DISTANCE
11.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,145 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

mountain biking

off road driving

trail running

forest

views

wildlife

muddy

hiking
3 months ago

This is not a trail! This is a jeep road to Waikolu Overlook, which some people choose to hike instead of drive. The road to the overlook is 10 miles precisely from the cemetery. If you have 4WD, experience driving on unimproved mountain/forest roads, and TAKE YOUR TIME, then this road should not be problematic for you. It was very dry when we went, but if it's muddy I can see it being much more of a PITA. We went slowly (like, it took us over an hour to get to the overlook) and had no problems, but we're also very comfortable on roads like this. It's really not as bad as people say it is. Once you reach Wailoku Overlook, however, the road continues and gets much more rock-crawly. You can continue down this road for 2-3 miles, in a 4WD vehicle with a confident but careful driver, or by foot. There are at least three trailheads you can access from this road, the last of which is the Pepe'opae Bog Trail, at the very end of the road. It is an out and back trail with significant elevation gain/loss, and is maybe 1.5 mile each way (definitely more than 1 mile!). The trail has a "boardwalk", which consists of, at most, two 2x4s (but usually just one) covered with metal grating. The boardwalk is not well-maintained, being significantly overgrown, rotted out, submerged, or just completely non-existent in some places. The first 1/4 mile or so of the trail is not so bad, but it quickly becomes rather treacherous. I highly recommend wearing actual hiking shoes for this one, specifically boots because it would be very easy to twist or break an ankle on this trail if you misstep. There are a lot of very steep, slippery ups and downs with hardly any boardwalk and an open drop on the other side. There are also a lot of very wet board bridges. It's very difficult to sightsee or birdwatch on this trail because you have to be rather diligent about watching your step. Please only look around/snap photos when you are at a better spot in the trail, and TAKE YOUR TIME! This trail took us a couple of hours. At the end of the trail is a sweeping view of the Pelekunu Valley. There is an opening in the trail before the end with this view as well. We stopped and rested here before turning back, but the trail continued down back into the cliffside jungle (I'm not sure how much further it was to the actual end). You can see and hear the native apapane flying around here. There are lots of bugs, being a bog/rainforest, so bug spray is a good idea if you are sensitive. I wore shorts and a tank top and I was fine, even walking through the overgrowth in some places, but some people might prefer pants or long sleeves. This part of the forest is the only 15% of Molokai's native rainforest left, so please do your best to stay on the trail (it's not possible in some places) and try not to disturb the wildlife.