Pupukea Summit Trail

MODERATE 51 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.

DISTANCE
10.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2969 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

bugs

muddy

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

hiking
4 days 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.

hiking
4 days ago

hiking
4 days 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.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Very interesting place. Nice hike.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

3 months ago

road biking
3 months ago

3 months ago

5 months ago

hiking
5 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.

hiking
6 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!

6 months ago

7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

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 :)

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

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.

9 months ago

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