Waiakeakua Falls to Kolowalu Trail

by kenji SAITO on December 21, 2014

Hiking Waikeakua Falls to Kolowalu Trail

I had always wanted to do a loop involving Waikeakua Falls, so Glenn and I tagged along with the Oahu Hiker’s group that was doing such a hike. Well, half of the hike.

Bridge #1

Bridge #1

We met up with the group deep in Manoa Valley to start our hike.

Bridge #2

Bridge #2

The trail is also known as the Seven Bridges Road.

Manoa forest

Manoa forest

Walking under canopy. The road soon split, where we took the left fork to stay on trail.

Bridge #3

Bridge #3

Toby was waiting at the third bridge, as he had started earlier in the day to take pictures.

Bridge #4

Bridge #4

There are stories that this trail is haunted by a banshee. Nothing heard. Keep moving.

Waikeakua stream

Waiakeakua stream

Waiakeakua means water of the gods in Hawaiian.

Abandoned car

Abandoned car

One of two cars slowly being swallowed by the forest. Maybe they ran out of gas?

Bamboo forest

Bamboo forest

The group making their way through the bamboo forest.

You guys coming?

You guys coming?

The trail started to disappear amidst the heavy foliage and fallen trees, but we kept to the right and eventually made our way up a flight of cement stairs.

Queen's bath

Queen’s bath

We soon came across this pool of water fed by a small waterfall known as Queen’s Bath. A couple of us partially climbed on the overhead pipe. We then picked up the trail again on the right of the stream at the top.

Bridge #5

Bridge #5

This was the last bridge seen or counted. What happened to the other two?

Landslide

Landslide

The group taking a break at a recent landslide.

Waterfall #1

Waterfall #1

Khym making his way up the first waterfall. Didn’t even get his feet wet.

Waterfall #2

Waterfall #2

Time to take the plunge. The water was over waist high and icy cold. Most of the group took the trail on the left to stay dry. Photo by Richardson Mike

Slippery rope

Slippery rope

Glenn climbing up. Karen soon followed and gave everybody a scare when she lost her footing and was dangling from the rope. She eventually regained her footing and made her way up.

Waterfall #3

Waterfall #3

The tallest of the waterfalls at roughly 60′. Photo by Chris Hiona.

Up we go

Up we go

Climbing up the waterfall with the help of several ropes that were anchored to the trees. Photo by Naomi Bruneau.

Made it!

Made it!

Glenn making it to the top.

Looking down

Looking down

We left the group behind as they stayed at the base of the waterfall and eventually turned around. Our group grew by one, as Khym decided to join us as we continued towards the Koolau Summit.

Leaving the streambed

Leaving the streambed

We followed a faint trail to the right to make our way up the ridge. Going left will take you to Manoa Middle Ridge.

Uluhe trail

Uluhe trail

Fighting the uluhe to gain the summit.

Looking back

Looking back

View of Manoa Valley. It was a nice clear day.

On the KSRT

On the KSRT

Group photo at the top, left to right: Glenn, myself and Khym.

Windward view

Windward view

Looking out towards Olomana. It was a super nice clear day.

Follow the slippers

Follow the slippers

We soon turned right and followed the spine of the Koolaus.

Mount Olympus

Mount Olympus

The summit of Mount Olympus or Awaawaloa was unusually cloud free, it’s actually the second peak in the picture.

Going up and down

Going up and down

We didn’t actually summit Olympus as we followed the KSRT and connected to the Waahila Ridge Trail.

Dirt slalom

Dirt slalom

Glenn doing a controlled slide down the dirt trail, while Khym took the middle rut down.

Kolowalu junction

Kolowalu junction

We took the Kolowalu trail to loop back down into Manoa Valley.

Fallen tree

Fallen tree

When a tree falls in the forest, you sit and stand on it.

Kolowalu trail

Kolowalu trail

The trail eventually connected to the Puu Pia trail which was the way out.

Splash of color

Splash of color

Red ginger flower?

Walking out

Walking out

We soon walked out onto Alani Drive where Glenn had staged his truck.

GPS Tracks

GPS Tracks

The loop that took us through rainforest, waterfalls and mountains covered 4.31 miles with good company all the way. Post hike meal was at Peppa’s Korean BBQ. Courtesy of Glenn. Never bet on hiking time!

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