Nualolo Trail to Nualolo Cliffs Trail to Awa’awapuhi Trail

by kenji SAITO on April 13, 2019

Hiking Nualolo Trail to Nualolo Cliffs Trail to Awa'awapuhi Trail

Forecasted thunderstorms on Oahu chased Ferlino and myself to the Garden Isle for a weekend of hiking. We stocked up on supplies on our arrival and drove to the reddish waters to begin our hike.

Trailhead

Trailhead

Life imitating art.

Nualolo Trail

Nualolo Trail

Making our way down the short and muddy descent into the forested reserve.

Nualolo Trail

Nualolo Trail

No signs of any hoofed mammals, perhaps the fence was designed to keep hominid hikers out?

Nualolo Trail

Nualolo Trail

Following one of many fallen trunks on the trail.

2 mile marker

2 mile marker

Keeping track of our mileage for the Hawaiian miles program. It doesn’t work that way? Photo by Ferlino Carinio.

Nualolo Trail

Nualolo Trail

Breaking free of the tree line, where glimpses of the deeply carved valley views sprung into sight.

Nualolo Cliffs Trail

Nualolo Cliffs Trail

Skipped the Lolo Vista and went straight down the refurbished and redirected connector trail.

Picnic shelter

Picnic shelter

Time for a spam musubi breakfast break.

Nualolo Cliffs Trail

Nualolo Cliffs Trail

We followed the trail through the shoulder high grass which eventually opened up to stunning views of the valley below us.

Nualolo Cliffs Trail

Nualolo Cliffs Trail

Hiking on the red dirt trail that slopes down towards the plunging cliffs.

Nualolo Cliffs Trail

Nualolo Cliffs Trail

Making our way through the chopped and fallen trees strewn in the valley.

Nualolo Cliffs Trail

Nualolo Cliffs Trail

Enjoying the open air break.

Nualolo Cliffs Trail

Nualolo Cliffs Trail

A hop, skip and jump and Ferlino was over the fallen tree.

Waterfall

Waterfall

The pause that refreshes.

Awaawapuhi Trail

Awaawapuhi Trail

We came to a junction and didn’t know which way to turn. Left or right? When in doubt, go right. Not in this case. Luckily some barefooted hikers set us straight.

Junction

Junction

Going back down the trail.

Awaawapuhi Trail

Awaawapuhi Trail

Left or right. Let’s go with left this time, shall we?

Vistas

Vistas

We passed the fenced summit lookout and made our way down the eroded ridge.

Vistas

Vistas

Going down the ridge as it narrowed and became less crowded.

Vistas

Vistas

Nobody down here but the helicopters and birds! Photo by Ferlino Carinio.

Vistas

Vistas

Group photo on Awa’awamalu Ridge.

Kikik

Kikik

I thought they were nocturnal?

Vistas

Vistas

One last group photo at the scenic vista before heading back up the trail.

Awaawapuhi Trail

Awaawapuhi Trail

Hikers yielding to the State bird on the trail.

Awaawapuhi Trail

Awaawapuhi Trail

Learning about native plants on the way back up.

Awaawapuhi Trail

Awaawapuhi Trail

.8 kilometers for our European friends.

Trailhead

Trailhead

The end of the loop trail. Now all we had left was to walk down the road back to our car.

All pau

All pau

Mahalo to the transplant and tourist that gave us a ride back down Highway 550.

GPS Tracks

GPS Tracks

Our loop trail through stunning vistas and valleys covered 10.5 miles. We checked into our hotel, Tip Top Motel, that was described as quirky and old school. Translation: basic accommodations with no frills. Post hike meal at Kenji Burger, where they recognized me but failed to give me a discount. Repeat customer in doubt.

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.

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