Kuilau Ridge Trail

MODERATE 84 reviews

Kuilau Ridge Trail is a 5.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Kapaa, 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 are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

5.4 miles
925 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly



horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running




wild flowers



over grown

5 days ago

Great trail and views throughout the hike. Definitely feels like you're hiking through the Jurassic Park movies, very cool. A bit muddy here and there but that was expected given that we're hiking on one of the wettest islands on earth. The slope is not steep making it a relatively easy hike, slightly muddy areas can be slippery and we had a few people in our group slip once or twice and get covered in mud. There is a huge eucalyptus tree that fell across the trail that you have to either go up and around or climb over which could be a bit precarious for older folks. Younger kids will probably enjoy the challenge and stomping around in the mud.

We completed the hike in about 3.5 hours taking our time and made it to the bridge where the Kuilau trail meets the Moalepe trail before turning around. Most of the trail was dry or damp and only a few areas were really muddy so bring good shoes and prepare to get dirty. Also, a little bug spray will help keep you from being eaten alive in the wetter parts of the trail.

10 days ago

Great trail with excellent views for most of the way. Good shade and only muddy in a few patches.

13 days ago

Loved the hike. Only slight drawback was the mud in several locations. We quickly learned to embrace the mud instead of attempting to avoid it. Make sure to go right before the picnic table to continue hike to the bridge.

20 days ago

Easy but muddy trail. I was prepared for the mud from previous reviews (waterproof) hiking boots and poles helped a lot). The fallen tree was still there but okay to get around by going behind the tree roots. Ventured beyond the picnic area to the waterfall before turning back A nice short walk for a relaxing but muddy day :)

20 days ago

Beautiful panoramic scenery with bird sounds. Muddy at several points.

26 days ago

Beautiful views. Not too challenging. But as of 6/20/2018 there is a giant fallen Eucalyptus tree blocking the trail about a half mile in. Quite challenging to get over or around it when wet. My wife and I made it and continued on to the picnic tables. Love this hike and hope they clear the blockage soon.

1 month ago

This trail can be muddy at the beginning, but it’s still hike-able when it is. Long pants are a good idea to avoid scratches on the legs from dried, cut back fern stems along narrow paths. Watch out for loose dirt towards the end of the trail on a few steep inclines. Overall, the views along the way and at the end are well worth the steep hike back up!

2 months ago

Beautiful ‘jungle’ hike along an old logging road, which makes for a good trail. Muddy and slippery at parts but easily handled; your shoes will get covered in mud though! Giant trees, beautiful views and a wonderful view of the higher ridges in the distance all make this very worthwhile.

There is a downed tree near the start of the trail, but you can scramble over it fairly easily.

3 months ago

My 10-year-old and I did this hike on a sunny afternoon following a morning down-pour. It was so muddy but that made it more fun for her. The views were so breathtaking and nobody else was out there which made for a peaceful hike.

3 months ago

Okay hike...found out last night this was the trail two tourists were brutally murdered on thirty years ago. Trip Advisor left that one out.

4 months ago

Loved it, easy uphill hike but very muddy. Just plan to get muddy if it has rained. Amazing views and like others said, continue past picnic clearing at the top .5 miles and there is a little bridge and waterfall.

6 months ago

Beautiful views and lush rainforest. Very muddy but manageable. Light moderate, the mud is the main challenge (great core workout). It’s ~2 miles out to the bridge that marks the connection to the Moelepe part of the trail. Worth the time and work.

7 months ago

Beautiful views all along the trail

off road driving
7 months ago

Beautiful rain forest

7 months ago

great scenery

9 months ago

This was an excellent trail with our toddler in a hiking carrier. Very muddy, so we went cautiously to keep footing, but a gradual incline with a beautiful payoff of amazing panoramas at the end! Really stunning views when the trail opens up at the picnic area. We didn’t go beyond the picnic area since we had our little one, so it was a relatively quick and lovely morning hike.

9 months ago

This is a nice and easy, gradual trail cut into what looks to be a forest service or logging access road. It is not very strenuous; however it rained (thunder stormed) the night before we hiked it at mid-morning and it was very muddy! Continue past the clearing at the top to the old wooden bridge where the two trails meet. If there's enough water in the little stream at the top of the trail, you'll be treated to a nice waterfall along the right side.

9 months ago

A bit overgrown and expect a lot of mud, but offers great valley and forest vistas

9 months ago

Great trail. A bit overgrown in places and muddy in most. Creates a few slippery sections. I fell on my butt once near the turn around point.

11 months ago

first ever solo hike, perfect! trail is a little overgrown in places, but easy to follow. a pleasant challenge. muddy, wear pants if you don't want to get cut by grass at the beginning and berry bushes at the very end (past the picnic tables). trail past the picnic tables was really steep and tricky and overgrown

11 months ago

Lovely hike through the green forest- not as stunning as some other views on the island, yet lovely green eye candy.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Nice views and picnic area at top. Could use a little maintenance, overgrown a bit but still totally passable. Not too muddy the day we went. A nice hike but not the very best.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Beautiful trail at all times of day, but preferable with less clouds and dry weather. (lots of mud puddles.) Park at the little pull out on the side of the road near the bottom of the hill for immediate access, or just past it at the bottom of the hill at the parking lot by the stream. It's a straight forward uphill hike with a wide path all the way up to the pavilion. But don't stop there - another mile or less of up and down hills will get you wonderful views of the mountains. If you want to keep going, it will take you around to the easy Moalepe trail ending further east in Wailua with some nice views.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Nice trail for views. It's rated at moderate but I would put it at the lower end of moderate. If available, park one car at the other end which at the Moalepe Trail head and start at the Kuilau Trail head. That makes it a 4 mile hike one way. After a rain, look across the valley and you'll probably see a new waterfall. Your only 5 miles from the center of the island which is the wettest place on earth!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Great views, but this area gets a lot of rain, so expect some mud. If you have a choice of days, don't go when rainy and try to go when there are less clouds. The vistas will pop.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Beautiful views; pretty easy hike for a family.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

easy hike lots of mud but really worth it! Views are amazing.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Easy hike, great territorial views.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

loved it! we saw a rainbow below us beautiful. just be prepared for mud if it rained a lot.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

It was a great hike in a rain forest in Kauai with amazing panoramas of Makaleha Mountains. I started from the Kuilau Trail and continued to the Moalepe Trail and back.

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