Red Hill To Moanalua Valley

by kenji SAITO on May 12, 2024

We took a hike in the mountains today, not as far as we expected, but it was still a hike in the mountains.

Trailhead

Trailhead

The barricade that failed to properly communicate and convey what exactly is closed. DLNR posted on May 9, 2024 that Moanalua Middle Ridge will be closed for a minimum period of 90 days during the ongoing dismantlement of Haiku Stairs. Luckily, we were not going that rutted route which should be shut down for a longer period of time to let it “heal.”

Kulana'ahane Junction

Kulana’ahane Junction

Walking on the trail that was partially submerged at the stream crossings and the rapid movement and volume of water in the stream that was communicated in the dead of night. We soon reached the junction that would lead us deep into the valley.

Kulana'ahane Trail

Kulana’ahane Trail

Going under the thicket of hau tree branches blanketed by darkness.

Godek-Jaskulski Trail

Godek-Jaskulski Trail

Hiking up the steep loop trail pioneered by Chuck Godek and Erwin Jaskulski.

Red Hill Trail

Red Hill Trail

We soon intersected with the Red Hill Trail which continued the steep lung busting climb.

Red Hill Trail

Red Hill Trail

Centipedes or caterpillars. My money is on the latter.

Red Hill Summit

Red Hill Summit

Reaching the summit as we broke through the cover of the jungle and darkness.

Red Hill Summit

Red Hill Summit

Group photo before we headed down the saddle.

Moanalua Saddle

Moanalua Saddle

Sandra crossing the eroded and exposed section that is no longer hindered by the “tricky branch.”

Moanalua Saddle

Moanalua Saddle

Akira climbing down the pile of rocks.

Moanalua Saddle

Moanalua Saddle

Making my way down the constantly eroding character of the ridge line.

Moanalua Saddle

Moanalua Saddle

Sandra at the start of the “long slide” with the sunrise trying to break in the background.

Moanalua Saddle

Moanalua Saddle

Traversing over the undulating and often narrow ridge line.

Kulana'ahane Summit

Kulana’ahane Summit

Approaching the lowest point of the saddle.

Kulana'ahane Summit

Kulana’ahane Summit

The rocks had been saturated by the heavy rains from the past couple of days and we decided that the slippery slope was best left for another day.

Kulana'ahane Summit

Kulana’ahane Summit

Slurping down a hot cup of udon noodles with beef does a stomach good. Thanks Chef Suzuki.

Kulana'ahane Summit

Kulana’ahane Summit

It was time to leave the mountains.

Moanalua Falls

Moanalua Falls

The 460′ plus falls that only makes it appearance during heavy periods of atmospheric water vapor.

Kulana'ahane Trail

Kulana’ahane Trail

Sitting cross legged is crucial to maintaining mobility. Doing it above a small waterfall has no proven medical benefits.

Kulana'ahane Trail

Kulana’ahane Trail

Going over one of 28 stream crossings.

Kulana'ahane Trail

Kulana’ahane Trail

Polar Bear Plunge – Hawaii version.

Kulana'ahane Trail

Kulana’ahane Trail

Walking in mud with black and white shoes. Just take my word for it.

Kamananui Valley Trail

Kamananui Valley Trail

Are we there yet?

All pau

All pau

Crossing over the last of seven bridges that afford safe passage from the swollen stream. Our aborted hike still had us covering 9.95 miles, which was still a respectable workout. Post hike meal at Alley Restaurant. Lemon Crunch to go.

Photos taken by Akira Suzuki, Sandra Walter, and yours truly. Not necessarily in order.

Note: I have been made aware that some hikers have been using my blog as a hiking guide and getting lost on the trails. Please note that this blog was made to document the hike for the crew(s) that did it. That is why some of my comments will seem to have no relevance or meaning to anybody outside of the crew(s) that hiked that trail. My blog was never meant as a hiking guide, so please do not treat it as such. If you find inspiration and entertainment from these hikes, that is more than enough. If you plan on replicating these hikes, do so in the knowledge that you should do your own research accordingly as trail conditions, access, legalities and so forth are constantly in flux. What was current today is most likely yesterdays news. Please be prepared to accept any risks and responsibilities on your own as you should know your own limitations, experience and abilities before you even set foot on a trail, as even the “simplest” or “easiest” of trails can present potential pitfalls for even the most “experienced” hikers. One should also always let somebody know of your hiking plans in case something doesn’t go as planned, better safe than sorry.

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