Laie Trail to Castle Trail

by kenji SAITO on January 8, 2017

Hiking Laie Trail to Castle Trail

Met up with Chris, Derek, Ethan, Glenn, Huckett, Kristina, Stuart and Tina to take a walk where the country is still country. The rugged Northern Ko’olaus.

Trailhead

Trailhead

Have permits, will hike.

Laie Trail

Laie Trail

The group making their way over the eroded trail section. A dirt biker’s paradise.

Laie Trail

Laie Trail

The sun washing over the group coming up the dirt road. Photo by Derek Potter.

Laie Trail

Laie Trail

Root level with the grove of Norfolk Pine Trees. The technical start of the trail. Photo by Stuart Krempin.

Laie Trail

Laie Trail

Glenn popping out of the corridor of strawberry guava trees and into the sunlight.

Laie Trail

Laie Trail

We followed the graded ridge trail as the invasive forest slowly switched to mostly endemic forest.

Laie Trail

Laie Trail

Crossing the Ko’olau Summit Trail to get to the top. Photo by Stuart Krempin.

Laie Summit

Laie Summit

Summit view at 2,240′ overlooking the town of Laie. Photo by Ethan Clavecillas.

Laie Summit

Laie Summit

Group photo at the foxhole, left to right: Ethan, Kristina, Stuart, Glenn, myself, Derek, Tina, Huckett and Chris.

KST

KST

The summit air was chilly, so it was time to walk it off.

KST

KST

A study in contrasts. Native loulu palm trees dotted the mountains, while invasive wind turbines populated the hills of Kahuku. Photo by Stuart Krempin.

KST

KST

Crossing the bowl shaped depression to eventually meet up …

KST

KST

… with the familiar fence.

KST

KST

Looking back.

KST

KST

Coming around the bend. Photo by Stuart Krempin.

KST

KST

Mud up to your ankles was promised. And delivered. And then some. Photo by Ethan Clavecillas.

KST

KST

Open country. Fenced country.

KST

KST

Why did the hikers cross the fence? To get to the cabin.

Koloa Cabin

Koloa Cabin

Cabin life. Boarded. Dental hygiene is the key to a happy mouth.

Koloa Cabin

Koloa Cabin

Group photo at the cabin. Taking a photographic memory as the cabin log is gone, so we couldn’t leave any written memories behind.

KST

KST

Picking up the trail from where we left off.

KST

KST

Climbing into and out of a small notch. Photo by Chris Bautista.

KST

KST

Passing the rope that lead to somewhere. We were not going somewhere.

KST

KST

The group crossing through a small meadow.

KST

KST

The trail meandered to the Windward side …

KST

KST

… and back to the Leeward side.

KST

KST

Almost to the home stretch. But first, another stretch of mud. Photo by Chris Bautista.

KST

KST

End to end views of the rugged Waianae Mountain Range.

KST

KST

Almost there. See the fence?

Papali Junction

Papali Junction

Group photo at the rubber slippah junction. Rumor has it that a certain king lost a pair in this same area.

Papali Ridge

Papali Ridge

Only two hours to the valley floor. Right Chris?

Papali Ridge

Papali Ridge

Just when Tina thought she left the mud all behind her. Think again. Knee deep mud.

Papali Ridge

Papali Ridge

Looking down the ridge. Photo by Stuart Krempin.

Papali Ridge

Papali Ridge

The unabated fencing of the mountains continues.

Castle Falls

Castle Falls

Just follow you ears.

Papali Ridge

Papali Ridge

When the fence becomes a ladder. Photo by Stuart Krempin.

Castle Junction

Castle Junction

Hold that gate.

Castle Trail

Castle Trail

Passing clumps of mossy covered trees as we made our way down the trail.

Castle Trail

Castle Trail

Leap of faith. Photo by Stuart Krempin.

Castle Trail

Castle Trail

The trail soon dumped us into the cold and clear waters of Kaluanui Stream.

Kaluanui Stream

Kaluanui Stream

Stream life. Washing. Drinking. Tenting. Eating.

Kaluanui Stream

Kaluanui Stream

Group photo at the stream that feeds Sacred Falls.

Kaluanui Stream

Kaluanui Stream

Tour helicopters buzzing overhead us. Nothing to see here. Fly along folks. Photo by Stuart Krempin.

Castle Trail

Castle Trail

Huckett passing through the notch. What notch?

Castle Trail

Castle Trail

We all had to pause and soak in the stunning valley views. Photo by Stuart Krempin.

Castle Trail

Castle Trail

Looking back. See the notch?

Castle Trail

Castle Trail

Making our way down the spur ridge that cut out most of the middle man switchbacks.

Castle Trail

Castle Trail

So, that’s what they call it. Photo by Stuart Krempin.

Castle Trail

Castle Trail

Stuart making his down the mostly cleared trail.

Castle Trail

Castle Trail

The detour stops here.

Castle Trail

Castle Trail

Tina walking along the fern draped cliff.

Castle Trail

Castle Trail

Avocado pickers, Chris and Derek, climbed and harvested a mountain souvenir for each of us. It was delish.

Castle Trail

Castle Trail

Passing over a landslide area.

Castle Trail

Castle Trail

Walking through a corridor of strawberry guava trees.

Castle Trail

Castle Trail

What hike wouldn’t be complete without wading through a patch of uluhe ferns? Exactly.

Castle Trail

Castle Trail

The long road out of the valley that was made short …

Castle Trail

Castle Trail

… by a pick up truck. Photo by Stuart Krempin.

All pau

All pau

Thanks to the friendly farmer that gave us a lift out of the valley.

GPS Tracks

GPS Tracks

Our country hike covered 17.64 miles over some of the most rugged and beautiful terrain to be found in the mountains. Great grinder with a great group. Post hike meal at North Shore Tacos. Beats the run to the border any day.

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.

Leave a Comment

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Stuart January 24, 2017 at 10:33 pm

Awesome hike man, but what an ass kicker, thanks for the post was fun to read at work :P

Reply

kenji SAITO January 25, 2017 at 9:03 am

Aloha Stuart,
Thanks. I’m glad I was able to furnish you with some reading material to pass the time at work. :)
Mahalo

Reply

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