Mau'umae Trail (Lanipo Trail)

HARD 58 reviews

Mau'umae Trail (Lanipo Trail) is a 6.6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Honolulu, Hawaii that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

6.6 miles
2828 feet
Out & Back



nature trips

trail running




wild flowers





old growth

over grown


washed out

no dogs

A moderate to difficult hike, and an interesting climb up and down 3 peaks rather than all up going and all down coming back. Half of the hike is narrow track through 3 foot high brush so the suggestion to wear pants is a good one. Take plenty of water and some food, and depending on your phone battery a portable charger as well. Be aware of possible weather changes and do not attempt this hike if it is very windy.

11 days ago

A lot of the previous reviews are pretty spot on. Fairly exposed ridge hike, Especially the first third of the trail. described as a roller coaster up-and-down which is pretty accurate as well. Definitely agree with wearing long pants. The views are fantastic. The trail is pretty narrow in some sections with steep drop off’s; however, it’s generally only on one side so you at least have some room for error on the other side. There are definitely places though that you do not want to have any mistakes or you would suffer an unrecoverable fall.

1 month ago

We hiked this trail in weather that was a bit hazy & overcast with clouds looming high over the Ko’olau Summit at the start. This trail is no joke! The word ‘unrelenting’ kept repeating in my mind as we hiked up and down and up and down and up and down ad infinitum on the trail.

We’ve hiked many of the more challenging trails around O’ahu, Kauai, Maui, & the Big Island, but this trail is like none other, so far. Most ascents along the ridges leading to the KST seem to have some ascending sections with an easier, somewhat level ‘breather’ section for a bit, with an occasional rope up some steep rock sections then back to an ascent until you eventually reach the summit or the overlook. This one was different! Lots of up rocks and down rocks over & over that required a full body workout to climb and in between it was a lot of pushing through overgrown sharp fern sections. There was very little shade available the entire 6.6 mile trek.

It started raining on us about 90 minutes into the hike and then the trail became muddy, puddling, and eventually an unceasing cascade of water flowing down the, in many sections, just wide enough for one foot sections through the dirt trail on steep inclines. We were thankful to have brought our micro-spikes on the hike and wore them almost the entire time. They proved the difference in between making it to Ka’inawa’au Summit or not as we met another group of intrepid hikers who gave up the attempt about 3/4 mile from the summit as they weren’t wearing microspikes.

Once we reached the first summit (Ka’inawa’au Nui Summit) it was raining pretty hard and there was no view toward Kailua/Kaneohe) and we could barely even see Lanipo Summit only 0.2 miles away as the thick clouds rolled in, out of safety concerns we aborted the attempt to Summit Lanipo as the Ko’olau Summit Trail can be fairly dangerous even in dry, non-windy conditions. Any amount of precipitation and wind can turn the KST into a treacherous endeavor.

We’d hiked several neighboring ridges in the past, Wiliwilinui, Ka’au Crater Rim Trail, Awaawaloa to Wa’ahila Ridge to Mt Olympus, Hawaii’loa, Kuliou’ou full Loop Trail, Hahaione, etc. so it was neat to see some of those trails (especially Ka’au Crater with a heavily flowing Waterfall #3) and some other rarely appearing waterfalls from the Mau’umae Ridge along our adventure. Mau’umae turned out to be a great full-body workout for us, leaving us feeling like we’d survived a mixed martial artist fight to the death at the end. We finished with hands that had been scratched up and impaled, heads with bruises from hitting trees along the way (my husband & I both hit our heads at least four times on trees—which is not typical for us on all of the hiking we’d done prior to this, BTW he’s 6’2” & I’m 5’5”). We’re not sure if that was a function of the heavy rains, flooding muddy trail, or the constantly changing ascents and descents along the way where we focused on safe foot placement and possibly ignored the tree overhead.

All in all we’re glad we did the hike. The rains kept it cool for us but it was brutally hot at the start before the clouds and rains came in. We’re bummed we didn’t summit Lanipo being only 0.2 miles from it once we reached the KST/first summit.

I’m not sure if I’d hike this trail again unless I’d really need a tough workout to prepare for something like US Army Ranger School or American Gladiator or something along those lines. As a caveat, I do 100 push ups a day and 20 pull-ups 3-4 times each week coupled with running/hiking about 20 miles a week, swimming about 5 miles a week, and weightlifting. We were in fairly decent shape before this hike. It still hurt!!! There are other trails on Oahu that I’d repeat well before I’d consider repeating this one just because they offer more variety (microclimates, waterfalls, forests, shaded areas, breathtaking views) without some of the pain.

Mau’umae=unrelenting rollercoaster ridge hike with great views of neighboring ridges, Ka’au Crater, Honolulu, Diamond Head and maybe Kailua/Kaneohe on a clear day

It took us 4 hours, 40 minutes in rainy, muddy conditions from start to Ka’inawa’au Summit & back to the start

2 months ago

I agree with recent posts. A moderate hike, interesting climb up and down 3 peaks rather than all up going and all down coming back. Half of the hike is narrow track thru 3 foot high brush so the suggestion to wear pants is a good one. I bought hiking pants for this trail because of the posted advice and was glad I had them. A pair of hikers going down did not summit and were discussing the need of pants when we passed.

2 months ago

Nice views! Second or third clearing has a bench on the top of a hill

4 months ago

solo hiked today, wear pants bring at least 2L water pp, everything is along a ridge (very narrow at times) 1st third is exposed dry rock up and down, 2nd third is a narrow ridge with a decent amount of vegetation over parts of the trail. Last third to summit is a narrow dirt ascent. Great views along the way of the crater to the left and of Waikiki, unfortunately summit was all clouds today.

5 months ago

Bring lots of water (at least two litter per person) most of the trail is under direct sun light and it will take about 7 hours to finish this trail and also wear pants.

6 months ago

I would say more moderate as opposed to hard. Appreciated the change in elevation as you go instead of constant incline. If you want an additional challenge park at the bottom of Wilhelmina Drive and jog/walk up that road to the trailhead.

6 months ago

Great hike for the more experienced. it is a good hike for a beginner or intermediate up until after one of the caps of one of the peaks. After this point the trail gets harder to see because of the over growing vegetation. I would definitely take plenty of water and some food, depending on your phone battery a portable charger as well, I was about 200 yards to the end and had to turn back because I wasn't expecting it so it caught me off guard. I would also wear pants because of the plants and little twigs scraping your legs and hiking boots for better traction with some of the areas of the trail.

6 months ago

Solid view of the curvature of Earth and the sight of Honolulu/ Diamond Head

6 months ago

Great hike! Not as "hard" as some of the other hikes listed here as hard, but is a great workout with a alot of elevation gains and losses during the trek to the summit. Save some energy for the end as it will be a decent uphill section to get back to the trail head

7 months ago

Definitely a moderate hike vice hard. A few overgrown areas but everything is well marked and tracked out

7 months ago

Great hike, very well marked and roped. Great views and nice to have ups and downs rather than all uphill on the way out and downhill on the way back. Thanks to everyone who suggested wearing pants!

7 months ago

Great trail for being right behind waikiki. Tons of sun exposure so be sure to protect yourself. Took 2 1/2 hours to summit and it's one that will burn the buns. Really enjoyed the views of kaau crater and the other side of the island. Very rewarding to finish. Don't forget long pants and socks because you'll get torn up on the last mile. Yes it's muddier near the top. Enjoy! I'll do this one again for sure!

8 months ago

It was a very nice hike, didn't really get hard until the sun was out and in full effect, wear pants!

8 months ago

Loved this hike! Beautiful views the entire hike and constant up and down. I logged almost 7 miles. Took us just under 6 hours round trip. Wear tall socks to protect your legs as the brush is pretty thick closer to the end. Take your time on the narrow spots and bring plenty of water!

8 months ago

LOVED this Trail! Great views along the way. Gets very narrow at the end. Take your time and you will be fine. Also, would recommend going very early, there is no shade. Bring lots of sunscreen and water. Totally worth it!

11 months ago

watch out for ferns wear high socks or hiking pants or ferns will scratch you up path is a bit over grown amazing views challenging hike great resistance

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Decent trail. Wear long pants. The ferns will cut up your legs. Usually takes me about half the time to hike back.

trail running
Saturday, February 25, 2017

No one was joking about the ferns. If you have calf sleeves make sure to wear them.... maybe they will help. Maybe an old pair that you don't mind getting frayed a bit? Was able to run the majority of the trail minus a few steep inclines, declines, and the ferns really scratched up my shins. I guess I didn't want if bad enough because I walked a lot of that fern part and it still scratched me. I'm the weird kinda ultrarunner who isn't a masochist. The views were awesome.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Great trail.. I wouldn't say it should be classified as hard tho.. no big climbs, just up and down most of the day.. a bit over grown but still a good path to follow

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Nice trail. Easy to follow.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Wear long pants or at least bring them. In December be prepared for mud.
The first 1.5 or even maybe 2 miles was excellent. Lots of fun, a couple challenges that didn't necessarily require the ropes but the ropes definitely added a measure of safety.

We did this hike starting around 10am and I am doubtful we'd have made it out and back in anything under 6 hours. Probably closer to 8. We turned back at about 2.5 miles. By that time the mud and the thorny ferns made the hike not fun. It wasn't even hiking the last 3/4 mile before we called it. It was just walking up and down hills through mud and thorns. But then maybe I'm just a weenie

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Pretty nice view, but very muddy. I don't think it's 6,6 mile there and back. Maybe like a bird fly... We needed 3l of water. It's definetly worth it to go up :-)

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Probably my favourite hike on Oahu so far
Amazing views the whole hike
Sketchy when raining, soft land

Friday, May 06, 2016

Great trail, we climbed it yesterday and only saw 1 other person on it. It is pretty long with some decent climbs, bring lots of water because it gets hot up there. Spectacular views on a secluded trail, I'm rating it 5 stars and it is well deserved .

Monday, April 11, 2016

An amazing, exposed and ungraded ridge hike, with phenomenal views of Diamond Head, Ka'au Crater, a waterfall, Honolulu, and the surrounding valleys. I would highly recommend starting early (to avoid the sun as there is limited overhead cover along the trail), check the forecast (avoiding heavy clouds/rain in the Ko'Olau Range), and wear long pants (as the uluhe ferns overrun the latter half of the trail).

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Long, peaceful, beautiful. Stunning views all the way along the ridge.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

I Was looking for a trail running trail, only some parts in this case. Could not reach the top because we had few water at mile 3 and we wanted to came back running. Consider using compression socks otherwise Uluhe will hit your legs all over the trail. Amazing views!!!

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Definitely more of a hike hike. Stunning views during the whole trail. I suggest not going while damp/ raining, but then again if you do there's endless double rainbows in the canyons. It's uphill and downhill throughout the whole hike. Fresh guava to pick.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Bring water. More water than you think you'll need. Usually I'm more than fine with 1L of water for hikes, for this one I needed more, but ran out going back down. Started about 9:30, no trades, sun was out and ok cloud coverage. It started off hot (pretty much stayed that way) and uncovered for a decent stretch then went into uluhe ferns waist high and at some points, shoulder high (I'm 5'6"). I've done Ka'au Crater, Olomana, and Kamiloiki in shorts. Thank goodness I had pants in my bag as the uluhe were overgrown and obscured the narrow trail pretty much the entire area they were growing. The trail has a lot of ups and downs and long stretches that were narrow (enough for a foot), and rutted out. It hadn't rained it awhile and the trail was dry. Along the way up, you can see Ka'au Crater from here since it's just the next ridge over.
When we got to the top, the clouds were covering the top but it eventually cleared up.

At the entrance, the sign says "Ka Inawa'au Nui Summit 3.5 mi, Lanipo Summit, 3.7 mi. Those in our party believed the top where it flattens out was Lanipo Summit. However, the real summit is to the right (if facing Kailua). There's a short hill, then a taller hill behind it, which is Lanipo summit. It looks much farther than 0.2 miles, but the GPS logged it as 0.2. You have to travel across the spine, but when you're actually on this section, it's not bad at all. It was fairly wide (~2ft) but lots of overgrown foliage covered the trail. We got there in 20 minutes, going slow & steady as there were still drop offs on either side of the trail. When we got to the top, there was a little US Coast Survey marker identifying the hill as Lanipo. The first summit had a better view of the south shore from the airport to the hill that overlooks Hanauma Bay. From both you could see the Koolaus, Chinaman's hat to the Moks. We were traveling at a decent, steady pace & took 2hr, 10 min to get to Ka Inawa'au Nui Summit. Remember....lots of water.

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