Kamiloiki Ridge to Kamiloiki Valley

by kenji SAITO on July 10, 2011

Hiking Kamiloiki Ridge to Lunalilo Home Road Valley

Unable to find any hiking buddies this weekend, I decided to do what I thought would be an easy hike by myself – Kaimiloiki Ridge. That’s what I get for thinking. I parked my car on Waioli Street in Hawaii Kai and walked up Makahuena Place where the Pahua Heiau marked the start of the trailhead.

Pahua Heiau

Pahua Heiau

The trail starts to the left of this agricultural Hawaiian temple built circa 1400 and restored in 1985. I picked my way carefully as I made my way up the rock face and climbed several switchbacks to gain the ridge.

Kuapa Pond

Kuapa Pond

Looking back at Kuapa Pond from the ridge, this ancient Hawaiian fishpond used to harbor over 500 acres until it was dredged to form the residential tract known as Hawaii Kai today.

Kamilonui Valley

Kamilonui Valley

Going up the ridge, I could see the few remaining farms in Kamilonui Valley to my left. I wonder if they are still going to be around after their Bishop Estate leases expire in 2025.

Got marshmallows?
Got Marshmallows?

After walking along the grassy and rocky trail for about an hour, I entered an ironwood grove and passed this campfire spot, where there was enough dry tinder lying around to light up more than just a campfire.

Waimanalo

Waimanalo

The trail flattens out a bit before a short, steep climb to the summit that tops out around 1,200 feet. This is the perfect spot to grab a bite as you’re afforded a birds eye view of Olomana and the town of Waimanalo.

Lost

Abandoned Nike Missile Launchers

After a short rest and not wanting to turn back, as this is where the usual Kamiloiki trail ends, I went down a saddle and went up the ridge where the abandoned Nike Missile Launchers loomed above me.

Kamiloiki Valley

Kamiloiki Valley

After pushing my way through chest high grass, a taste of what was to come, the trail opened up to the abandoned missile complex site. I followed the fenceline until I found an unlocked gate and found some stairs that I didn’t know existed. I thought, all right, it’s the Hawaii Kai version of Haiku Stairs! The stairs soon petered out and my descent into hiking hell began.

Where is the trail?

Where is the trail?

I was trying to find the trail that connects Kamiloiki Ridge with the Valley. Key word of the day – try. I actually found a few ribbons as I tried to maintan the ridgeline going down, but I was soon detoured by countless rock faces, kiawe trees and shrubs that shredded my legs. Lucky I’m not a leg model or I would need to find another day job. Towards the end, I had to push my way though thick, chest high grass which just drained me on top of a typical hot Hawaii Kai day. After three exhausting hours, I finally climbed over the fence and followed the drainage ditch to solid ground, where I made my way back to my car. I’m sure glad that hike was over!

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