Kaena Point to Pu’u Kanehoa

by kenji SAITO on June 10, 2016

Hiking Kaena Point to Pu'u Kanehoa

Gen, Jose and myself spent the Kamehameha Day Weekend hiking and camping on the Waianae Mountain Range.

Trailhead

Trailhead

Thanks to Ryan for dropping us off at Kaena Point, the jumping off point for departed Hawaiian souls and the starting point for our hike.

Kaena Point Tracking Station

Kaena Point Tracking Station

We walked past the slumbering fishermen and scrambled our way to the top of the blinking ridge.

Kaena Point Tracking Station

Kaena Point Tracking Station

Hiking on the road. Enjoying the level and compacted ground while it lasted.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

We left the road for greener pastures. Only one cow sighted. He obligingly left the road for greener pastures as well.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Checking for traffic. JPO flashbacks. Photo by Genesaret Balladares.

Kuaokala Trail

Kuaokala Trail

Have permit, will hike.

Kuaokala Trail

Kuaokala Trail

If we had a 4×4, it would have shaved a couple miles off the hike.

Kuaokala Trail

Kuaokala Trail

The sunlight being filtered by the tree lined trail.

Kuaokala Trail

Kuaokala Trail

Enjoying the revenant experience at the picnic shelter. Photo by Genesaret Balladares.

Kuaokala Trail

Kuaokala Trail

Gen and Jose rounding the trail that borders Makua Valley.

Kuaokala Trail

Kuaokala Trail

Rock yoga. Photo by Jose Luis Delaki.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Our first contact and certainly not our last with the fence line on the trail.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

The hike began to slightly rollercoaster. Small ups and downs.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

We left the fence and dropped down onto the jeep road.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Here comes the rain.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Rainbow in Makua Valley.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

The rain left us as the hills took on a more pronounced grade.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

No feet picture at the Moku geodetic marker?

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Jose hopping over the fence that is meant to keep out feral ungulates.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

The trail soon opened up to reveal the wide expanse of the Waianae Mountain Range. Quite the sight.

Pahole Natural Area Reserve

Pahole Natural Area Reserve

Passing through the 658 acres of Hawaiian endemic fauna and flora.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

We had no plans to do any landscaping down in the valley.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Densely packed red stamens of the ohi’a lehua blossom.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Panoramic view.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

We had planned on taking lunch at the Mokuleia lookout but the weather was not cooperating. So we dropped down into the valley to seek refuge from the looming rain clouds.

Mokuleia Shelter

Mokuleia Shelter

It felt good to have a rickety roof over our head as we ate our lunch in relative dryness.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Back on the trail. Nice and clear.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Group photo left to right: myself, Jose and Gen overlooking Makua Valley.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Almost there.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

But first, we had to make our way up and down the overgrown trail that leads to the highest mountain.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Looking ahead to the summit of Three Corners.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

We’re here!

Three Corners

Three Corners

Group photo at the summit.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Now we had to just follow the fence on the ridge …

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

… that will take us all the way down … Photo by Jose Luis Delaki.

Mount Ka'ala Road

Mount Ka’ala Road

… to Mount Ka’ala Road. If you thought the road in Waianae Valley was bad, you haven’t walked up this road. Especially at the end of a long day and shouldering heavy packs. Talk about a slow cardio burn.

Mount Ka'ala Road

Mount Ka’ala Road

Sometimes you just have to get off the road. Photo by Jose Luis Delaki.

Mount Ka'ala Road

Mount Ka’ala Road

The monotonous road was tempered by magnificent views.

Mount Ka'ala Road

Mount Ka’ala Road

Every curve and bend on the road played with my mind as to how false summits does on a ridgeline. You think you are almost to the top. Think again.

Mount Ka'ala Road

Mount Ka’ala Road

Look! An endemic tree snail up there. Don’t walk away. Just walk away mad.

Mount Ka'ala Road

Mount Ka’ala Road

All roads lead to Mount Ka’ala. Well, at least this one does.

Mount Ka'ala

Mount Ka’ala

Our cloudy view of the North Shore.

Mount Ka'ala

Mount Ka’ala

We spent the rest of our daylight hours making camp and dinner.

Mount Ka'ala

Mount Ka’ala

Good morning from Ka’ala.

Mount Ka'ala

Mount Ka’ala

Somebody used the public outhouse this morning. One guess and one guess only. Photo by Jose Luis Delaki.

Mount Ka'ala

Mount Ka’ala

Gen and Jose about to enter the Ka’ala bog.

Mount Ka'ala

Mount Ka’ala

Gen checking in on her “plant.”

Mount Ka'ala

Mount Ka’ala

Life off the boardwalk.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

We soon left the bog and began our descent off the mountain.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

To climb down with or without our backpacks. Such was the question for the day.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Gen making her way down the rain slicked boulder section.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Jose crossing the boulder gap.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Don’t lean too far back.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Who wants to go first? Heavy overgrowth from this point.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Looking out towards the central plain.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Heavy overgrowth of uluhell mixed in with blackberry thorns.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Looking back at cloud capped Mount Ka’ala.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

The trail started to get narrow in some sections as we forged ahead.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Lillikoi flower. Too early for trail snacks.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Jose crossing the gap in the trail.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Gen making her way across.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Jose about to drop down and swing over a narrow section.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Gen climbing up.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Jose looking at the second highest mountain on the island from the last false peak.

Pu'u Kalena

Pu’u Kalena

Group photo at the 3,504′ summit. Time to dry out our tents and feet.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Break over. Back to hiking.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

The overgrowth thinned out from this point, still there but not as pervasive.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

However, the rollercoaster hike stayed with us.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

This hike will develop your bushwhack arm and fence arm.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

No sexxxy time today.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Approaching the narrow and rocky dike.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Looking out towards Pu’u Kalena and Ka’ala.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Nothing to see here. Facebook status checking.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

All downhill from here.

Pu'u Ka'ilio

Pu’u Ka’ilio

The forbidden mountain.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Looking for Martians.

Kolekole Pass Road

Kolekole Pass Road

Where’s the crosswalk? Safety first. Lowest point on the Waianae Range.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Watch your step.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Meadow view.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Set up for the night. Pigs are not welcome.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Tobacco – breakfast of hikers.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Headed towards Pu’u Hapapa.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Forget the switchbacks.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Approaching the notches.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Panoramic photo by Jose Luis Delaki.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Scrambling up from the notches. Photo by Jose Luis Delaki.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

After we cleared the notches, it was a short ridge hike to the summit.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Jose warming up.

Pu'u Hapapa

Pu’u Hapapa

Boxing and yoga on the mountains.

Pu'u Hapapa

Pu’u Hapapa

Group photo at the 2,883′ summit.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

The long stretch home. We still had to hit the summits of Kanehoa, Kaua, Palikea and Palehua along with some climbing sprinkled in for good measure.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Heavy overgrowth returned on this trail section.

Waianae Summit Trail

Waianae Summit Trail

Gen and Jose approaching the summit of Pu’u Kanehoa.

Pu'u Kanehoa

Pu’u Kanehoa

The ridge keeping the clouds at bay.

Kanehoa Trail

Kanehoa Trail

We had been talking of doing the Kanehoa trail one day. Be careful of what you ask for. Fatigue and carelessness resulted in me bumping myself off a rock for an unexpected drop that resulted in double sprained ankles. Time for a detour.

Kanehoa Trail

Kanehoa Trail

Light rain drizzled over us as we came down the ridge.

Kanehoa Trail

Kanehoa Trail

Hiking through the corridor of strawberry guava trees.

Kanehoa Trail

Kanehoa Trail

Jose checking out the view to make sure we were on the right ridge.

Kanehoa Trail

Kanehoa Trail

Stay to the right.

Kanehoa Trail

Kanehoa Trail

Headed down into the forest.

Kanehoa Trail

Kanehoa Trail

Coming off the ridge.

Honuliuli Forest Reserve

Honouliuli Forest Reserve

Finding our way out of the storied 3,592 acre area that encompasses lowland forests up to the mountains and are home to a diverse array of endemic fauna and flora.

Kanehoa Trail

Kanehoa Trail

The trailhead was blocked by trailer homes. What the heck? As we rounded the trailer, I noticed a large black dog that made no sound but followed us with his head. Lucky he was fenced. Lucky us.

Kanehoa Trail

Kanehoa Trail

Walking out of the farmlands. Thanks to Ryan for picking us up. Again. Need to get more friends.

GPS Tracks

GPS Tracks

We covered almost 26 miles during our three day hike across the raw and rugged beauty of the Waianae Mountain Range. While bummed that we didn’t complete the hike as originally planned, thankful that I spent it in the company of good friends. Post hike meal at Maui Mike’s Fire-Roasted Chicken. Should’ve got the half chicken instead.

Note: I have been made aware the 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.

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