Kea'au Middle Ridge

HARD 12 reviews

Kea'au Middle Ridge is a 5.9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Mākaha Valley, Hawaii that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
5.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2814 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

hiking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

scramble

no shade

historic site

no dogs

Kea'au Middle Ridge is located at the back of Ohikilolo Valley. It is accessed through the Kea'au Homesteads Road that leads to the Our Lady of Kea'au St. Francis Retreat Center. Before entering the center, there is parking in the turn out and a dirt road through a metal gate straight ahead. The trail begins here continuing on the dirt road to the back of the valley. Follow the DLNR markers which are mostly right turns for about a mile till you reach the dead end of the 4WD road and the true hiking trail begins. This trail starts out in a forested wood and steadily climbs up the middle ridge. There are lost of Silver Oaks, Ohia and Koa trees. Elevation is quickly gained and soon it opens up to an exposed ridge line marked by dikes and karsts. Travel carefully as some sections are very narrow and the rock is loose. There are three sections of hills and saddles before reaching a wall that looks impassable. There is a contour trail that then leads right and through the trees, steeply climbing to gain another ridge to the final hills to the top. If you think the first false peak is challenging, then know that there is yet another to the top just as equally challenging if not more. Be ready for a lot of rock scrambling and ropes. Sometime the path is not straight up but a little sideways too. When you finally reach the top it is well worth it. From here you are now on Kea'au Ridge overlooking Makaha Valley. On a clear day, you can see all the way to the north shore, past Mount Ka'ala, west to Kaena, and to the south east to Ko'olina.

13 days ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

3 months ago

This trail is closed by the Air Force and you won't even be able to get to the trail unless you fill out the hiking permit and get it signed before you come. From the armed gate you're about 2.6 mi away from the trail so you can't even try to walk in. I'm turning around now and going south to the Kaneana Point state park

hiking
3 months ago

4 months ago

Strenuous. Steep , it's an entire uphill climb. The rocks are crumbly and expect rock climbing on cliff sides. Lots of scrambling. We had a rope snap and almost lost a friend so please don't trust the ropes! Amazing views. Take caution but enjoy the challenge. Took us 2 1/2 hours to summit.

4 months ago

Super muddy made worse by the rain. There's a horse tour place near the entrance that looked fun. Sweet ridge hike though. The cloud we were hiking in opened up for a bit on the way down and the valleys adjacent to the ridge are gorgeous.

5 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

Trail start/end on some farm land with cows, bulls and horses. Trail is steep and slippery if wet. View just amazing, probably one of the best trails I hiked on Hawaii.

Full report:
http://mvkazit.blogspot.com/2017/04/makua-keaau-middle-ridge.html

hiking
8 months ago

If you are up to the challenge, this ridge hike is strenuous and steep. There are a number of drop offs and rock climbs. Be weary of the crumbly rocks as these can break off pretty easily; so always test before putting your full weight. We also encountered a lot of wild life as this is a public hunting area as well. Lots of goats and pheasants; not to mention a number of cows too. Watch out and stay clear of the bulls. At the top of the ridge we were rewarded by expansive views of Ohikilolo, Makaha, Mount Ka'ala and view of the ocean to Ko'olina and Kaena. This is one, I would definitely do again.

hiking
8 months ago