Mount Kaala Trail is a 6.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Waianae, Hawaii that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking and rock climbing and is accessible year-round.
At more than 6 miles and 5,000ft of elevation gain it's one of the most difficult hikes on the O'ahu but it's worth the work to ascend to the highest point on the island. From certain points there are amazing views of the Waianae Valley and Coastline and of the North Shore.
Awesome views. Takes a good amount of time, took 4 of us which included a 13 year old 6.5 hours.
It was actually a really fun trail.
So to give you a description on how to get there.. The road you're going to go down to get to the trail is a one lane road so be careful. The trail is at the end of the road. You'll see a Budweiser sign and that's where it begins. Btw this is a hunter territory so don't get to loud. The first mile you'll be on a paved road (watch your knees) after that you'll begin the ascend. So you're go through the trail (watch your step and look at the views) then after a bit you're going to come to a "fork in the road" but you'll see a Ka'ala trail sign... Follow it or go left. You'll pass a stream and then there's another fork... Go left. After that left you'll begin a 1000ft incline. Make sure to take your time as needed. At the end of the incline you'll hit a small fence, go right. There is a lookout about 50ft down the path.. keep going there is a better view just a little further. Keep going by the fence and when the fence takes a sharp left keep going straight. Soon you'll hit huge rock incline once you see that you'll have another 1300ft to go. After this incline you'll reach the Plateau. Go through the wildlife reservation til you see a gate... go through by this point you'll be at the observatory and it seems that it's over... DON'T BE FOOLED! Better views to come. Go toward the big fence and take a left and you'll see a gate go through and close the gate... so on and so on you'll see North Shore and Schofield. Beautiful views and you've reached the top.
Be careful, watch your step, have fun, BRING FOOD AND WATER when muddy take it slow. Suggest planning it out. Intermediate hikers and above I suggest. Your knees may hurt afterward. Stay blessed and have fun!
It's about a 6 hour hike.
Insane hike checks all the boxes
This was a great trail to hear the birds and be in the forest and nice. THERE IS A LOT OF THIS TRAIL UPHILL. Be prepared hahaha. But all in all good views and a nice time to be in nature
Difficult hike bit well worth the effort. Have done nearly every year I visit Oahu.
Don't even think of doing this hike alone, if you are doing it with others still don't do this under any circumstances!!! I cannot in good conscience recommend this to anyone.
Great trail. I somehow thought it would be a challenging run...not much running on the way up. However, good trail running shoes are fine. some of the ropes could use attention but overall in pretty good shape. It is a good 1.5 hours to the radar station and not much faster coming down when it's wet. Just have to get past the concrete road at the beginning...
Tough trail. The first 2/3 of the trail is a steep ascent that will test cardio. The next part involves climbing with ropes, some spots pretty tough. Towards the top, the elevation levels out and eventually you will walk across planks in the protected wetlands until you reach the end at the Air Force Radar Station. Only bad part is the never ending walk up the paved road after parking and before reaching the actual trail.
Thinking about doing this with my wife in a couple of weeks when we come here for vacation. Should we pack a pair of hiking boots or should our nike free running shoes be sufficient?
Awesome hike. Awesome views.
One of my favorite hikes on Oahu. Only thing I regret was that I waited until we were moving, so I only got to go once. It was a great hike, lots of incline, decent shade, boulders to climb over, an awesome board walk through the forest. I was cloudy so my view was not that great, but still a great hike!!