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 is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
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.
One of my favourites.
Really enjoyed this hike, lots of birds singing, beautiful greenery and flowers.
Saw a cane toad, a giant centipede, kangaroo rats, geckos, various birds and little newts.
We did the full 2.5 miles (5 miles out and back)
First mile and a half is steep but fairly easy.
After the 1.75 mile marker, it gets kind of funky. Ropes are anchored to help you up and down.
Lots of strawberry guava were ripe for the picking.
Good views of Hanalei bay to the west and the lush jungle to the east.
Great hike. After crossing the bridge make sure to grab one of the many walking sticks left by previous hikers. You will need it.
At about 100 steps you will come to a wide muddy area. Take your time and position your steps well. You don't want to get your shoes to muddy from the get go. If you minimize the mud here the rest of your hike will be a lot more fun.
If you like a workout this is s good one as you start going up right away and for an extended period. At the half mile mark you get a great view of the bay with power lines overhead. The next half mile keeps your legs burning too. After the first mile you get another view without power lines. The last .75 mikes is fun. The trail is skinnier and make your way threw small jungle areas. At the top you get a panoramic view of multiple sides of the island.
Definitely recommend if you want a good workout. I would bring a small backpack with a towel and socks just in case you get a little too muddy at the beginning. Walking stick is a must as it will help with coming down, can be slippery.
Muddy and challenging canopied stretches opening to sweeping views of Hanalei Bay and Princeville.
This was ridiculously muddy and swampy. You can't take in any of the scenery because you're too focused on keeping your footing and not slipping down the trail. It's really steep in spots, going up was much easier than coming down.
Beginning of the trail was very muddy. The way up to the first look out ( bench) was ok if it's wet it can be a bit slippery. However if someone want to do the whole trail be aware. It's slippery, the path can be very narrow and one has to slow down In order to make sure where to step. Couple of place are a bit sketchy. On my way to the end a couple of people turned around because they thought it was too dangerous. I don't think the view at the end was worth it. Again, the first lookout I would recommend but not the whole hike.
Very spectacular views!! A variety of terrain and beautiful flowers. Amazing hiking trail... a must for the adventurer!
Being an avid hiker for many years (2-3 day/wk), in good shape, in my early 30's. One of the more challenging trails I have done on the island. I hiked at an aggressive pace, so it was a great workout. The first 3rd of the trail is pretty straight foward, I agree with some of the other reviews though, once you ascend higher up, the trail becomes more narrow, and less pronounced. If you stick with it, you get amazing views of Hanalei Bay; it's definitely worth the effort, and loved the hike. Highly recommended it, but if it has rained within 24hrs of your hike, the trail may be a bit slick in areas, and cause it to become more difficult.