Pupukea Summit Trail

MODERATE 54 reviews

Pupukea Summit Trail is a 10.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Waimea, Hawaii that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

10.3 miles
2250 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



mountain biking

nature trips

trail running




wild flowers





A long hike but most of it is on a road.

1 month ago

Very disappointing to read about all the car break ins that occur. This seems to happen at just about every hike I have read about.

5 months ago

The road portion is 2.5 miles from the boy scout camp. Look for a clearing on the right immediately after a bridge. This will take you to Koolau Summit and Trail. Once you reach Black Juction marked by two wooden signs, veer left if you want to go an old helipad with a view. Veer right to continue on the summit trail which will take you to Pu'u Hina in about 1.5 miles. At Pu'u Hina , you can turn around or continue to hike along the Koolau Summit. Very overgrown and muddy. If you miss the critical junction, the road will take you all the way to Kahuku. So, remember to look for the junction off the road at 2.5 miles from the camp. This is not the state maintained Kaunala trail I am talking about. The complete loop as depicted on the map is the Kaunala Loop trail. The actual Pupukea Summit Trail goes to the helipad and ends there.

5 months ago

Reading these reviews I think that most of the posters have this trail mixed up with the Kaunala Loop trail. Both park at the same spot, both begin on the same paved army road, but the Loop Trail is the "real" state trail. This "summit" trail is supposed to be just a long slog uphill on the old Army training area roads. Unfortunately looks like a lot of posts here are describing the Kaunala Loop Trail.

6 months ago

Very interesting place. Nice hike.

10 months ago

Nice trail. Would say easy versus the moderate as shown. Nice way to spend an hour and a half or so in the sunshine.

11 months ago

This trail is not that bad. Pretty cool views, some good uphills too. The only problem with this map are the two spots that overlap each other. They got us pretty lost because they are not accurate. Hike down the "paved" trail until you see the second, yellow warning gate. Turn left and follow the old abandoned highway until you get to another warning fence. Just before it there will be a washed out part of the highway on the right and a steep trail up covered in red mud with another warning sign- take it. It may have a lot of debris but it clears up just over the hill. Follow that trail until you see a trail head for Kaunala trail on your left(there will be a tan tree growing out over the dropoff on your right). Follow this trail for quite some time and it will take you back to that original "paved" road. Safe travels!

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Love it, so beautiful. There is actually two great spots for amazing views, but you have to find the short little off shoots for both of them that lead to clearings to see out over the valley, they are both kind of hidden. I used to Run this trail every morning when I loved in Pupukea, absolutly perfect for a nice 45 minute run, never gains or loses elevation to much. Do not let the gate and warning signs at the entrance scare you, it is accessible to the public, though during the week you might run into some military exercises on the pupukea range, and it is also a very popular hug hunting location. Like all other trail-head's on Oahu, don't park here with a rental car, you have a high chance of getting broken into. Make you car look like a North Shore car, beat up with lots of stickers, and they will leave you alone :)

Friday, January 13, 2017

Had a nice hike on this trail. Easy to follow. Very rooty and muddy in some sections. If you have kids or strollers u could just do the road part along the eastern side. CAUTION: our car was broken into at the parking site at the trailhead. Both passenger side windows were smashed and some stuff stolen.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Tried to follow the loop - unsuccessfully. Ended up doubling back a few times.
Very isolated and great foliage.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Good hike!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Easy trail, great strawberry guava harvest :) and good little work out. Great if you want an easy few hours of wilderness - not epic views but some good ones, too much road walking for me

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Not bad, it was a little long for my 5 year old but with a few breaks he made it... Clear cut path

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Nice clean trail, but the end summit view is blocked by multiple power lines

Sunday, March 13, 2016


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Great hike in the woods with a good mix of up and down through switchbacks. If you do the loop I did there is about a 2 mile stretch where it is paved road but this is where you'll get some great views too.

Monday, September 07, 2015

Not sure if the juice was worth the squeeze. Quite an up hill hike for not that great of a view. If you do take this loop remember that part of the hike is on paved road. I saved the road for the end. The view of Waimea Bay is closest to the road. There wasn't much of a view on the actual trail. Lots of foliage and steep drop offs. Would not attempt if you're not in shape or don't like to get a good sweat.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Kaunala Trai

Sunday, November 16, 2014

This loop trail reminds me of the Maunalaha-Kanealole at Tantalus. Very well graded, contour trail around the Pupukea-Paumalu Forest Reserve. The trail is wide enough to mountain bike on it but might be slippery and muddy after a rainfall. Great for families with young kids. 2.5-3 hours to complete the entire loop. The biggest disappointment about this trail is the 2 miles long road walking.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

A nice little Trail for a sunny afternoon. Along the way you find pink wristbands stick to them and you never do a detour. At the top you will be rewarded with a great view over the Nort Shore and the Drop Off point of Skydive :) Do it - it will take you about 4.5h from the Backpackers Hostel.

Friday, January 10, 2014

We ended up doing over 7 miles by the time we made it back to the cars. I think there are several options because another group left the same time we did and they did around 4 miles. It was a good trail with a little mud. Not much for scenic views, lots of climbing but they were not steep climbs. This trail is a loop but it begins and ends in different places along a paved military access paved road. Parking is along the side of the road just out side the boy scout camp at the end of Pupukea Road. We crossed a few creeks but they were easy to cross and didn't give us much trouble. Some places along the trail were always shady so they didn't have a chance to dry out but it hadn't rained in a few days so it wasn't too bad. Bring plenty of water and snacks because this hike could end up being much longer than you expect, as it did for us.

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