Ma’akua Ridge


Total Distance: 3.6 miles

Total Time: 3 hours

Terrain: Ridge

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Sunday we set off on a hike in Hau’ula that I did with my kids 2 years ago.  When we did this I ended up turning back because the kids were cranky and the ridge was getting a bit narrow for a 3 and 5 year old.

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Hau’ula is one of the most beautiful parts of the island with amazing beaches and stunning views of the Ko’olau ridges.  The trailhead is found on Hau’ula Homestead Rd and it is a sanctioned trail.

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The ridge trail is not to be confuse with Ma’akua Gulch which is closed.  Several years ago a rock slide at neighboring Sacred Falls caused the state to close both it and Ma’akua gulch because of the similarities in terrain.  Both are deep in a gulch with mountain ridges towering over them and increasing the potential for a deadly rock slide.

This trail shares a trailhead with Hau’ula Loop, another nice trail to explore. The Ma’akua Ridge is also known as Papili Loop and starts down the board of water supply road on the left hand side.  It starts by crossing a dry stream and then switchbacking up the hill to a bench.  Its at the bench that the loop begins.

We went to the left and started our hike with some great coastal views.  There is a really cool rock ledge that makes for a great photo op shortly after the loop splits.  The trail stays on a rather even elevation with minor up and downs before descending back into the gulch on the other side.  The switchback down into this gulch is deja vu and we wondered a few times if we had already completed the loop without knowing it.  But eventually it climbs back up and over the stream 2 more times before coming back to the bench.

Both Ma’akua and Hau’ula loops would be kid friendly.  The Hau’ula trail is a bit shorter and probably better for kids under 5.  Both are nice hikes with views of some of the best beaches on Oahu.

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