Okolehao Trail

HARD 62 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
1440 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.

hiking
7 hours ago

hiking
4 days ago

hiking
17 days 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!!

hiking
18 days 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!

hiking
20 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month 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.

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

Lovely trail, steadily steep for quite a while, semi-torturous. Beautiful views. If you want to get to the bench: at power line, face back towards the trail you came in on, and take the main trail to the right. It's about 20 more minutes. Really nice up there.

1 month ago

Went looking for the bench that no longer exists, but had a great time!

1 month ago

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Lots of uphill getting there, but the vistas are worth it!! Make sure it's been sunny for a full 2 days, or the mud may inhibit your ability to even get started. It will definitely make doing the entire hike a dangerous prospect.

To the resting bench: Great hike with dogs - if you don't have a pup, borrow one from the ASPCA for a field trip you'll both enjoy!

If you go to the very end at the twin peaks, have a hiking buddy (and no dog) because the ropes/cables can be tricky. Also, they are much easier going up than coming down in my experience. Gloves are helpful for the downhill climbs. Every view point is better than the last, but you really have to earn each one. The rim portions can be very narrow - I slipped off the edge once, thinking I was stepping in shrubbery overgrown on the path. It takes longer than you may expect, so plan accordingly.

2 months ago

My husband and I really enjoyed this trail. It's very steep for the first half mile, then becomes a series of inclines and declines after the first lookout. I'm not sure it needs the "hard" designation though - it was about the same level of toughness as most of the other trails we did while on Kauai.

While the first lookout is beautiful (save for the power lines in the middle of the view), it's gets far better along the way.

Also, for any women planning to hike, I recommend longer pants. Most of the path is shaded, but there are a number of narrow passages with sharp brush.

2 months ago

2 months ago

3 months ago

Great view spots. Not too hard of a trail. 2 hours up, 1 down.

hiking
3 months ago