Pu’u Eke & Pu’u O Umi Forest Reserve

HARD 10 reviews

Pu’u Eke & Pu’u O Umi Forest Reserve is a 5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Waimea, Hawaii that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

5.0 miles
2047 feet
Out & Back




nature trips

off road driving






wild flowers





old growth

over grown


washed out

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.

2 months ago

2 months ago

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.

2 months ago

6 months ago

7 months ago

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

9 months ago

9 months ago

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.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

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.

Saturday, October 12, 2013