The Kuliouou Ridge Trail can be long and challenging (at least I thought so.) Some people will say this hike was easy but I’m a pretty experienced hiker and I thought this was a lengthy hike. It was long and most of it was uphill. However, the view at the top was incredible and that’s why I recommend this hike. I typically don’t recommend hikes that are long and painful that don’t provide a pretty view or reward of some kind. Kuliouou Ridge is gorgeous at the top.
Parking and trailhead information
Parking is available in the Kuliouou neighborhood. Please be mindful and don’t block driveways or leave trash behind, because this is a residential area. Residents already deal with a high amount of traffic because of the hike’s location so the least we can do as hikers is be mindful of the area. The hike’s trailhead is at the end of Kalaau Road. There are two trails back here so make sure you look for the short brown sign and take a right at that fork. If you follow the paved road, you’ll end up on the Kuliouou Valley Trail, so make sure to take the Kuliouou Ridge Trail instead. The trail is a series of zigzags and switchbacks up the mountain but every once in a while you’ll reach a clearing that’ll give you a sweet view of the coastline and the ocean. Appreciate these breaks and make sure to snap some shots and enjoy the view! The hike is about 5 miles roundtrip and took me a good 4.5 hours to do from start to finish. The day I did it on was also very hot and uncomfortable so that could have unfortunately slowed us down.
My favorite part about this hike is the incredible view at the top. It really is a stunning view of the entire valley and the ocean. On a clear day you get a crystal clear view of the vast Pacific Ocean. I also love how great of a cardio workout this hike is. You’re hiking uphill for a pretty long time so if that’s not cardio to you, I don’t know what is. Also, for those of us that live on the East side like in Hawaii Kai area, this hike is great because of its awesome proximity. I think dogs that are experienced in hiking could do this hike for sure. I would definitely bring water and treats for your furry little friends so that they are well hydrated for the duration of the hike.
This hike is fairly lengthy and difficult because of its consistent incline so I would mentally prepare yourself. I would do it early in the morning (start on the trail at 8) before high noon, so to prevent extreme sun exposure. That’s the best way to prevent extreme unpleasantness from the sun because we all know that a lot of sun can really tire you out!