Kealia Trail

MODERATE 213 reviews
#1 of 2 trails in

Kealia Trail is a 7.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Honolulu, Hawaii that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

7.6 miles
2516 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly


horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running





wild flowers



The trail head is across from the parking lot and proceeds inland on a wide paved road. Go around the chain and go left at the fork (keep concrete hanger on your right). At the base of the ridge follow the trail as it switchbacks up the face. At the top there is a covered picnic bench. Continue inland and ascend fire road. When you reach a junction near an old fence line go right. You will pass a rusted water tank on the right. Enter the Kuaokala public hunting area. At the next junction turn left. Turn left when you reach the T junction. Pass a small water catchment and tank on the right. At the junction with the Kuaokala Trail bear right and slightly up to ridge rim. You will be overlooking the Makua Valley Military Training Area.

21 hours ago

One of my favorite hikes on Oahu. You'll get better views at Koko Head or along one of the other panoramic trails in town, but this one really ticks a lot of boxes. It's a good workout, has views, and is only moderately trafficked. I get the notion that most people tend to hike to the picnic shelter and then turn around, but I continued onward and ascended (at this point, the trail is an old fire road) to where it meets the Kuaokala Trail. Past the picnic shelter, it's just you, the trade winds, and the occasional bird song. Very peaceful; feels almost sacred. Views of the Makua Valley are worth it. If you elect to complete the entire trail, bring plenty of water, snacks, and trekking poles. The descent can be a bit hard on the knees otherwise.

13 days ago

Hiked up from the Kealia Trail. Nice shelter and picnic table about 1/3 way up Kealia. You may think you have summited but don't be fooled. Substantial climbs after that to the T where you meet the Kuaokala Ridge Trail. Turned left at the T and got lost. The road and the ridge trail are not always the same and not well marked. Disappointed because I never got to the views on the west side of the ridge. Kealia is a great hike with awesome views, but if you want to do the Kuaokala Ridge, I recommend getting a permit and coming up from the west side through the Military Reserve.

15 days ago

Absolutely amazing. Good workout and the view of the mountains from the Summit is majestic!!!

16 days ago

Good trail, steady incline and view of beach and ocean is beautiful. Saw a gorgeous peacock in a tree & found Thai passionfruit along the way.

27 days ago

29 days ago

It’s a beautiful trail but be advised if scared of heights there is a few areas where you can feel unsafe. In general great hike and good cardio.

1 month ago

Excellent trail and good for cardio.

Great hike.

2 months ago

Great workout! Beautiful views of the west side if you go to the end! Took us just under four hours total!

2 months ago

The first mile and a half switchbacking is steep and a good workout. The rest is just forest vehicle access roads.

2 months ago

This was my second hike in Hawaii...I loved the views. I had some Navy Reservist visiting and we went with the MWR so it was awesom.

2 months ago

To be honest: We expected more from this trail (based on the photos). A verly long part of the trail is kind of boring and not very beautiful. Sometimes you have a great view, but it's not worth it. Furthermore, the trail is not clear marked on some points. Good thing is: You need a good condition, but no special skills. Its good for beginners or families, because there aren't dangerous parts.

If you have done all the other hikes on oahu, you can try this one. Otherwise you should another one, because the other hikes were so much better!

3 months ago

Great views on this trail hike. It is a bit challenging at points but worth the hike for the scenery. A must do in a quiet area of Oahu.

4 months ago

awesome trail. great workout.

5 months ago

beautiful views of North shore!

5 months ago

This is a fairly difficult hike. Uphill with many rocky switchbacks. Once you get up on the the fire road it's a nice uphill walk to the lookout over the Makua Valley. Don't stop there though, take the trail on the right and keep walking the loop. Worth the views. Would be better if much of the trail wasn't on tbe road.

7 months ago

The view was really amazing as you hike up but I got so lost as I hiked further. There is no clear signage and it is so easy to get lost. Please be careful.

7 months ago

Great hike with an amazing view at the top! The canopy is lost early on, which can make the initial incline pretty hot, so make sure you have plenty of water, because there's a lot of trail left. It is a dog friendly trail, but I wouldn't recommend bringing dogs who aren't used to hiking or long haired/shaggy dogs on the trail -- especially on hot days. The heat and length of the trail are no joke. Have fun!

8 months ago

If you're just going up the the top of the Kealia and not beyond, it's a short and easy switchback trail, with some great NS views along the way. It is a bit rocky so watch out for those ankle twisters. Relaxed little hike if you're out on this side. I'd say it's kid and dog friendly, just keep the kids leashed. ;)

8 months ago

Had a great time on this hike ~ especially when we made it to the overlooks of the western coastline and valleys. Those views were absolutely beautiful!
The early part of the hike provided great views of the North Shore and Dillingham Airfield followed by the long steady uphill of the middle miles. Starting about a half mile after the picnic table go Right at the first T-intersection, left at the second T-intersection, and right at the fork - following brown signs with the jeep on them for the most part, but eventually reaching the fork in the road where we started following signs for Kuaokala Tail). Finally, when you go through the gated fence, turn right, and follow the fence line you'll eventually be rewarded with some spectacular vantage points. Another mile or so the primary trail appears to cross back through another gate in the fence on your right (probably the continuation of Kuaokala Trail), but if you hang to the left instead you can hike out onto the ridgeline for the most scenic spots. The trails continue, but that's about as far as we made it before turning around and heading back down to the car. Enjoy!

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