Koloa Gulch

by kenji SAITO on June 11, 2015

Hiking Koloa Gulch

Weekday hike. Must be a holiday. Kamehameha Day. I found myself in the company of Rebecca at Laie Beach Park where we then walked to the trailhead.

Trailhead

Trailhead

Permits in hand, we walked down the jeep road to begin our hike.

Knock knock

Knock knock

The trail soon took a left up into the hills as we passed a pumping shack.

Dog

Dog

A hunting dog bolted from the scattered ironwood pine trees when he saw us on the trail. Where are the hunters?

Dirt hill

Dirt hill

We followed the gently roller coasting ridge as we passed an eroded knob.

Pray for prey

Pray for prey

Spotted a baby preying mantis perched on a plant. After this we dropped down into the gulch.

Stream crossing

Stream crossing

The beginning of over two dozen stream crossings. Who’s counting?

Pots and pans

Pots and pans

Rain showers sprinkled us in the gulch as we came across this camping site. No leftovers?

Rock hopping

Rock hopping

The boulders seemed to get larger as made our way upstream.

Rock cairn

Rock cairn

To topple or not to topple? Rocks arranged by man amongst rocks arranged by nature.

Koloa stream

Koloa stream

We walked in the stream bed for the most part after the stream crossings ended. A lot easier than weaving in and out of the stream banks.

Forked junction

Forked junction

The stream eventually split. Rebecca recommended we take the right fork first, as it would set us up for the bigger waterfall on the left fork.

Slippery when wet

Slippery when wet

Spiked footing helped us to stay on the rocks and out of the water.

Swimming hole

Swimming hole

A four foot plus deep pool of ice cold water lay between us and the waterfall that was around the corner. Time to take the plunge.

A rope away

A rope away

We caught up with three other hikers on the trail. Rebecca giving them an impromptu climbing lesson.

Koloa Falls

Koloa Falls

The ribbon of flowing water was shredded halfway by the jumbled rocks as it fed the pool at the base.

Going back

Going back

We passed the numerous pools with darting fishes and invasive crayfish, as we made our way back down to…

Left fork

Left fork

…the forked junction where we had a quick bite to eat.

Rock hopping

Rock hopping

The stream depth was low enough so that we stayed dry for the most part of the hike.

Narrow

Narrow

As we hiked deeper towards the Koolau Mountain Range, the gulch walls became claustrophobically closer.

Good flow

Good flow

Running and standing water usually means swarms of mosquitoes. Today was no exception.

Twin falls

Twin falls

Assorted waterfalls of all shapes and sizes were found on the stream.

Boulder hopping

Boulder hopping

There were some good sized boulders scattered throughout the gulch.

Spider hole

Spider hole

Three spiders in a hole waiting for something to eat. Photo by Rebecca Riggins.

Kalo Falls

Kalo Falls

Got kalo?

Stay still

Stay still

Vertical panoramic photo of the waterfalls. Photo by Rebecca Riggins.

Swimming

Swimming

Who needs the beach?

Island in the stream

Island in the stream

Talks of climbing quickly evaporated as we made our way back down.

Mountain apple

Mountain apple

Throw it back. Not big enough.

Last stream crossing

Last stream crossing

Rebecca crossing the last stream and hiking back up.

Laie

Laie

The historical town of refuge filled the horizon as we crested back up the ridge.

Fern friend

Fern friend

A hitchhiker had latched itself onto my tabi.

Memorial

Memorial

We passed the memorial dedicated to the 11 year old boy scout that tragically died in a flash flooding back in 1994 on our way out. A sober reminder when hiking gulches and waterfalls.

GPS Tracks

GPS Tracks

The ridge and gulch hike was filled with rock filled stream crossings and multiple waterfalls that covered 12 miles. Post hike meal at Seven Brothers. Shem Burger. Anything with bacon has to taste good.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Joe Gronwald May 15, 2016 at 11:27 pm

Did you try and summit from the gulch ? Trying in a coupe weeks

Reply

kenji SAITO May 16, 2016 at 10:38 am

Aloha Joe,
No I haven’t, although that’s on my list. Can I tag along? Haha. I know some have rapelled down from the summit.
Mahalo

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