Wiliwilinui Ridge

This hike is approximately 5 miles round trip with a 1200 ft. elevation gain and it will kick your butt!  Michelle and I tackled this today and, while it kicked our butts, the payoff is huge!  The trailhead is in a private development at the top of a ridge.  You will need ID to enter and will be given a day pass for the trail only.  You cannot drive around and gawk at the huge homes or people get upset.  We headed straight for the trailhead and there were a few other people there but not too many. 

Our Destination

The trail starts out as a paved road and then quickly turns to gravel and then dirt.  The first 2/3 of this trail is easy.  The dirt road is pretty wide and is safe for mountain bikes or children.  After the first 1.5 miles you will come to a clearing with a swing and a bench.  This is your chance to rest because the trek to the summit is killer. 

The last .75mi is challenging both as a cardiovascular work out and in regard to footing.  There are many steps to assent as well as about 4 different ropes to use to help yourself up.  Take your time!  Today the trail was pretty dry and thank goodness for that. 

The view from the summit is breathtaking.  You can see 2 different coasts from the top.   To your left is Kaneohe Bay, Kailua and MCBH.  To your right is Honolulu and Hawaii Kai.  You can clearly see the runway for Honolulu and Hickam airports and on the other side you see the old runway at bellows field.  The 3 peaks of Olomana are visible right in front of you on the left side. 

Diamondhead Crater


That ought to be enough pictures to whet your appetite.  All the pictures are on Photobucket.  Michelle and I took our time today.  We didn’t rush at all and it took us about 3 hours to reach the summit.  It took another 2 hours to climb back down. 

Wiliwilinui Ridge is an amazing hike with a huge payoff but it’s not for the beginner.  We saw one family with children that were perhaps 6 or 7 at the youngest.  I wouldn’t advise taking children because of the ropes and the steepness of the climb.  I would definitely say this is in the top 5 I have done here in Hawaii.  If you’re looking for a great workout and a great payoff this is a good trail.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Deborah
    Jan 30, 2012 @ 04:11:27

    So pretty! Thanks for sharing the pics


  2. jenkakio
    Jan 30, 2012 @ 13:28:46

    WiliWilinui ridge is my nemesis. I’ve only finished it once. I do agree, it’s not for beginners, but the views on the top is wort it.


    • hikinginparadise
      Jan 30, 2012 @ 16:05:16

      @Jen- I had to take a 5 minute break right before the summit cause I thought I was going to die. Once I slowed my heart and breathing down I was able to finish it. But I am paying for it today!


  3. LisaG
    Apr 09, 2012 @ 07:25:58

    Funny thing about this hike (just did it yesterday) is that the Hawaii Hiking book classifies it as “Novice/Intermediate” … mmmmm hmmmmmm


    • hikinginparadise
      Apr 09, 2012 @ 07:51:43

      I would say it’s intermediate. It’s a heck of a workout but that doesn’t really factor in to the treachery. I would say intermetiate is appropriate. The problem with those kinds of ratings is that they are highly subjective. I try to give a good idea of what it’s like with more than one word.


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