to hike through jungle a few hours. Some fallen trees made the path more of a challenge but nothing major. The road that the trail joins to is having work done to it. There was a ‘no pedestrian access sign’ but the workmen let us through. They are stabilising the road I think. Looks like they are going to try and make the road operational again.

Don’t expect too many amazing views. You get some good view points to see the rainforest but that’s about it. This trail is more to immerse yourself into the heart of the forest.

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike. Some views, but fantastic terrain

hiking
7 months ago

Just finished this hike and had a blast!

As others have said it's basically divided into three parts:

Part 1: The North Fork, which is the main trail, is mostly muddy jungle. There were a few downed trees when we were there, one was a really large Eucalyptus (I think?) that definitely made it confusing where the trail was. I was very happy to have my GPS with me for that segment.

I wouldn't take kids on this part unless they're experienced hikers.

Part 2: the gravely connective section of the trail is more like a decommissioned road and easy to traverse. If you take it North for a period of time you can snag some additional cool jungle views. Otherwise just take it South toward the road.

Part 3: The abandoned road. I thought this was freaking cool. It does totally feel like you're in a post-apocalyptic world and nature is taking back the mountain! You get some really awesome views of the wind turbines rising about the jungle and ocean. If you have kids that aren't going to be able to handle the entirety of the hike you could just do the road (be sure to keep them away from the edges that have fallen out!)

My Gaia track said that the whole hike, including our extra jaunt north and the road leading to it, was 7.83 miles and took us 3 hours and 15 minutes.

hiking
8 months ago

We did this hike in the rain, took us a little over 2 hours. The first part of the hike ‘’jungle’’ is great, muddy, peaceful, amazing trees. Second part, ‘’rocky climb’’ is not bad, I think that you would have great valley views if it was a nice day. Third part, the ‘’post apocalyptic road’’ was cool, yet disappointing that you cover such a large distance on pavement.

mountain biking
9 months ago

I gave this trail 5 stars because it is very beautiful, mostly shaded and great for a moderate hike. BUT it is way too hard for mountain biking.. Even for a professional mountain biker. Too many big, slippery roots crossing the path. along with slippery rocks and leaves. this is mainly the top half of the trail.

hiking
9 months 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.

10 months 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
Saturday, November 04, 2017

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
Sunday, October 01, 2017

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
Sunday, September 17, 2017

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
Sunday, July 30, 2017

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/

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

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

hiking
Monday, June 12, 2017

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

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