Pu’u Eke & Pu’u O Umi Forest Reserve is a 7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Waikoloa, Hawaii that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
7.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,316 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

nature trips

off road driving

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

bugs

muddy

over grown

no dogs

The oldest of the five major volcanic structures on the Big Island of Hawaii, the mist-shrouded Kohala Mountains house a wonderland of dense tropical forest, magnificent waterfalls and spectacular canyons, to mention a few of the many features. Pu'u Eke is a hill of about 5088 feet in the Pu'u O Umi Forest Reserve. This trail can lead on to Pu'u Kaumo O Kaleihoohie the second highest point in the North Kohala mountains (although this is how the puu is named on current topo maps the Hawaiian translation would indicate that it would be Kuamo'o kalei o'ohie which translates to "road to a grand view"). From that you can also continue to traverse the Kohala Summit trail onto Pu'u O Umi - the highest point in the range.

hiking
18 days ago

Is there even a trail? The forest is badly marked and full of crossing paths. It’s muddy, wet, easy to get lost, and you’ll end up frustrated looking for your own way through the thicket back onto the grassland. At any rate, I think the track shown here is way off. The first part on the ”off-road road” is pretty boring, but for sure you can have a hiking workout there.

hiking
24 days ago

Awesome hike! Go on a clear sunny day for amazing views. You can even see a herd of cows if you get up high enough.

3 months ago

This trail wasn’t there and we went all the way up to the top of a mountain

hiking
3 months ago

The route shown on the main map is not correct. I will suggest mine to replace this.

hiking
4 months ago

Drove up the first ranchland section in my 4WD Pilot (not lifted), a bit hairy in sections (rocks & drops) but almost made it till the forest line, had to park before the last hill due to mud. Started the hike at the red gate around 1pm (couldn't start earlier due to my schedule, but wish I had). Weather was cloudy/foggy the whole time with light rain. Took about an hour from the gate to go around 3/4 mile on the main trail to the windy ridge line. I was walking carefully so as not to step in the mud puddles in the trail, but it gives you an idea of how much time it can take to navigate the trail carefully. When I got to the ridge, I followed a trail to the right (east) along the ridge, and as I was following trail markers on trees, I spend another hour and a half or so traveling just over a mile or so (This section of the trail is less muddy), and found myself back near the start! The mist is so thick here it Is hard to keep going the direction you want. And when I returned following markers on the path I had taken, I noticed how many trails spurs there are with markers. Got back to my vehicle just after 5pm. It was quicker going back, as I didn't care so much about getting muddy. Slipped into one mud spot that was up past my knee (yes, 2 ft. deep). With all that said, the forest here is beautiful, and unlike anything I'd seen while living on this island the last 30+ years. Will come back and make it to the summits next time, now that I have more of my bearings. Only attempt this trail if you enjoy suffering, and if you do, it will be worth it!

hiking
10 months ago

Took us 7.5 hours / 6.5 miles, although we did take our time in the beginning, and we had our 2.5 year old.

I DO NOT recommend doing the forest. Until then, it was a pleasant uphill climb on green pastureland with beautiful scenery of 3 volcanoes. Moderate difficulty, with a few steep parts.

Once in the forest, though, it quickly got more difficult. Narrow, rocky, muddy trail not maintained well. We pushed forward, wanting to reach the destination / turn-around point provided by Alltrails. It got even worse, more muddy (even though it's been a relatively dry winter and no rain recently), and we lost the trail a few times. My wife even fell backward into a deep puddle and was soaked with mud. We finally got to the destination -- and there was nothing there! No lookout point, just more forest. We did enjoy sitting in the cushy moss having lunch in the shade, but it was underwhelming to say the least, especially given how hard we worked.

We tried to take the trail going down, and it veered northwest, which was ok with us, as long as we were on a trail and ideally not the one we came up on. But we eventually lost it, which meant lots of bushwacking through dense brush. Fortunately, we had my GPS to navigate back out of the forest to a hole in the fence to the pastureland, took some ladders over barbed wire fence, and all the way back down (well, actually, we were lucky to hitch a ride in the back of a pick-up for much of it).

While it was scenic and quite an adventure, I do not recommend going into the forest or spending much time there. I wish this was clearer to us.

backpacking
Sunday, October 01, 2017

Went up on a super clear morning which was nice for a view 100% of the time but somewhat scorching hot as the breeze was minimal and no shade for about 2 hours hiking up the hill. (I was training with a large backpack which slowed me down some and I suspect most people without a heavy pack on would make it up faster).

Once we made it to the tree line, my big black pooch, and I saw a boar and a few hunters. We didn't want to get caught in the middle of anything and quickly got away from the area back down the hill. So beware of that, especially if you have a dog that could be mistaken for a black boar or that gets lost on hikes chasing after pigs or their smells. I'd do this again, maybe without the dog and earlier in the day to avoid the heat. Didn't make it to a waterfall or anything other than the tree line. Great views.

walking
Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Late afternoon walk to the tree line. Got there at sunset and back to the truck just before dark. Nice views.

hiking
Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Don't get me wrong - this was a great hike. However, somewhere along the way I believed there would be a great view from the top but that reward was elusive due to the low tree canopy, even though the weather was clear. The abrupt change about half way up from hiking pastureland to the moist forest bog was welcome and intriguing. The trail was muddy, however, and I found myself going knee deep in it a few times. Something better than the running shoes I was wearing would be advised. Despite being marked with flagging, it seemed easy to lose the trail, especially when searching for firm footing. Not a risk really of getting seriously lost, but if you lost the trail it could be a long and uncomfortable hike out.

hiking
Saturday, October 04, 2014

This trail is about 6 miles return. The first segment is a 4WD across the neighboring grassland to the Pu'u O Umi Forest Reserve. Then it is a hike along the forest fence line to the second a-frame stile for access to the trail. Once on the trail, it is a good adventure through the pristine Ohia to get to the top. It is a cloud montane bog with lots of lichen and moss. The Ohia are one of the tallest around and the views across the "bowls" to Kaumo and Umi are majestic.

Watch out for the rolling fog that makes its way in after noon. You will need a compass due to poor visibility. Start early so that you can get in and back out before it rolls in. This trail is a favorite of local hunters, so watch out for wild boar. All in all, there are beautiful views of Mauna Kea, Hualalai, and even Haleakala from here.

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

recorded muddy

hiking
6 months ago

10 months ago

hiking
Tuesday, October 10, 2017

hiking
Sunday, September 24, 2017

walking
Saturday, June 03, 2017

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Saturday, December 10, 2016

hiking
Sunday, February 14, 2016

hiking
Saturday, October 12, 2013