Kealia Trail

MODERATE 275 reviews
#1 of 4 trails in

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

DISTANCE
7.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,516 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

mountain biking

trail running

forest

views

rocky

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.

1 month ago

Lots of rain on the Makua side today. Kuaokala was muddy and slippery but nothing major. Makua Valley was socked in but cleared up after 20 minutes. Bring water and a snack. 7.2 on my Suunto.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice hike the best views are when you are on the swtichbacks. Otherwise it is a nice stroll through shaded roads. The medium rating is probably merited, but families with older children should be able to handle this trail nicely. Take lots of water as it can get hot and there is now water on the trail.

very nice hike. only went to the picnic table. was very warm so try and go early. great view on the way up and down.

2 months ago

For the view, hike up to the covered picnik table (mud, rocks, narrow trail). Pass this, the remaining is a quiet ride to listen the birds (wide roads, rocks slates, muds and water holes). Not well indicated along the trails.

hiking
2 months ago

Pretty trail with beautiful views. As long as you arrive before the crowd it’s a lovely walk. It’s mostly shaded but sunscreen is probably a good call.
Several unleashed dogs and a couple letting their kids cut through the switchbacks. Other than some of the other people and the heat (usually later in the day) this is a great way to start the day.

hiking
2 months ago

We went up just to the picnic area and swing, but it's one of the best hikes I've ever done with two children in tow. Lots of shade and no mosquitos (at least today in May).

hiking
3 months ago

I have done this hike many times. Most times I do the entire 8 miles. We hike the way out and run the way back. Today we just went to the picnic table and found the swing. It’s a nice hike, lots of sun so wear a hat and sunscreen. Bring plenty of water because you will get thirsty in the exposed sun of the switchbacks. It’s an easy/moderate hike that can and is used for trail running.

trail running
3 months ago

Great trail, well marked. The switchbacks making way to the red dirt road offers a great change of pace.

Warning— beware of the large hill from waypoint 3,4. Specifically the area where the trail seems to make an S bend. The hill is deemed “Oh Shit Hill” and appropriately so. I ran down the hill in slick conditions and the hill overtook my body. With no natural bank to slow down, slick conditions, and nothing to grab onto, I plunged head first down the hill, ultimately tearing my rotator cuff.

I have experience trail running, and I was wearing my Salmons, but my experience and equipment provided a false sense of security. This hill is roughly 200m of straight, steep (I estimate 25% grade) slippery elevation change. Be careful walking down, and only run if conditions are dry.

The injury won’t stop me from frequenting the trail. It is one of my favorites and offers a fantastic workout.

trail running
3 months ago

Fun hike. Most people stop around the 1.5mile mark where there’s a table and rest area. Make sure to get out of the airfield before they close-otherwise security has to let you out after you go and find them.

hiking
4 months ago

Bonne randonnée mais nous nous sommes un peu perdus car les indications dans la trail sont absentes. Nous avons pris un chemin dédié aux 4 roues! Finalement on a marché presque 15 km. En descendant les roches sont glissantes lorsqu'il pleut.

hiking
4 months ago

Amazing views and very little traffic. Definitely recommend!

hiking
4 months ago

3/25/2018-Started in the late side at 0820 and came across 29 groups/solo hikers (some had their dogs with them too). Also came across 3 suvs driving on the road so be aware. Definitely a good cardio work out and the trail was a little muddy but not too bad. The view of Makua Valley was pretty nice but we opted not to hike the whole ridge. Most of the trail is shaded but would recommend sunscreen anyway.

hiking
5 months ago

First part is a series of switchbacks to gain elevation. This is a good workout up to the picnic area. The real fun begins after this though. The elevation gain up the old fire road is very peaceful and quiet. Didn’t see another person the entire time. At the junction with the Kuaokala trail, if you take it to the right then you will hit a fence that has a gate to open and go through. From here you are treated to views of Makua valley. You can continue on the trail which is mostly a ridge hike. It’s not an overly difficult one so it is worth going a little farther for more views if you have time. I did a little less than 10 miles round trip.

5 months ago

Family friendly, with great views of the north shore and Makua valley.

hiking
5 months 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.

6 months 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.

hiking
6 months ago

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

6 months 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.

hiking
6 months ago

6 months 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.

6 months ago

Excellent trail and good for cardio.

Great hike.

hiking
7 months ago

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

hiking
8 months ago

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

hiking
8 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.

8 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!

hiking
9 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.

10 months ago

awesome trail. great workout.

11 months ago

beautiful views of North shore!

11 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.

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