Pauao Ridge to Poamoho Trail

by kenji SAITO on October 31, 2015

Hiking Pauao Ridge to Poamoho Trail

Visions of carved pumpkins dancing on a certain extinct crater were soon extinguished, to be replaced by another Halloween hike deep in Kahana Valley. Dale picked me up from Helemano Military Reservation and we journeyed around the island to a place where cell phone reception does not exist.

Trailhead

Trailhead

These boots are made for walking. Or was that past tense?

Hunters & dogs

Hunters & dogs

We saw a pack of hunters ahead of us that went down the Nakoa trail. We were headed uphill to the water tank.

Water tank

Water tank

The trail for us was the opposite of the sign’s direction.

Cleared trail

Cleared trail

HTMC had recently cleared the bottom part of the trail. Lucky us.

Sunrise

Sunrise

The sun was trying to pierce the clouds and the clouds were winning.

Pauao Ridge

Pauao Ridge

The trail soon met up with the ridge and we turned left to continue our climb towards the Koolau Summit Trail (KST).

Uluhell

Uluhell

The cleared trail slowly lost ground to a tangled mess of uluhe ferns as we climbed higher.

'ie'ie

‘ie’ie

Endemic woody climbers scattered on the trail.

Ridge

Ridge

Our destination was masked by heavy cloud cover.

Mossy break

Mossy break

Taking a break amidst the mossy covered trees and ground.

Waterfall

Waterfall

Tucked away deep in the valley. Another hike for another day. Photo by Dale Yoshizu.

Cloudy ridge

Cloudy ridge

One of many false summits that teased us on the hike.

Steep

Steep

We lost our bipedal locomotion as the ridge angle slowly increased.

Steeper

Steeper

The ridge maintained the steep angle to the summit. Crawling and climbing. Huffing and puffing.

KST

KST

Looking at the contour trail carved into the side of the mountains.

Kahana Valley

Kahana Valley

Besides being the wettest valley on the island, it also boasts one of the best views on the island.

Where is the KST?

Where is the KST?

You’re standing on it Dale!

Pauao junction

Pauao junction

Group photo at the top. Small group. Not really a group.

Loulou palms

Loulou palms

Dale passing through a cluster of endemic palm trees with their rustling fan shaped leaves.

Cloudy trail

Cloudy trail

We turned right on the trail towards Poamoho.

Signs

Signs

This must be a hiking trail. There is a sign. Signs of progress or not. Depending on ones point of view.

KST

KST

Dale looking out at the historical Ko’olau Summit Trail that was originally created for hunters to control the feral pig population and not for hikers back in the 1930’s.

Magic gate

Magic gate

My feet never touched the gate, however not the same could be said for my posterior which kissed mother mud. Photo by Dale Yoshizu.

Leeward trail

Leeward trail

The trail crossed to the Leeward side, affording us cloudy views of the Waianae Mountain Range and Central Oahu.

Notch

Notch

Dale opening one of many gates we would encounter on the trail.

Windward trail

Windward trail

The trail switched back to the Windward side with stunning views of Kahana Valley and the Windward side.

Gated trail

Gated trail

The trail switched back to the Leeward side, sheltering us from the howling winds.

Cabin trail

Cabin trail

Dale making his way to the cabin.

Poamoho Cabin

Poamoho Cabin

The legend of the old man in the cabin was true! Photos by Dale Yoshizu.

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

Dressing for the occasion. We both wore pumpkin orange.

Panoramic view

Panoramic view

Click here for the larger image.

Panoramic view

Panoramic view

Click here for the larger image.

That way?

That way?

The other way.

Windward trail

Windward trail

Dale making his way towards the summit.

Poamoho summit

Poamoho summit

One of the greatest views on the island. That is, when the weather cooperates.

Cline memorial

Cline memorial

The only view was that facing the Waianae Mountain Range.

Mud gate

Mud gate

Dale leaving the no view summit.

Stream jumper

Stream jumper

Dale making sure his feet does not touch water. Just mud.

Checking in

Checking in

Or was that checking out?

Trail

Trail

We left behind the unmaintained trail. Walk in the park from this point. Photo by Dale Yoshizu.

Poamoho trail

Poamoho trail

The trail meandered through the vast Ewa Forest Reserve.

Bananas

Bananas

Slightly radioactive leathery berries.

Trail steps

Trail steps

Dale climbing up the steps on the trail.

Trailhead

Trailhead

The easy part was over. Now the long and boring part lay ahead of us.

Poamoho road

Poamoho road

Six miles of jeep road. There is actually a permit you can obtain to drive a 4×4 on this road to save you some mileage. Unfortunately for us, we were going down and not up.

Moo

Moo

We decided to move along in case they became bored with just chewing grass. Photo by Dale Yoshizu.

What's the combination?

What’s the combination?

The first of three gates we would encounter on the trail.

All pau

All pau

The sun was still shining on our sweaty faces. My car was still parked where I left it. Intact. All treats and no tricks today.

GPS Tracks

GPS Tracks

Our Halloween Ko’olau traverse hike covered 13.95 miles. Mahalo to Dale for keeping me company on today’s hike. Post hike meal at Zippy’s.

Leave a Comment

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Dale Yoshizu January 5, 2016 at 4:13 pm

Too good Kenji! Always like the narration with your photos. Also, like the research you do to get the historical information. Thanks for taking me along on this hike!

Reply

kenji SAITO January 5, 2016 at 10:16 pm

Aloha Dale,
Glad you came on the hike Dale! Always enjoy your company! Happy Trails!
Mahalo

Reply

Khyn February 4, 2017 at 6:40 pm

What time you guys start from water tank, reach the summit and pau … just wondering doing some estimated time

Reply

kenji SAITO February 4, 2017 at 8:49 pm

Aloha Khym,
We got to the tank at 0745 and made our way up the ridge to the KST, traversed to the cabin, took pics and ate lunch and got to poamoho summit around 1330. Got back down to the road around 1630. You’re faster, so you probably will get better times.
Mahalo

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