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Hawaii Loa Ridge


"Never take life too seriously. No one makes it out alive."

Updated: March 20, 2016

Location: Located in Hawaii Kai through the Hawaii Loa neighborhood. Trail head starts at the end of the road at the park.

Type: Forest/Ridge hike

Hike Difficulty: Beginner

Total Time: 3 hours round trip

Distance: ~ 3.5 miles

Elevation: ~1700 feet

Things to Consider

  • Kid friendly: yes
  • Pet Friendly: yes
  • Bring your drivers license to show to the security guard at the post. He will give you a pass to hike for the day. Just let him know that you are here for the hike and not to rob any rich houses. Lol
  • The hike was pretty cold so bring a jacket. Not sure if it was because we went when there was a cold front, but we went around February.
  • This hike starts at a really high elevation so it's pretty windy for most of the ridge portion of the hike.
  • Lots of uphill climbs and stairs. The "Hawaii Kai Stair master" is what I call this hike.
  • Majority of the hike will be an easy forest hike with gradual inclines. The last half mile of the hike will gain the most elevation climbing up to the KST.
  • There are also some minor rope climbing sections, but nothing too strenuous. The dirt is also loose at some parts so be careful and be safe out there!
  • Go on a clear day, or you may have just a view of clouds at the end. Just look up towards the mountains and see whether you see the sky or just clouds.

Your hiking backpack

  • 2 to 3 Liters of water
  • Snacks/lunch
  • Gloves if needed for ropes and rock sections
  • GoPro camera
  • Sunscreen


Take Kamehameha Highway towards Hawaii Kai side of the island. You will turn left onto Puuikena Dr, however you cannot make a left turn. You need to turn right into the round about and then head straight across the street. You are in the right place if you see the Hawaii Loa Ridge sign. Show your drivers license to the guard and he will give you a basic run down of the hike. Follow the road all the way up til the end and then park on the right.

Our Journey

So Hawaii Loa Ridge doesn't have the best views in Hawaii Kai, but I still love the hike and it was one of the first hikes I have ever done. It felt good to go back here and actually enjoy the hike a second time instead of just looking at the end for a great Instagram picture. Some hikes you just need to enjoy the scenery, the silence of nature, the changes in terrain of the hike, and the great view at the end. We didn't take too much pictures because it was super windy and cold at the top. But we did get a chance to enjoy some Spicy Ahi from Foodland down the road. At these altitudes, it is kind of rare to have a clear view with no clouds, but we were lucky enough to have one of the clearest days so we took advantage of that! The hike isn't too difficult, just breezing through the forest portion. However, you might break a sweat towards the end heading up the mountain to the summit. There are rope sections and lots and lots of stairs. But after you are rewarded with a great view of Waimanalo, and you can see the Waimanalo Reservoir below. I think this is the only hike where you  can clearly see the reservior below. It looks like a small swimming pool, but it is huge! 126 acres of land and hundreds of thousands of gallons of water! Lately the reservoir has been full, and although it is illegal, people used to have slip and slide adventures here! Access to the reservoir will be left undisclosed. But happy hiking and be safe out there!




























What a cool spot for the Hawaii Loa residents to hang out!




























We got busted for exploring too much. The park is off limits to non-residents.




























Looking out towards the next ridge over.




























The trail is pretty much straight-forward and well maintained.

Lots of different changes in scenery.




























We thought somebody left their toilet paper just in case of an accident, but it was a medical first aid kit. Awesome!




























It's a long way to the summit, but it actually isn't too bad

and you'll be there before you know it.




























Some Uluhe ferns, but the trail is well maintained.

You may get some minor scratches though.




























Looking back towards civilization. The Hawaii Kai stair master!




























Such a clear day! And you can see the Waimanalo Reservoir below.




























Spicy ahi from Foodland to end the hike!




























Looking towards the right on the KST.

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Hawaii Loa Ridge
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