Wiliwilinui Trail(Oahu), or We aren’t hiking in the whites are we?


Hikergal and hubby are hiking in Oahu for a bit.  Needed a little change of pace from the hills of Connecticut and the mountains of New Hampshire.  Hiking here is different and yet the same.  The White Mountains have taught us well, to come prepared, carry full backpacks.  Of course that generates people staring at us, like we are from another planet.  People around here hike with very little gear, though the serious hikers use microspikes for the muddy/slick sections.

Today we decided to do our first ridge hike up Wiliwilinui trail.  Ridge hiking here is different, not as open and with sheer drop offs.  Also on this hike the trail was lined with uluhe ferns, a razor sharp fern that slices your skin.  No alpine flowers to entice us, just razor ferns.

This hike starts in a Wai’alae Iki V subdivision full of million dollar homes (average price 2.1 million).  You have to stop at a guard house and get a permit. Then you drive up to the trailhead.


You are requested to wipe your shoes, good practice to stop spreading invasive plants.


The trail started out on an old service road built in 1941.



There were some windows that provided lookouts on Honolulu along the road.


It was at this point I glanced up and went oh no, we are going up there.  Hmmm I think I’ve said that a few times before in the White Mountains.



So we trudge on.  The road ends and we finally hit the trail. The trail has these ferns that are razor sharp.  Thankfully I wore long pants, long sleeves would have helped too, because the ferns are tall and I am not. I didn’t get sliced to bad from them.



We started the ridge walk.  This was my view:



Yup I just had to look down.  It was a bit nerve wrecking for me to look up and around.  The thought of taking a tumble and sliding off the edge was to much for me.

This was Mike’s views:




We started the real climb up.  The last .5 mile, the final push was an 682 foot elevation gain.

The trails are slick. It is not the shoe sucking mud of new england. Ropes help you go up and down


ok this was fun
we just came up the steps

I thought at first our goal was the tower, no we had to go to a bump behind that. Ughhhhh

our goal is to the right of the tower

I will say the walk between the them was easy and not fatiguing.  We did a see a foot locker up there that had a four person litter in it for rescue.  We don’t need that.


Once we reached the summit we sat around for 10 minutes for refueling, picture taking and a giving our legs a rest.








It was time to head down.  I was a little nervous, but I remember doing the caps ridge trail.  I had way more fun going down than up.  That helped me set my mind and I did have more fun going down and I was actually able to look around, just not stare at the ground.










We got off the trail after four hours.  At first I was scared, but found out no need to be.  It was  fun trail and a great first ridge walk in Oahu for us.

wiliwilinui trail

The Details:  4 hours, 4.6 miles, 1200 feet elevation gain.

Day 13- Hiking the Wiliwilinui Trail

Finally a hike day for us.  We decided to do our first ridge trail hike in Oahu, Wiliwilinui Trail.  I write another blog about hiking, so if you want to read the details check out my hikergal blog at http://cthikergal.com/2013/07/27/wiliwilinui-trailoahu/

A few items to note to visitors that aren’t seasoned hikers:
1.  Wear hiking shoes or trail runners, sneakers won’t cut it on the slick mud sections.
2.  Wear long pants, the ulule fern or razor fern will slice you.
3. If you are short like me, long sleeves would be advised in those ferns
4.  If you have a hiking pole, bring it use it, helps on going down
5. Bring water

The hike starts off in a residential neighborhood, first part is easy, with good little views out to Honolulu.

P1050451 P1050452 P1220927 P1220931And then we came to the point, where I stopped and went we are going up there? Oh no…

P1220930We trudge on and the wide road changes to a narrow path, lined by ferns.

P1050471Did I mention stairs?  Yup we had to go up many steps.  The rise on a few were so high up, I had to kneel on them to get up it.

P1220939 P1220953

I know i'm coming down, but I had to go up first.
I know i’m coming down, but I had to go up first.

And did I mention ropes?  They helped tremendously.

P1220967 P1050479What I thought was the goal, at the radio/tv towers wasn’t.  It was the next little bump.

P1220950We make it to our destination and the views were amazing.

P1220980 P1220983 IMG_0620 P1220989After a brief break at the top, it was time to head down.  I was a little nervous at first, but it was way more fun going down than up.

P1230002 P1050497 P1230012 P1050508 P1230064We survived, or rather I survived.  It took us 4 hours, to go 4.6 miles with an elevation gain of 1500 feet.

wiliwilinui trailSo what do you do after this kind of hike? First find the nearest McDonalds to use the bathroom.  Sorry ladies but trails on Oahu are not the easiest to pee on, no cover.

Next stop at VJs Butcher shop, we need meat and ice cream sandwiches.  No pictures of the sandwiches, we gobbled them down.

Came home, hit the water to float and relax all the aching muscles.  Then it was time to eat.

P1230087 P1230093

Mother Nature gave us a little gift of a rainbow after dinner.


Finally it was sunset.  It was lackluster, but the after hours showing was spectacular. What a day.  The hike was amazing, though a bit scary at times for me, but I am so happy I did it for the views and yeah I had fun.

P1230116 P1230122

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑