"Enjoy the journey. It's not only about achieving the goal."
Updated: January 13, 2016
Location: Aiea Loop Trail is located deep in Aiea behind the Aiea High School. It is a short state-maintained loop trail through the forest with a lookout at the half way point of Halawa Valley.
Type: Forest hike
Hike Difficulty: Beginner
Total Time: 2 to 3 hours
Distance: 4.8 miles
Things to Consider
Your hiking backpack
Head onto Aiea Heights Drive from the freeway. You can also take Kaamilo St past Aiea High School and merge onto Aiea Heights Drive. Continue up the road all the way til the end. The road is windy and going uphill, but eventually you end up at the state park. You can park at the bottom by the lower bathroom and walk up to the trail, or you can park up top by the start of the trail and you will just have an uphill climb at the end back to your car. We chose to park at the top parking lot. Also keep in mind that the park closes at 6:45pm so plan your hike accordingly.
Our original plan was to do Lahilahi Point in Makaha, but the traffic going into Waianae was too crazy! So instead we chose another close and short hike, which would be Aiea Loop Trail. I have actually ran this hike when I was trying to get into the military (but that's another story). But it is a hike where you can bring your kids, pets, bike, or even jogging shoes. However, this hike can get really muddy as well. It is an easy loop trail with markers and as long as you follow the trail, you won't get lost. There is also a trail to Kalauao Falls that is really easy to miss if your not looking for it. Expect to take about 2 to 3 hours, or 4 if you take a lot of pictures. Also remember that December and January the sun sets before 6pm so it gets dark pretty fast. Plan your hike accordingly.
The H-3, also known as John A. Burns Freeway was built in the 1980s and was first opened in 1997. It took a long time to get built because of all the protests and environmental complaints. The original route was supposed to be through Moanalua Valley, but due to all the historical value and the Moanalua Gardens Foudation, the freeway was rerouted. Passing through the mountain to get from the Leeward side to the Windward side, the Tetsuo Harano Tunnels were built. The H-3 freeway was the third and last freeway built on the island of Oahu. It is also the most expensive freeway built.
This is where we parked. In the upper parking lot.
Continue up the road. And use the bathroom first if you need to.
You can read some of the hike information before attempting the hike.
Lots of tree roots on the path, so be careful where you step to prevent sprained ankles.
A nice rest spot with a bench.
Continuing on the tree rooted path.
There are a lot of fallen trees on the trail as well.
The trail gets narrow at some parts.
Heading under powerlines.
Stop and take breaks if needed to catch your breath.
Some views open up here and there throughout the hike.
Another bench with a view.
A lot of interesting plants and trees on this hike.
Trail is getting muddy.
Some of the more steep sections with some drop offs on the right side.
Another fallen tree.
A mini rock climbing section.
At the first lookout of the H-3 freeway passing through Halawa Valley.
The second lookout has a more clear view. Just a couple yards down from the first one.
Continuing on. The lookout is the half way point of the loop.
More fallen trees. At this point I didn't have reception on my phone.
A bend in the trail.
We were chasing the sunset. The sun was going down fast!
Still light out, and the view was amazing!
Head right here. You will cross a stream and then head back up through the forest.
The stream was dry when we crossed it.
After about 10 to 15 minutes from crossing the stream, your out!
Wash up, clean your shoes, hands, and feet and then head up the stairs back to your car.
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