Waimano Ridge Trail is a 14.6 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.

DISTANCE
14.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3,402 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

cave

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

rocky

no dogs

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. Segment 3: The Never-ending 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. 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.

18 days ago

The hike is more challenging then the description indicates. It’s actually a HARD hike and the distance has been miscalculated. It’s a little longer than 14.6 miles as it states.
Walking up to the picnic table should be considered moderate but then once you pass that picnic table and head on down to continue the trail, that’s when it becomes hard because of the overgrowth of bushes and lack of good footing that makes the hike difficult and challenging but doable. Make sure to wear knee high socks or something long that covers your legs as you will be walking through a few miles of bush overgrowth.

20 days ago

Went out with HTMC on 11/18/18. Trail was fantastic as were the folks in the club. I measured it at just over 15 miles much of which was muddy and somewhat difficult. Payoff at The summit was spectacular, would definately recommend this trail but only for stronger hikers with the right gear and mindset

hiking
20 days ago

I found this trail hard! Recommend wearing hiking boots, it was very muddy and the trail was hard to see in places, mainly during the last couple miles. The payoff is beautiful though and even though I fell multiple times coming down I would recommend this trail.

hiking
25 days ago

Hiking on O'ahu can be fun as long as you come prepared before your hike. Here are a list of suggestions and things to do before your hike.

-Hydrate 16 oz to a liter an hour before a hike
-Hiking shoes is best for this trail, you have been warned, lol!!!
-5 mile + hike, a 3 liter bladder might be a good idea (mix it up with performance flavor water)
-Plan ahead by knowing the weather
-Bring body lotion for thigh chafing
-POWER Pack battery
-Cell ph cord
-Cellphone
-Headlight (just in case) keep your hands free hiking at night
-Watch (know how long it took to reach your destination)
-Find out when the sun sets (don't get caught hiking back in the dark, I can tell you countless stories of tourist and locals stranded in the dark with tons of mosquitos)
-Pack SPAM musubi and snacks (you’re burning a lot of energy)
-Portable water purifier pump (no need to bring extra water)
-Know where water sources are
-Pocket knife
-Be courteous to other hikers
-Bring along some Aleve just in case your knees starts to ache
-Blister free crew socks or mole skin patch
-Take a buddy on a hike, aka buddy system
-Finally tell a friend where you are hiking and when you expect to finish the hike (keep in touch by text is best due to low cell signal)
-Placing your cell in airplane mode might be a good idea to save battery. On the other hand, if your hiking alone and you fall off the edge the authorities cannot GPS your location.
-Keep your hiking pack as light as possible. The added weight plus Hawaiian heat and rugged terrain will make this hike miserable. Unless your one of those crossfit buff person who luvs to burn those calories then keep that pack heavy.
-Hiking shoes is best for this trail, you have been warned, lol!!!
-Yard work gloves or Mt. rappel gloves
-High top socks or long pants to keep your sexy legs scare free
-Crampons—during poor trail conditions (muddy and slippery)
-“Leave No Trace” rule
-Hiking Trail Manner: when your hiking down a trail, stop and give way to the person hiking upward. Show some ALOHA :-)

hiking
29 days ago

https://paulcpeh.wixsite.com/mysite/blog/waimano-ridge-trail-pearl-city-oahu-hawaii


It took almost 10 hours from the start to end of the trail and back to the start.

Check Hawaiian Trail and Mountain Club hike schedule for the next Waimano Ridge hike. The trail will be somewhat cleared after they hiked it.

The other two hikes with similiar end view are Manana Ridge Trail and Waiau. Waiau is probably the most difficult. Another possible hike is via Waimalu Ditch but it is very overgrown.

hiking
1 month ago

People are getting multiple hikes at this location confused. We were thinking we were hiking the 2.2 mile loop hike and ended up taking the upper ridge 14 mile hike! We started the hike around 3:45 and ran out of daylight while on the side of the mountain towards the end. There were lots of dark scary tunnels and two stream crossings. We had to use the rope to climb along the edge of the cliff. It was very muddy and slippery! The trail was overgrown in parts so you couldn’t see the ground! There are many parts of the trail that the ridge has a treacherous drop off if you loose your step or slip! This one you definitely want to start the hike early and in good hiking shoes and bring insect repellent! This hike should definitely be rated “”hard” not a moderate!

1 month ago

long hike, moderately difficult until you factor in its length and last 2 miles or so, which together may make this more difficult than it looks on paper. last segment up to the summit is relatively muddy and overgrown. could do with a dog because no climbing. 6 hours at a moderate pace

2 months ago

It was cool going through a long tunnel scary at 1st but cool. It was as long as 200 yard Dash.

2 months ago

Yes I think it should be rated as Difficult primarily due to the length and the last section before the Koolau where it can be very unkempt and slow going.

hiking
3 months ago

This trail should be rated as Hard. Nothing moderate about it. A lot of trails that can make you end up literally being lost and you having to make your own path to get back on track lol. Overall great trail to do.

trail running
6 months ago

This is a great trail for hiking or trail running.
When you compare it with other trails here in Oahu, this trail is easy to moderate. Moderate mostly because it’s length. Very well maintained trail all the way to the last mile and a half, where it gets a little bit overgrown, but not too bad. On the last 2 miles you will notice more mud, more wind and a little narrower trail. The view at the end is beautiful when the weather is good.
There are some sections with ropes to help you advance faster and safer, and they are usually where are dropoffs on the side of the trails.
On the way you have a variety of plants, valley and mountain views, couple of stream crossing and you can even check out some old tunnels.

6 months ago

very diverse trail. ridges and water and tunnels. beautiful.

hiking
8 months ago

I highly doubt that the ones who say this trail is "moderate" "easy" or "kid-friendly" actually got to the ridge. The first 5 miles is quite relaxing. The last 2 is difficult, dangerous and time consuming but well worth it. Someone died on this trail a few years back. #YOLO

hiking
9 months ago

Great family hike. Very little elevation change, the tunnels are a lot of fun for the kids and can be bypassed if wet. Nice picnic table about 2 miles into the hike. Perfect turn around place for young kids and a good spot for a snack.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

This track is 14.4 miles return.

https://paulcpeh.wixsite.com/mysite/blog/waimano-ridge-trail-pearl-city-oahu-hawaii

hiking
Sunday, November 12, 2017

3.5 stars.

Hmm...I'm not sure why this hike is rated "Hard". It's not very difficult at all. The elevation change is barely noticeable for most of the route, and there is only one small 10' feature where a rope is preferred, but definitely not mandatory. That said, it's really beautiful. Definitely worth the hike, but if you're looking for something challenging, this isn't it.

Also, someone posted previously about this trail not being kid-friendly. That's inaccurate. I'd say if your kid is over the age of 6-8 and he/she can't handle this trail, you need to get your kids outside more.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Not kid friendly, steep slopes.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

A long and wet hike. The end is a steep drop off and very peaceful.

hiking
Monday, July 17, 2017

The first thing I noticed was the prominently placed “Public Hunting Area” sign. I quickly checked myself to see if I was wearing even a scrap of hunter-orange, an upon determining that I was not, decided that my outfit of drab earth-tones was probably good enough to make me hard to spot, and thus hard to shoot, so I should be alright (don't be like me kids).

This trail is easily my favorite of those I’ve hiked thus far on Oahu. Other than the occasional tunnel or rock climb, the hike to the bottom of the valley is a nice, cool, family friendly stroll through the woods; and those little adventurous diversions are perfectly placed punctuation in the poem that is Waimano Ridge. It’s scenery and birdsong all the way to the end. That said, I imagine if you get caught in the rain, this trail could become hazardous with little provocation, so keep an eye on the sky as you make your way.

Oh, also, we did encounter a group of hunters hauling out a large boar carcass; they are out there. Both hunters and boar.

Read Full Review: https://astephengetty.wordpress.com/trail-blog/waimano-ridge-trail/

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Good trail. I'm definitely doing this one again! There are some incredible views and it's just a good workout.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Really pretty.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Over grown but easy

hiking
Wednesday, March 29, 2017

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.

trail running
Sunday, March 26, 2017

Good for walkers and runners.

trail running
Sunday, February 12, 2017

Great trail.... ran most of the trail... some areas are a bit dangerous which adds to the excitement.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Its 14.4 miles in and out.

trail running
Friday, October 21, 2016

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.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Great hike.

hiking
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

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.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Loved this hike for the first 5 miles in! This is a 15+ mile hike if you continue on the ridge and don't just do the loop. First 5 miles have irrigation tunnels to explore, beautiful clean creek, gorgeous flora and the sounds of dozens of different kinds of birds. Bring a flashlight if you think of it and bug spray.

After 5 or 6 miles the trail is poorly maintained, very muddy and very slippery. I wished I had brought my hiking stick and worn chains or better tennis shoes/hiking boots. We stopped shy of the summit by probably less than .5 miles. It was too rainy/cloudy for a view and our Fitbits said we should have already been at the top, I was tired, covered in mud, scratched and banged up from slipping and tripping over roots and ferns. NOTE: expert hikers probably would have zero trouble! Or would have been slightly better equipped.

I would have given this trail 5 stars if the end had been better maintained! Still loved it. I recommend hiking 5 miles in, picnicking, then hiking back unless you are an expert hiker or just someone that HAS to see the end and it is a clear day that will payoff with amazing views. That's okay if you are :)

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