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Poamoho Ridge

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"Go as far as you can see, and when you get there you will see further."

Updated: March 23, 2017

Location: Deep in Wahiawa, this hike leads you to the center most part of the island, with beautiful views of Kahana, Pu'u Piei, Pu'u Ohulehule and much more!

Type: Forest/Ridge hike

Hike Difficulty: Advanced

Total Time: 4 to 5 hours round trip (+1 hour drive with 4x4 to trail head)

Total: about 6 to 7 hours

Distance: ~ 7 miles round trip +.5 to cabin (6 miles in with 4x4) 14 miles total

Elevation: ~2480 feet

Things to Consider

  • Kid friendly: no
  • Pet Friendly: no
  • You must get a permit to access the trail, unless you are planning to hike the 6 miles of dirt road as well.
  • You can request a permit from the DLNR or go to the Na Ala Hele website and you can do it online. Request it at least 7 days in advance because they will mail it back to you so depending on how long the mail takes, you might not get it in time if you request it too late. The gate codes will be on the paper mailed to you. Apply for the permit here.
  • There are three gates. The first one had a code to open, the second didn't have one. The third gate was already open for us.
  • The trail is fairly easy and well maintained. It can get really muddy as well since Wahiawa is always raining.
  • Once you reach the summit, there will be a stone showing you the mileage and different routes you can take on the KST. This is the Geraldine Cline Memorial. Take a right at the summit to continue on to the cabin.
  • Parts of the KST after the summit were a bit overgrown, and steep drop offs on the left of you. The trail is carved into the side of the mountain.
  • The cabin itself had about 6 bunks to sleep in. We also wrote in the journal to share our story and say that we completed the hike!

Your hiking backpack

  • 3 Liters of water
  • Snacks/lunch
  • GoPro camera
  • Sunscreen
  • Headlamp

Directions

Take Kunia or the H-1 freeway towards Wahiawa. Continue on to Whitmore and Waialua. From Kamehameha Hwy, take a right onto Paalaa Uka Pupukea Rd. The gate will be on the right side right before the guard shack to the Helemano Base. The road is known as the Poamoho Hele Loa Rd.

Our Journey

I had been wanting to do this hike for a long time! So when my friend told me that they were going to rent a 4x4 and head up Poamoho, I canceled all other plans and said "I'm in!" We got the permit and luckily, somebody from our group had done the hike before. I sure we would have passed the gate and went through the guard shack! Even putting the code into the first gate seemed like a hassle. But we got through and went on our way! Riding in a 4x4 was one of the best experiences of my life! If you have never rode in a 4x4, you need to try it. You feel so free and just splashing through the mud puddles, with the wind blowing in your face! Maneuvering over all those bumps in the dirt, feels like you are on a rollercoaster ride in the carnival! We were on the access road for almost an hour. The second gate didn't have a code lock, so we just had to open it. The third gate was already wide open. When we finally reached the trail, we were hyped up from the off-roading! The trail itself is amazing because it is carved into the side of the mountain. The trail is well-maintained and pretty wide for the most part. Once you reach the end of the maintained trail sign, it starts to get a little overgrown and steep. However, nothing was too strenuous at all. The trail's elevation starts from high, goes down a bit into the valley and back up to the summit. So heading back was the longest uphill ever! Anyways, past the maintained trail sign, you will see fences up to keep in the endangered plants and keep out the evasive ones. There are also some traps here and there, possibly for mongooses or rats. Once we reached the summit, we saw the Geraldine Cline Memorial. It is interesting to see what other trails are near by and how far they are. The cabin was exactly .5 miles from here as it says on the rock! We took some pictures, ate lunch and enjoyed the amazing clear views! It's not often that the views are this clear. Usually the mountains are covered in clouds. We took pictures and turned right to head towards the cabin. There is also a sanctuary or something on the left if you head up the ridge. We headed for the cabin and the trail was a little more dangerous. Steep drop offs on the left. Once we reached the cabin we went inside and signed the log book. Somebody also left a condom here! Stay safe I guess! The cabin has enough room for about 6-8 people. We didn't see anybody else on the trail the whole day and we weren't planning to stay the night anyways. There's also a lookout on top and you can also get a better view of the whole cabin. We also continued for a little while longer past the cabin. The trail here gets really narrow and you can see the trail cut through the side of the mountain along the KST. The pictures were amazing! We turned around by a gate and decided to head back. It was getting late in the day and we didn't want to head back in the dark. Maybe next time we will connect to Schofield/Waikane Trail. Total time for the whole hike was a little over 7 hours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poamoho Hele Loa Rd at the first gate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was the second gate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Riding in the 4x4! Off-roading was an epic experience!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some cows grazing along the access road.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was the end of the access road and the start of the trail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were already 6 miles into the valley, but we still had a ways to go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The start of the trail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everybody is all excited to do this epic hike!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I didn't realize that we were going down during the beginning of the trail until we had to climb back up this hill in the end!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The trail itself was very well defined and maintained.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A bench with a view!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting more and more further into the forest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here was some information about the Poamoho Trail and the Ewa Forest Reserve. The only thing I remember from this was "Cannibals!" lol

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's a nice leisurely stroll for about an hour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The trail gets a little more difficult and muddy after this sign.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is also a native snail habitat. Unfortunately we didn't spot any snails today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the fence they built to keep in the native plants.

We took a left here and continued on the trail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The view is amazing for most of the trail!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Entering into the gated area, the warning sign is saying that there are snares around.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And slowly climbing up to the summit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A old metal bridge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We crossed this little stream. From here you are almost to the summit!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The final push, with the summit in the distance!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Geraldine Cline Memorial.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The view from the Poamoho Summit!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We decided to all sit on that open ridge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Up on the left, there was a small sanctuary I think.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All muddy, but all smiles!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7-Eleven always has the best bentos to pack for lunch!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a bunch of photos, we decided to head on to the cabin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fence continues on, and we went through the fence a couple of times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The trail is so amazing, just carved into the moutain!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Poamoho Cabin was just up ahead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heading through a cut in the mountain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was a small lake on the bottom. We were all wondering if it was possible to get down there somehow. Maybe another day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Poamoho Cabin!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We wrote down in the log book of our epic adventure today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We went up the back to the lookout point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The cabin from a different angle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We continued on for a little longer since we had some time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The view of the Koolaus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking back at the trail. Steep drop offs on the left!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The trail is just cut right into the side of the mountain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is where we turned around. The trail continues on, but we decided to head back because the rain was coming soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The crew jumping for joy because we did another epic hike!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One last look at the summit before the dark clouds started rolling in.

We rushed back to beat the anticipated rain.

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