Mau'umae Trail (Lanipo Trail)

HARD 70 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
2,828 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.

7 days ago

Hiked 8/12. Challenging but enjoyable hike. Agree with earlier reviews…wear pants! It’s extremely overgrown most of the way. I also stopped at the 3.5 mile peak due to heavy cloud cover and fog. The risk wasn’t worth the gain to fight my way the additional quarter mile to the Lanipo peak. That portion of the trail is basically non existent. Plenty of flowers and creepy crawlers to check out along the way.

9 days ago

lots of ups and downs and good views along the way make this a fun hike that I'll definitely do again. pretty exposed though, so make sure to have plenty of water. last portion rather muddy but not usually so for a ridgeline hike ascent. final 0.2 miles along KST has a lot of slick spots and a few portions without a real trail, which I'd avoid if you're not looking for a challenge. about 4:30 in decent weather by an experienced hiker, suggest pants for second half or so.

1 month ago

Hardest hike I have done...1 ridge climb. Made it to the top which was socked in... very muddy today. But a great day!

1 month ago

Hiking the 3.5 miles to the first peak, Ka’inawa’au Nui Summit, is peaceful and beautiful. I went during the week and only saw one other person the entire day. As mentioned many times before, DEFINITELY wear pants. Mine were pretty much destroyed by the time I was done but better them than my legs. However, the reason I feel compelled to write this review is to give a heads up about the last part of the trail, the section from the Ka'inawa'au Summit to Lanipo Summit...
I DO NOT recommend hiking this part of the trail unless you are a very experienced hiker! It is EXTREMELY overgrown, so bad that I wasn't even sure there was a trail there at all and had to use my hands to clear away vegetation the entire time just to be sure that my foot would land on earth, and not thick roots disguising a sheer drop off the side of the mountain. This, and the fact that the ridge is very narrow, very steep, and the winds can be very strong up there make it extremely sketchy. Also, the plants are so overgrown that their are vines constantly wrapping around your ankles and threatening to trip you as you make your way, which adds another element of danger to the mix.
The views from the first summit are beautiful, and getting there is quite an accomplishment in itself, and although clouds and wind rolled in while I was making the final ascent to Lanipo Summit, I cannot imagine that the views could have been any better than at Ka'inawa'au had it been clear. Unless someone does some major clearing of the trail, it is simply not worth the danger and difficulty to do the last part in my opinion.
This being said, the rest of the trail has spectacular views from the beginning, and a nice mix of ascending and descending sections that help you not get too worn out during the 7+ mile roundtrip hike.
The whole thing is overgrown though, so just be extra diligent about only stepping on the path because some sections offer a false sense of security when actually there is a small area that is solid ground.
Overall it's a moderate hike until the very end, and really nice, but I regret attempting the final quarter mile section and highly recommend sticking to the first summit.

3 months ago

Challenging but rewarding. Only saw two other people on the trail. Bring lots of water and snacks.

3 months ago

Awesome hike...would I do it again? Probably not.

5 months 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.

6 months 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

7 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.

7 months ago

take my trail I made from palolo valley if you intend to hike this ridge it took me two days to make a lot of brush to clear but I did it and now u can go from stream to ridge to summit in an hour and a half.

to ge there act like ur going to go up kauua crater trail but after the first stream crossing with the big mango and water pipes there's a trail through the ginger 100 feet past the stream crossing, take that, cross the stream one more time, and follow the pink ribbons all the way up to Lanipo. mahalo

7 months ago

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

9 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.

10 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.

11 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.

11 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.

11 months ago

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

Saturday, August 19, 2017

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

Saturday, August 12, 2017

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

Thursday, August 03, 2017

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!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

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!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

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

Friday, July 07, 2017

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!

Thursday, July 06, 2017

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!

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

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 :-)

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