Okolehao Trail

HARD 75 reviews

Okolehao Trail is a 4.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Hanalei, Hawaii that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
4.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1305 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

muddy

scramble

Also dubbed Hanalei River Trail and Hihimanu Trail, this ridgeline ascent behind Hanalei offers a one-of-a-kind behind the curtains view of the valley and the ocean beyond. After a few hundred yards of mild forest meandering the trail turns left and thus begins a challenging half-mile climb to the first vista, a clearing next to an electrical tower that gives a taste of what visual splendor awaits those who proceed. For many, this initial climb and view may suffice. For those who wish to venture on, the hike tames down a bit, following the ridgeline. Close to the one mile mark look for the notable tree known as "Woody." Keep climbing another 5-10 minutes and you reach the second flat plateau with sweeping views of Hanalei Bay, Hanalei Pier, the Kilauea Lighthouse, Princeville, the taro fields you left behind, and Bali Hai. For the truly adventurous, the trail continues on and after the 1.5 mile mark turns into a rope-assisted climb (literally) of Hihimanu Ridge (Kauais Twin Peaks)... often with significant mud. This last section is arduous, can be dangerous, and should only be attempted by experienced hikers who dont have a fear of heights. At the end of the Okolehao Trail is another plateau and you see everything you did before plus the Hanalei River coming out of the mountain valley and a close up view of all the mountains including Waialeale. In total you can see 1/5 of the entire island. The trail can be muddy and slick if it has rained at all in the last few days, so be sure to grab a walking stick at the trailhead from the pile near the bridge. If planning on doing the entire climb, itd be wise to start early and bring plenty of water. The round trip hike should take around 4-5 hours if moving at a decent pace.

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2 months ago

the bench is past the first look out point with the electric wires. it is worth it to make it up to the bench which I believe is about a mile in. the path is easy to follow. if you want to go past the bench, the path becomes much smaller and steeper as you ascend and descend. there are ropes along the way that help tremendously. there was no mud when I went and the hike was hard, but enjoyable. you have many good views along the way. I cant imagine how difficult it would be in the mud as the paths can become quite narrow and very steep at parts.

total distance in 2.5 miles. I did the 5 miles round trip in about 4 hours including stopping for pictures and water breaks.

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2 months ago

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2 months ago

If you plan to venture to the very end of this trail. Plan on bringing good mud shoes, plenty of water, and gloves for the ropes...
It's decently better if it hasn't rained for a couple of days...
It's a great and challenging trail!

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3 months ago

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3 months ago

We made it past the bench and up 8 ropes. Wish we had more water so we could have gone farther, but we enjoyed hiking this trails for 4 hours. Would go again in a heartbeat!!

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3 months ago

It was really strenuous on the way up. I am so thankful that I had trekking poles! It started raining when I got to the bench so I didn't go past the bench but I'd do it again!

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3 months ago

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4 months ago

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4 months ago

I started this hike with considerable trepidation. I'm 65 -in good shape for my age, but no Ironman. I had meniscus surgery 10 weeks ago. Hiking solo -yeah, I know that isn't the best idea, but all my young relatives declined, and finally went home yesterday. But, it was a great adventure.

I was fortunate that it had hardly rained in the past seven days. I STRONGLY advise against this hike if it has rained recently. Downright dangerous. Even without recent rain I can guarantee you will slip at least once.

The first 1/3 of the hike is moderate -to about Mile 1.5. Then it becomes strenuous.I recommend long pants. Fortunately, I had along convertible pants, and added the lower legs at Mile 1.75. You need at least medium tread. Some other hikers had jogging shoes. One had Tevas. I'd advise something a tad sturdier, if you have it.

I didn't actually quite make it to the end. I'm pretty sure I was very close, but there was one very long rope climb left, and I figured I had seen what I wanted to see. Besides, I was concerned about my knee on the trip back down.

Allowing 15 minutes more to finish would have made the trip 6 hours at a steady pace. I saw that AllTrails introduction said "4-5 hours." Well, maybe. Seems skimpy to me. I was moving at a pretty good pace. It isn't easy to hurry; there are just too many obstacles. Sounds like a long time to do just 4.1 miles each way, but it's not an easy hike.

But, quite recommended.