Sunday, August 17, 2014

Aiea Loop - Hiking

Aiea Loop - Hiking
Distance: Approx 5 miles roundtrip
Duration: 2.5 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Danger: Low

Out hiking with my cousins again, this time on the wicked easy Aiea Loop! This trail is located at the Keaiwa Heiau State Recreation Area at the end of Aiea Heights. It's a short hike with wide, rooty trails. The trail is mostly shady and winds through the foothills of the Ko'olau Range. For the most part, it was sunny but in the middle of our hike it started to rain. But that was brief and the sun came back out by the time we completed our hike. The loop hike starts at the upper parking lot and ends at the campground at the middle parking lot. We spotted two cars so we didn't have to walk back up to the upper parking lot. Enjoy some photos of our hike!

At the trailhead

Wide, rooty trails

H3 from one of many outlooks on the trail

Beautiful blooming i'e i'e

View of Halawa Valley 
You can see the back of Tripler Army Medical Center

We took the eroded trail on the left up to the power-line tower
to check out the views of Halawa Valley and Honolulu.
We continued up the stairs past the tower . . . 

. . . . and came to this clearing.
To the left is a maintenance road with this "No Trespassing" sign.

And to the right is the trail in a grove of Guava trees that is marked with a "pink ribbon".
Take this trail down back to the Loop trail. Turn left onto the Loop trail to continue.

The intermittent 'Aiea Stream

Keaiwa Heiau

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Mount Olympus - Hiking

Mount Olympus (Pu'u Awawaloa) 
Elevation: 2,486 ft
Elevation Gain: 1,562 ft
Trail: Wa'ahila Ridge trail
Distance: 6 miles roundtrip
Duration: 5 hours
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Up and down, up and down - my cousin Darrell and I bagged another peak! Mt. Olympus, with its broad summit, stands in the back of Manoa Valley. Renamed by Punahou students because of its commanding presence, it went by Awawaloa (long valley) by the early Hawaiians. We parked at the Wa'ahila Ridge Trail Recreation Area at the top of St. Louis and our hike was uphill from the get-go. The lower Wa'ahila Ridge Trail was hot and muggy. With the upper trail breezy and cool. We passed 40 other hikers including 4 hunters and about 8 dogs on this hike. And we got alot of inquiries about our Hillsounds Trail Spikes. Enjoy some photos taken of our hike!

At the trailhead

First utility pole

At the Kolowalu Trail junction

Look back every once in a while when ascending!

Roped section (5)

Look back again!

Cloud covered Konahuanui

Darrell on the windy ridge at the base of the summit

Me on the windy ridge at the base of the summit

Summit (2)

8,383 steps, wahoo!!

Views from the overlook. Yes, those are dark rain clouds so Darrell
and I didn't bother staying at the overlook to eat like we had hoped to do.
Instead, we quickly snapped a few photos and headed back to the summit to
search for any benchmark markers. We couldn't find any so we headed back down.

Ka'au Crater

Wa'ahila Ridge, Palolo and Manoa Valleys, 
Diamond Head, Waikiki and Honolulu. 

Ko'oalu clouded

Couple of photos on the way down

My Hillsounds broke on our descent and I used cording to hold it together.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Maunawili Demonstration Trail - Hiking

Maunawili Demonstration Trail - Hiking
Solemates Hawaii Hikers
Distance: Approx 4 - 4.5 miles roundtrip
Duration: 4 hours (including spots along the trail as well as a break for lunch)
Difficulty: Easy
Danger: Low

Got to do another hike with the Solemates Hawaii Hikers. Instead of meeting at the Mauanwili Demonstration Trail trailhead in Waimanalo, we met about 100 yards or so up the street at a private home. We were able to park our cars in the front yard and start our hike from there. The Maunawili Demonstration Trail is 9 miles long from Waimanalo to the Pali. We only hiked about 2 to 2.5 miles and returned on the same trail. A few members headed up a small ridge to finish off a hike using the Ainoni Trail to loop the route, while most of us turned back. After I lunched on my Pork Adobo Manuapua, I headed up the ridge to get a few photos. The views were spectacular! Too bad the top of the ridge wasn't cleared and the trail up to it wasn't maintained. It would make for a perfect destination spot for lunch before returning to the Waimanalo trailhead! I headed back to the trailhead with Connie. Somehow we missed a turn back to the parking lot. But no worries! We just got back onto the state trail and got back down to the main trailhead and took that short walk to the home where our cars were parked. The morning start was a bit muggy, but later it began to cool down. Most of the trail was dry with some muddy spots in the shade. 

Hike briefing at our start - 60 hikers!

Some of us took that overgrown shortcut up to the Maunawili Trail

View of Waimanalo

Along the trail . . . . 


Oreo, Cheerio and Bubba with Karen

This photo is my favorite! I'm standing at the point between two gulches.
Connie is on the right and walking into a gulch 
while the guy on the left is walking out of a gulch.

Most of us stopped here to turn back to our parking. 
The few that went onto Ainoni Trail went up the ridge on the right.

After my lunch I went up the ridge and took some photos! (3)
This spot would make for a perfect lunch spot if cleared! 
1,155 ft - 21°20'11"N  157°45'48"W


Na Ala Hele - State of Hawaii trailhead signs