Haunala Loop

Ok so today I learned that regardless of all the research I do these hikes are usually longer than any book says they are.  The Na Ala Hele web site said 2 miles because they expect you to go out and back.  The book I bought this weekend “the Hiker’s Guide to Oahu” said there was a look that was 6mi.  According to the ap on my phone it was more like 10 miles. 

The trailhead is easy to find.  Just drive up Kam Hwy and take a right at the light right before sharks cove.  Continue up that hill until you can’t go anymore.  You will see a boyscout camp.  Park on the side of the road and walk along the path to the right of the camp.  Soon after you get on the trail you will need to climb over a gate and there is a hunter/hiker checkin box.  I highly recomend that you do this.  At least if you never come out maybe someone checks this once in a while. 

Where the trail begins

We started out at good pace with the kids chasing each other down the wide path coated in pine needles, shortly after the first gate comes a second gate which you ignore and go on to the left on a paved road.  Right around the corner from that is the “trailhead”.  There is a sign for Kaunala trail.  It’s a little unclear which way the trail goes as it looks like you can scramble up the hill or go the low route.  We went the low route and followed the trail through the deeps woods and many switchbacks.  At the first clearing we weren’t able to see much other than the other mountains around us.  

After about 3 miles the kids where pretty whiney so I sat them down with the bag of teddy grahams I brought along.  That’s where the route tracker got put on hold and not taken off for a while.  They ate and we moved on after about a 15 minute break.  The trail form this point got muddy and in places narrow and crosses 2 streams so be ready to get your feet wet.  There were a couple of clearings where there was grass and ferns and a little more space to move around. 

By the time we hit mile 5 I figured we were commited, and almost done so we kept pushing on through groves of guava trees and paperbark trees.  The smells were great and I enjoyed the folliage. 

Finally there is a signed crossing that crosses a gravel road.  At this point you can take the “extension” trail according to my guide.  But since I had no idea how long that would be or where it would take us I opted for the traditional route.  So we took a right and headed up to gravel road.  It was another mile uphill and over the gravel road before we reached the summit.  There is a clearing where you can see all of the north shore all the way out to Kaena point.

There were some cool trees and plants to see along the way.  Guava tree’s, Kukui nut trees, and others I don’t know the names of.  The hike was grueling, I’m not going to sugar coat it.  But I was impressed that the kids did the whole thing.  I didn’t carry either of them.  From the top it’s a shorter walk down over the gravel and then eventually paved road and then eventually that path you started on but, by this time there was a lot of whining. 

I’m glad we did it but if I knew then what I know not I never would have brought my kids.  Still they were troupers!  And there sure were worn out!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Julie
    Feb 04, 2013 @ 05:43:12

    I’m quite sure the books are more correct. The all trails app I used yesterday clocked us at 4.83 miles which felt about right and we did the same route as what you described. I suppose with kids it probably felt like 10 miles though 😉


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