Kulepeamoa Loop

HARD 17 reviews
#1 of 2 trails in

Kulepeamoa Loop is a 5.8 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Honolulu, Hawaii that features a waterfall. The trail is rated as difficult and primarily used for hiking.

DISTANCE
5.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2677 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

hiking

cave

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

bridge out

bugs

muddy

old growth

over grown

rocky

scramble

washed out

no dogs

This trail starts the end of Anolani Street, and takes you past high California grass, before dropping to the Pia Valley Stream. The trail then ascends Kulepeamoa Ridge. Be prepared for a good steep climb, but you will be rewarded with clear views of the valley and lots of growing sandalwood. The ridge itself is a nice contrast of pine trees, to guava, then to Ohia and Uluhe. It is a bit of a rollercoaster with some fairly narrow sections. As you approach the KST, there is a rope section that requires the rope in order to ascend. There is a good new black tape rope besides the existing printer cables. Its well secured at the top, but as always test before using. The last section will work your legs, especially if it is muddy. Once at the top you'll have great 360 views of Waimanalo, Hawaii Kai/Koko Head, Honolulu, the airport coral reef runway, Olomana, Kailua, and Kaneohe. Once at the Hawaii Loa, it's an easy way down to the guava junction. This section is a slip and slide and you'll probably grab guava trees all the way to the valley. Once in Pia Valley, it's hard to find the trail as there are many big tree blown downs. Follow the dry stream bed till you find the trail again. There are a number of dry pools that are nice when the water flows and an interesting rock wall on the west bank. This section then connects back to the ridge junction.

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2 days ago

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7 days ago

21 days ago

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1 month ago

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1 month ago

2 months ago

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3 months ago

So I decided to try out Kulepeamoa Loop. Based off of a previous trail that I did that was rated as moderate but felt easy, I chose this one thinking "hard" would be moderate. My body hates me for this underestimation.
I parked on the street at the very end right before the "gated road" starts. You'll have to walk up that road a bit until you see a large water container thingamabob that's in a chain link fence. The trail starts to the right of that fence right along side it. I decided to sport my GNC weighted vest, and a backpack with some small "in case I fall into a gorge and survive" trinkets and 1.5 L of water. I recommend more water.
The start is easy, and I decided to take the right (eastern most) portion of the loop. This is where I started regretting my decision on the weighted vest. The trail was decent but does narrow and bushes are overgrown. My legs are scratched to hell. You'll get to a first area where you can see the the city along the coast towards the southeast. You can get a few good pictures if you go to the rocky clearing on the top of that portion of the ridge. You'll head back north on the ridge through the narrow trail and it's typical trail stuff. Ups and downs. Quads burning. Contemplating life. Realizing that you may be the next person in the news of "hiker dies on trail after being ill prepared." But I kept pushing. The trail does narrow down but you'll still be able to see it as you move north along the ridge. As you get closer to your turn westward along the northernmost ridge, you're going to come across a portion with waist high rocks with a gap in between. Get on top of those rocks and jump over the gap and the trail continues up towards Mount Olympus. The drop offs around this area are steep, but the trail is pretty secure with vegetation to use for grip and holding on to. I did leave a strip of medical tape on a tree that says "This Way, don't quit." If you see it... you're headed the right way. As you approach the highest point of the ridge, you're going to see what could possibly be your untimely death. That's what I was telling myself anyway. It's a steep incline with ropes for help for I'd say a good 30-40 yards. So I had some gloves handy and made my way to the unsafe looking climb. It looks a lot worse than it is. As you start going up it, you have places to secure your feet, and bear crawling up this monstrosity proved most effective. When you get closer to the top, the bear crawl will work and just take your time and plant your feet properly. The rope is secure but I wouldn't test its capability. I did use it solely for a portion but immediately went back to crawling when I saw the opportunity. After you clear that obstacle, you'll have a few more inclines to push through and bam! You're now on the east to west portion of your ridge and you can see the northern beaches. This ridge is the same but some of the downhill portions are steep and slippery so watch your step. And the trail is now about a foot or less wide with brush covering it... but you'll still be able to see where you're going. You'll eventually hit your turn for the southern route to take, and there is a small clearing with signs saying, don't go past this point or you might die. Take some pictures... relish in the fact that death is lurking in the bushes waiting for you to make one mistake and tumble down the cliff... and flip off the mother f*cker.
The trail back down is great. Wide and maintained. Stairs. Fellow humans who can call for help should you pass out from exhaustion of taking the hard side up. By this point my legs were getting loose but there are still portions that go uphill... it was another ridge after all... sooooo cramping started to become an issue. Also, my 1.5 liters of water was now about 12 ounces. The vultures were circling. Parts of the trail down you can trot or jog. It helped keep my legs loose. So as you go down, pay attention to where you are at on the trail in relation to this app. I missed my turn and went past towards the parking area on the other side of the ridge from where my truck was. I was fortunate enough that some lovely botanists were on the trail as well and said they would give me a ride to my truck. I must have looked pathetic by this point... covered in dirt and the glazed look of heat stroke in my eyes.
Anywho, I got my ride hence why the recording I did has it going all the way down to the highway and back up towards my start point.
Moral of the encounter. I did this trail ill prepared and with roughly 25-35 lbs of weight and minimal water. I wore basketball shorts and running shoes. If I could do it, you guys can definitely do it and appreciate the amazing scenery more than I was able to on the account of minor strokes and heat cramps.

hiking
4 months ago

5 months ago

Good and challenging hike. Wear pants trail super overgrown with sharp shrubbery. There's a cable about 20ft you have to climb up a steep spine.
Great views and didn't see one other group of hikers.

6 months ago

Cat's review is right on the money. However, when I went today the trail was completely overgrown even 1/4 way into it. Despite the overgrown trail, this was a fun hike. The rope was sturdy but definitely test it out as with any rope. The black strap covering the cables is still there. Go on a sunny day and it's hardly muddy at all!

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

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Saturday, March 07, 2015

Saturday, November 08, 2014

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Tuesday, May 06, 2014

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Monday, May 05, 2014

Although this trail is only just about 6 miles long, it will feel like doing a mini Manana Trail(!) Kulepeamoa ridge is in the back of Niu Valley. It splits the valley into two sub-valleys with Pia Valley Stream on the left and Kupaua Valley Stream on the right. This trail starts the end of Anolani Street, and takes you past high California grass, before dropping to the Pia Valley Stream. This stream is always dry unless there is some real big rain at the Koolaus. The trail then ascends Kulepeamoa Ridge. Be prepared for a good steep climb, but you will be rewarded with clear views of the valley and lots of growing sandalwood.

The ridge itself is a nice contrast of pine trees, to guava, then to Ohia and Uluhe. It is a bit of a rollercoaster with some fairly narrow sections. As you approach the KST, there is a rope section that requires the rope in order to ascend. There is a good new black tape rope besides the existing printer cables(!) Its well secured at the top, but as always test before using.

The last section will work your legs, especially if it is muddy. Once at the top we had great 360 views of Waimanalo, Hawaii Kai/Koko Head, Honolulu, the airport coral reef runway, Olomana, Kailua, and Kaneohe. There were a ton of bugs at the summit so we didn't stay long and proceeded on the KST towards Hawaii Loa Ridge terminus. There were three hills along the way on the KST - so it was a bit of a muddy slip and slide. Quite fun if you don't mind the mud!

Once at the Hawaii Loa, it was an easy way down to the guava junction. This section was a slip and slide grabbing guava trees all the way to the valley. Once in Pia Valley, it was hard to find the trail as there were many big tree blown downs. So we just followed the dry stream bed till we found the trail again. There were a number of dry pools - that would be nice when the water flows and an interesting rock wall on the west bank. This section then connects back to the ridge junction and we found our way back out to the water tank.