Nuuanu Trail

MODERATE 38 reviews
#7 of 10 trails in

Nuuanu Trail is a 5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Honolulu, Hawaii that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round.

5.0 miles
1558 feet

kid friendly



nature trips





wild flowers





old growth

over grown


washed out

no dogs

Primarily a switchback trail that starts from Judd Trail and takes you up to Pauoa ridge. Once the ridge is gained, make a sharp left and head towards the Koolau along the ridge. You will pass a bench with great views of the valley and the adjacent Tantalus ridge and Pu'u Ohia. Continue along the ridge until you hit the Pauoa Flats Trail. From here, you can turn around and go back to where you started or explore further. Taking the left turn and passing Aihualama Trail junction will take you to a nice lookout point of Nuuanu Valley and reservoir. Taaking the right will take you to Kalawahine or Manoa Cliffs/ Puu Ohia and beyond.

5 months ago

There was a down pour and it got muddy and sticky. Best do research of the trail 1st before you go, or else you'd get lost easily

6 months ago

Everyone who is saying this is kid friendly and easy are referring to Judd Trail and that is a loop. Nu'uanu Pali Trail is not a loop but more like a horseshoe. The 5 mile hike connects you to other trails on the other side of the mountain. If you walk it alone then when you get to the other side of the mountain you'll have to turn around and hike the 5 miles back to your car. Also - parts of the hike are not well labeled with signs. I did this hike today and went in a direction with markers on the trees and it was straight up the mountain and a pain in the butt to slide back down. The views were amazing but it wasn't part of the 5 mile trail. Just it's own thing. After my friend and I realized we went the wrong way we THEN decided once we saw the sign for the trail to go a head and do it since we were there. That's when we learned from other hikers that if we went the full 5 miles that we'd have to turn around and hike back to where we started (10 total miles) Going down this mountain killed our knees. Lol. Now that we know all that we know we will do it again and be more prepared. What we thought was going to be a couple hours took 5 HOURS! Great learning experience. We were exhausted at the end!

8 months ago

Most people will take the contour trail past the first bench to the Pauoa Flats bench. Alternatively, you can also take the ridge above the contour trail. You have to look for the junction and its a little less obvious. The ridge will also take you down to the same bench overlooking Nuuanu reservoir. Or, you can just take this route as the return route as it will be easier to find the ridge trail.

9 months ago

This is a fun and easy hike to a beautiful waterfall!

11 months ago

Beautiful but confusing. Got lost.

11 months ago

Really enjoyed this trail! It was my first solo hike here (youngish female w/ 1.5 years on island) and this trail was perfect. Just the right amount of a workout with slightly precarious footing at times, but nothing I was scared or worried to do on my own. Also just the right amount of fellow hikers - enough to feel safe but I also felt very alone and peaceful in the woods. The views were really nice, there is one particular spot where you can look far to your right and see Waikiki beach area and look to your left and see straight through the valley to the Kailua side ocean - incredible to see both sides of the island at once! Plus, the beginning/end is right by a nice stream with little pools and waterfalls which I relished cooling off in after my hike. I took my time and spent 4 hours and I would definitely recommend this hike:)

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Off of Pali Hwy, Judd Trail to Nu'uanu Trail was a great hike, but was super muddy with lots of tree roots on Sep 25th. Rock crossing at creek slippery. Great views. 10 year old handled it just fine. Would do it again when dry.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Crossing a lot of river rocks. Need good grip shoes. Follow the river.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Loved this trail, great views!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Couldn't find the trail the directions to the spot led us to the middle of no where waste of time. Maybe would have been better if we could have found the actual hiking trail

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Love this trail. The waterfalls is worth the hike. Be sure to bring bug spray!!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Best part is getting to the waterfall and seeing the reservoir!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Fun hike. Took offshoot from Judd. Beautiful view of Honolulu at top.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

We started from Judd Trail, hop over some rocks to cross over the river, and made our way towards Nuuanu Trail, which branches off from Judd ( a loop trail to Jackass ginger) Nuuanu Trail has a few switchbacks and most f the way is clear except for a few eroded sections and blowdowns but nothing dangerous. Got to the ridge top in 45 minutes and headed right along the ridge instead of the left towards Koolau range. The ridge towards makai was quite clear and not too difficult to walk on. Found some huge mango trees and also came aross a family of pigs and piglets! We hiked all the way until we came to the top above a house. This is where we stop. There is also a junction ( heavily ribboned) that takes you down to the valley and Pauao stream ( which is usually dry). Lookout for old poles and pipe system of yesteryears. Further up along the Pauaoa stream are two waterfalls so wait for the right time. You canlso access these waterfalls from Kalawahine trail ( shorter way too). Plan ahead with a topo and bring enough water as the ridge top can be very hot and thevalley very humid during the summer months.

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