Waimano Ridge Trail is a 6.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Pearl City, Hawaii that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.
This is a very diverse trail with a combination of manmade ditch structures, natural streams, ridge crossings, and switchbacks. Segment 1: The Tunnels The start of the trail is graded and wide. It traverses a long fence at the start and finally turns into the reserve with a view towards Pearl Harbor and Waianae. Don't forget to take the right fork in order to stay on the main trail. Taking the left fork will traverse a shorter loop hike into the valley. Continuing on the main trail on the right will take you past the many Waimano ditches and tunnels. Some dry enough for you to walk through (watch your head). On passing tunnel #7 the trail will drop down to cross a feeder stream. Once you cross, look back to see tunnel #8. Climb up and forward, you will then see the state hiking sign. Going left will take you through tunnel #9 (one of the longest) while going right walks you past the tunnel. Both will meet back up just before the #17 scout rest post BSA Kamehameha District Post 540. Segment 2: The Valley Stream Nature From the scout rest post, take the trail heading down into the valley. There are three more tunnels that are less visible, plus a number of ditch features. The trail will also cross Waimano stream and take a series of switchbacks that start to gain elevation. This area is a beautiful respite featuring giant fan palm, huge stands of tall royal palm trees, lots of great koa trees, and steep drop-offs to the stream below. It also houses lots of endemic and foreign birds alike (e.g. sharma, apapane, and amahiki). Phase 3: The Neverending Switchbacks At this point the path begins to narrow and can be fairly overgrown if not recently maintained. The trees are smaller and Ohia is in abundance. It was good to see the many Ohia species - from the rossette, to common red, and yellow/orange too. Keep a look out for the Lobelia and Ko'li'i. Although, it always seems like yet another switchback, take the time to enjoy the cool mountain breezes and clouds. Sounds of water will gurgle up to the swtichbacks as you wonder where is the KST. Once you reach the summit terminus the view of Waihe'e Valley, Kaneohe Bay, and Kualoa is very rewarding. We didn't get to see it this time as we were socked in with rain and forced to turn back before reaching it.
Over grown but easy
One of the easiest 14+ mile hikes I've done. The only reason I could see it being rated as hard is the overgrowth once you hit the point that is no longer maintained.
Good for walkers and runners.
Great trail.... ran most of the trail... some areas are a bit dangerous which adds to the excitement.
Its 14.4 miles in and out.
The whole trail is easily 14+ miles! I made it to mile 6.5 before having to turn back due to time constraints. I was extremely lucky to run on a dry day. the first 5 miles are full of technical single track trail with uneven, rocky, and muddy terrain, but are still runable as long as you have hiking poles for stability. There are multiple spots where you could lose balance easily and fall a great distance down. After mile 5, however, the trail is so overgrown, wet, and slippery(spots of smooth,wet rock are common) that I was forced to walk slowly. I am certain I was within 1 mile of the summit, but I had already reached my 3hour climb limit and had to turn around. I was chasing daylight towards the end. 5 and a half hours with breaks for food and pictures.
Beautiful views. We followed the pink ribbons. Only hiked 4 miles in then turned around because of time. We wanted to find the Falls but couldn't. It was a strenuous hike with lots of mud. Enough terrain changes to make it fun. Few parts where the path narrows but there are ropes and never felt terrifying, just exciting. Narrow enough though that I wouldn't recommend it for kids. We only encountered 2 other people. Very peaceful and well marked. Would have been 5 stars but we were disappointed we couldn't find the falls.