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Pali Puka


"If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you."

Updated: January 11, 2016

Location: The trail is located on the left side from the Pali Lookout parking lot. An short hike up to a beautiful view of the Windward side.

Type: Ridge hike

Hike Difficulty: Beginner/Intermediate

Total Time: 30 to 45 minutes to the puka.



Things to Consider

  • Kid friendly: no
  • Pet Friendly: no
  • Not for the faint of heart. You are literally on the edge of a straight drop off cliff!
  • Although the hike is short, it can be a little demanding due to the uphill climbs throughout the hike.
  • Slide down on your butt if you have to. There are ropes to aid you, but the ground is loose gravel and dirt.
  • Pali winds are strong! Always maintain balance and go at a slow pace.

Your hiking backpack

  • 1 Liter of water
  • Snacks
  • Extra clothes
  • GoPro/head strap mount


Take Pali Highway to the Pali Lookout. Park in the designated parking lot. Parking is free for Hawaii residents, but you need to pay the meter if you are visiting or on vacation. (P.S. I don't think the security guy checks anyways.) Instead of heading to the Pali Lookout, head left where the buses and shuttles park. You will see a small opening in the trees. This is where the trail starts.






















I didn't really get a good picture, but this is where you enter.

Our Journey

Pali Puka is an amazing trail if you want an adrenaline rush! It's short and leads right up to the ridge line. The Pali is famous for their steep cliffs and dangerously strong winds. At the Pali Lookout, sometimes you can do the Michael Jackson Smooth Criminal move because the winds can literally carry you away! Pali is very sacred as well, and a lot of the old Hawaiian warriors have died in this valley.

During the war called the Battle of Nu'uanu with Kamehameha, over 700 warriors were pushed off the Pali cliffs to their deaths in his fight to unify the Hawaiian islands.

It is also said not to bring pork to the Pali, and if you do your car will stall for no reason. There are a lot of stories about the Pali, even Morgan's Corner. However, back to the hike, it's a short 30 to 45 minutes up to the Puka, and you might break a sweat. Past the Puka leads to Lanihuli, a more advanced hike. Leading up to the puka, there are ropes to guide you now. Going up isn't too bad, but going down can be a little intimidating. However, the views of the Windward side is nothing to complain about. It's a great hike in which the view will never get old.






















Head through the forest to make your way up to the ridge.

























There are two routes, the forest side and the ridge side. I chose the ridge side to get the adrenaline rush. Ultimately, they both end up at the puka and merge with each other.



























Living life on the edge!






















Literally on the edge of death for most of the ridge portion.




























Smiling for the amazing views!


























Almost to the puka. Sit down and take a break.

























Made it to the puka! Time for pictures!























Awesome views and strong winds at the puka.





























Venturing on past the puka would lead you to the treacherous Lanihuli summit.





























Taking a closer look at the epic view!





























A last look at the Pali Puka before heading back.

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