Olympus via Kolowalu

HARD 64 reviews

Olympus via Kolowalu is a 4.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Honolulu, Hawaii that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
4.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2335 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

hiking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

bugs

muddy

old growth

over grown

rocky

scramble

no dogs

A more direct approach to the Koolaus and Olympus ( Awa'awa'loa). Kolowalu is a finger ridge that connects to Wa'ahila Ridge. You gain elevation very quickly, and is quite demanding and a good cardio workout, even for a veteran hiker. A finger ridge trail that can be very mudd yand slippery. 95 percent uphill. Elevation gain 1400 feet in less than a mile. Trail ends at the junction with Wa'ahila Ridge. Continue on Wa'ahile ridge to the Koolau summit.

hiking
14 days ago

This hike offers a beautiful view. When I hike in Hawaii I bring micro spikes with me. Bring one on this hike as well because it will help you. It can be extremely muddy all year round. Oh... do bring gloves and have extra bags and towels at your vehicles to store your dirty shoes and wipe yourself down. You probably be muddy.

hiking
18 days ago

Harder than I thought...especially when you’re not comfortable using ropes in muddy areas.

hiking
1 month ago

Our route:
We staged a car at Wa'ahila state park at 7am, and drove the 10-15min to Pu'u Pia/Kolowalu trailhead. Hiked up to Mount Olympus then down Wa'ahila trail back to the park. 5.5mi, 2600ft elev, and 5hrs total, that's with multiple longer breaks as well.

The ascent is relentless, but it's really not that bad if you're in shape and the conditions aren't wet. Liken it to 3x Koko Head maybe? Very strenuous for most, but doable. No scary parts or death drops, sorry thrill seekers. But there are some stunning views, and if you're lucky enough to have a clear day at the summit, you'll want to hangout for a while!

@niiimz_

hiking
2 months ago

challeging hike .
Really exausting the first hour then when u Turn left to mount olympus its all about ropes and some steep ways. The views are great along the way. Make sure u bring hiking shoes otherwise it gets really dangerous. Bring at least 2 bottle of water and some food.

hiking
2 months ago

One of the more challenging hikes I’ve been on, it’s almost all uphill and pretty steep at parts. Got rained on a couple times on the ridge so I would recommend checking to weather and bringing a light jacket for cover as it did get a little chilly in the rain with all the wind. Hiking up through the clouds was quite the experience, albeit exhausting. A good amount of rope sections here, and I would advise wearing gloves if you have them as some of the ropes are pretty rough on non callused hands. The actual peak itself is not in an open area, so the views from there are difficult to find, but the false summit just below has very rewarding views when the clouds finally parted. Only giving it 4 stars for the large sections that are badly eroded and a little more difficult to maneuver (more ropes in these areas could help).

3 months ago

Super fun and not to hard, definitely my favorite hike and the view is definitely worth it, the only hard part is the beginning which is straight up hill and the end which is another intense climb with ropes, but you can definitely feel the mana when your up there

hiking
3 months ago

First mile is a killer cardio workout. Always love doing Mt Olympus, but this the first time taking the Kolowalu to get to the main trail...great hike to do before having to go into work this afternoon.

4 months ago

Absolutely loved the views from the summit! Can see all over the island. Not sure why this hike doesn't get more hype.

4 months ago

Great hike. Not too hard but no too easy either. A nice way to spend half a day. there are great views along the way and at the top on a clear sunny day. try to do this hike when the trail is dry, otherwise it would be pretty treacherous when wet.

hiking
5 months ago

There aren't many places where you can drive 20 minutes from a city downtown to a trailhead and be immediately in wilderness. What an amazing hike. The first mile is not fun but so worth it. It was a beautiful day, and the views at the summit were unbelievable. The highlight of my visit!

hiking
7 months ago

Awesome hike, might be my new favorite! The first mile or so is steep, then it evens out until you climb ropes at the summit. Would not be a good idea at all in the rain so check the weather. Did not find it to be sketchy and trails were marked with actual signs, nice! Entrance is down Alani St. It happened to be very clear when we got to the top for amazing views of Honolulu, Pearl Harbor, Kailua, Kaneohe Bay and the Kaau Crater. Must do!
Oh also not dog friendly unless you do a shortened version.

hiking
8 months ago

Fun and tough hike. It's pretty much a long and continuous uphill until you finally summit. This peak is a cloud magnet though, so you need to get lucky for optimal views. I went on a cloudy day and still thought the views were fantastic. You can see so much from up there such as Honolulu, Diamond Head, Three Peaks, Chinaman's Hat and a ton of the Ko'olau Range. For more info check out my blog post!

https://www.thehikinghi.com/single-post/2017/02/26/Mount-Olympus-via-Kolowalu-Trail

8 months ago

Nice hike to the top on a clear day.

9 months ago

One of my most memorable experiences on Oahu

hiking
9 months ago

If you're coming from Manoa the first mile or mile and half is all incline but after that is super easy. There are some few ropes on some parts of the trail. We went when it was super cloudy, but decided to stay at the top a bit longer and it eventually cleared up. You can overlook Kaneohe, Kailua, Waimanalo, Diamond Head, the airport runway and of course Ka'au Crater. There are 2 falls summit. Other than the super crazy incline in the beginning this hike is super awesome! Would do it again.

hiking
9 months ago

definitely a good cardio workout. this peak is most often times cloudy, make sure to go on a clear day to catch the beautiful views.

10 months ago

Not a technical hike but definitely steady uphill, narrow path at some places which will slow you down. Make sure you bring enough water and mosquito repellent

hiking
10 months ago

Great trail! It is a little muddy and be prepared to do some light climbing. Several spots to enjoy the view and take some really nice pictures of Honolulu.

10 months ago

Amazing trail, with incredible views at almost every corner. There are a couple of campsites and false peaks along the way, but the views from there are almost as good as from the peak. We went when it was raining and it was quite a rigorous trail, but if it's dry, it would be absolutely perfect for anyone who is relatively in shape. Bring snacks and multiple bottles of water!

11 months ago

Really fun hike! Tough first mile with steep uphill and a couple of switchbacks. Then make a left at the Ridge trail. Great views of diamond head, Waikiki, and Honolulu all the way to the summit. Basically you walk from South Oahu to East Oahu and are rewarded with stunning views of Kailua and the windward shore. Wind and mud adds an exciting element of danger as gale force winds try to blow you off the slippery one foot wide Ridge path and down the thousand foot drop on both sides. Washable trail runners with good traction are a must.

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