Okolehao Trail

HARD 51 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.

5 days ago

hiking
5 days ago

12 days ago

hiking
13 days 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.

29 days 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.

1 month ago

1 month ago

1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

After a rainy morning the whether became better but the whole way was really slippery and you have to be careful where to step.
After one km you have already a nice view but there are electricity strings in the way.
After two km way you reach the nicer lookout of the hanalei bay. It is really awesome and you can have a rest on a bench.
We choose to go back because we're not sure about the rain. The way back was quite challenging. We would say the only thing which is hard is the slippery ground. But view is worth it! ;)

hiking
2 months ago

Very nice hike! Never able to find the end? We turned around after 2miles. Great views :) Would like to do it again but until the top!!

hiking
2 months ago

trail running
2 months ago

2 months ago

2 months ago

Trail dry, hiking sticks helpful, shade while way, great views!

4 months ago

4 months ago

4 months ago

4 months ago

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.

hiking
5 months ago