Pu'u Hapapa/Kolekole Pass


"Stop wondering, and start wandering."

Updated: March 21, 2017

Location: Located inside Schofield Barracks on Kolekole Pass Road. You will need a military ID for access.

Type: Forest/ridge hike

Hike Difficulty: Intermediate

Total Time: ~4-5 hours

Distance: ~4 miles

Elevation: ~2800 feet

Things to Consider

  • Kid friendly: no
  • Pet Friendly: no
  • This hike is okay for kids and pets if you are only doing the Kolekole Pass trail to the open meadow. Pu'u Hapapa is more difficult and dangerous.
  • This hike has a lot signs where to go for the Kolekole Pass Trail.
  • There are two routes up Pu'u Hapapa and it can be used as a loop. We chose the first route up.
  • This trail requires some rock climbing skills, so bring gloves if you need to.
  • Go on a nice sunny day with little to no winds. Extreme winds can make this hike really dangerous.
  • The hike is only open to the public on certain days. If you see the yellow gate, do not enter because they are shooting live fire which will make the hike very dangerous while walking on the dirt road.
  • Hiking trail is usually open from 5:30am-630pm. Check out the U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii on Facebook for updates on trail status!

Your hiking backpack

  • 2 to 3 Liters of water
  • Snacks/lunch
  • Gloves
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • GoPro camera


Take Kunia or H-1 freeway towards Wahiawa. Head towards Schofield Barracks and enter through the Lyman gate. Drive straight and turn left at the fork. If the gate is open, the trail should be open. If not, you might have to turn around and go another day because they are doing live fire. Continue on Kolekole Pass Road, until you see a dirt parking lot on the left side. This is the start of the trail.

Our Journey

I have been trying to plan this hike for some time now, but it is just so difficult to find a day to go with friends and the hike being open to the public. Most of the time, this trail is closed I think the only time the hike is open, is on the weekends and maybe once or twice a month. We finally got lucky and the trail  was open for the weekend! I called my buddy up who had a military ID and we were on our way! You need at least one person with a military ID and everybody in the car must also have a valid ID. Once you pass the gate, just continue straight and the parking will be on your left. A lot of people will be on this hike, but they only hike to the open meadow or the bench. There are a lot of "hiking signs" showing you which way to go. You also pass by the Kolekole Pass Rock. I have read somewhere that the rock was symbolic in that chiefs would fight for right of passage between Waianae and Wahiawa. The losing chief would be be-headed on the rock, thus having a "L-shaped" carve in the rock. However, I'm not sure if this is 100% true. jI want to research more on this topic because the rock is truly amazing! Within 15 minutes, you end up at the open meadow. There is a bench where you can sit and soak in the views! Heading to Pu'u Hapapa is where the trail gets difficult. You can see the mountain on the left. Head back through the forest heading right. There is a faint trail leading you to the mountain. Continue around the base of the mountain until you see a trail heading up some tree roots and branches. This is the route we took up. If you continue along the path for maybe ten more minutes, there is another less strenuous trail up the mountain. So continuing up  the first trail, we climbed up the tree roots up to the side of the mountain. The trail goes down a steep path, and then it looks like you are rock climbing up the side of a mountain. However, there is a path on the left of the rocks. You will need some rock climbing skills and there are some ropes to aid you. We got up to the top and the wind was just unbearable. I believe the winds were blowing at like 30 miles an hours and the trail got really narrow at the top. This was after the storm so the wind conditions were not favorable. We decided to turn around at the rock formation. However, continuing on would be the notches and just another 15 minutes or so to the summit and lookout point. We will be back another day to finish the hike!




























The start of the trail from the parking lot.




























Follow the dirt path.





























If you see the orange barricades, the trail is not safe as they are doing live-fire shooting.





























This is the Kolekole Pass Rock. See the interesting cut into the side?





























Continuing on, the trail signs mark the path.





























Going up leads you to a lookout, but take the left path to follow the trail.





























This is the lookout. There seems to be a path below, but not sure where it goes. We turned around and headed back to follow the trail sign.





























Within 15 minutes, we ended up with a spectacular view of Pu'u Hapapa!





























More signs and we ended up in the open meadows!





























This is the end of the Kolekole Pass Trail. With an amazing view from the bench!





























Of course I took a seat for a sick photo!





























To get to Pu'u Hapapa, you turn around and head back through the forest on the right side. There is a faint trail.





























Continue along the path. I seen some people climbing up the rock face, but I don't think that's actually a trail. They must've been lost but I'm glad they weren't hurt.





























We continued on and eventually ended up back in a forest.





























Within five minutes in the forest, we noticed this trail up the tree roots on the right. This is the route we took up to Hapapa.





























After a steep climb, we ended up with this view! But the fun wasn't over yet.





























Not sure what this was. Maybe a marker?





























Pu'u Hapapa in the distance. We would descend a steep hill from here.





























Pu'u Ka'ilio in the distance.





























Looks worse than it is. However, there are steep drop offs and one wrong move and you will fall to your death.





























Down and back up! We contoured around the left side.

There were some ropes to aid our ascent.





























The winds were extreme on this day. We decided to stop at this point.

We will finish the hike another day.





























Sitting on top of the rock in thirty miles an hour winds. Exhilarating!





























Looking back at the breathtaking view! We will do Pu'u Ka'ilio some day!





























Heading back. You can't tell but there is literally a couple of hundred feet below with a straight drop off!





























Made it back down to the meadows safely. Hapapa, we shall meet again!





























Group selfie! Everybody seems like they had a blast on this hike!





























One last look before heading back to the car.

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