My friends and I decided to challenge ourselves and check out this hike that we all have never done before. An incredible trek up a mountain that really tests your endurance and feeds you an adrenaline high while you work endlessly until you reach the rewarding view at the top. This is no ordinary hike, and a hike that we all were just figuring out for our first time as we went along. Definitely was not prepared for the strenuous incline workout through a jungle forest then scaling up rocky cliffs with much needed assistance from long ropes hanging down from trees. Legit rock climbing! We sweated profusely, we took breaks, we panted, we complained, but overall the demanding workout was all worth it for the end results. A breathtaking panoramic view of Ko’olau range, Kailua, Waimanalo, and Kane’ohe all while hanging out on a mountain peak. A hiking experience unlike any other I have tried before and so proud of myself for accomplishing.
If you are an adrenaline junkie or love challenging hikes, this is a must see on O’ahu and surprisingly not illegal! Here is some insight and photos my friends and I gathered and tips to help you prepare for your mountain climb.
1. What to Expect
My friends and I decided to get up early for this hike which I am so glad that we did. We started the hike at about 8:30am and got to the first peak by 10am. So, overall the hike to the first peak takes about an hour and a half, depending on how many breaks you might take! I would rate this hike as difficult, which is why we wanted to go early in the morning and beat the heat. The weather was nice out, and thankfully we got down the mountain by the time it started raining lightly. This mountain is located in Maunawili Valley so it rains a lot here. Recommended to go when weather is in good condition since this hike can get muddy and you are literally walking through a forest and climbing up a mountain. Overall hiking to all three peaks is about 4.5 miles, 1.5 miles to the first peak.
My friends and I can handle pretty challenging hikes and this hike we all struggled a bit with. Just a lot of cardio work and incline all the way up, I for a moment thought I wouldn’t be able to make it! Make sure to stay hydrated, be well rested, have snacks, good hiking shoes, STRETCH, and be mentally and physically prepared for a hard incline workout. And I definitely wouldn’t recommend this hike for kids.
2. How to Get Here
From what we figured out, to get to the entrance of the trail, you walk through the Royal Hawaiian Golf Course in Kailua on Auloa Road. Luckily, we parked off the road near a friend’s house and from what I researched, you are not supposed to park anywhere on Loop road leading up to or past the entrance to the Royal Hawaiian Golf Course. I would try to find parking near Auloa Road, and then walk on Loop Road towards the entrance to the golf course and you are welcomed to walk on through.
You walk for about 15 minutes along the road while enjoying the lush green scenery of beautiful Maunawili Valley. Then you will eventually see a sign for the entrance to Olomana Trail and turn left into the jungle and get ready!
3. More About Hiking on Mount Olomana
Hiking to the first two peaks I would recommend for most hikers, only hike to the third peak if you are a very experienced hiker. This is the hardest trek to the third peak and most people I know that have hiked to this peak left pretty freaked out. You have to be very cautious and mindful while you are climbing up these rocks. Very steep slopes and you can fall down very easily if you are not mindful and safe. My friends and I were very patient with each other and we were all helping one another out while climbing the rocks.
These three mountain peaks on the windward side of O’ahu were formed by an erosional remnant from the Ko’olau Volcano. The first peak is known as Olomana, the second peak is Paku’i, and the third peak is Ahiki. Most people refer to the whole section as Olomana which means, “divided hill” in Hawaiian.
Olomana was also known as a great warrior and according to the Hawaiian legend, he ruled the lands on the windward side from Kualoa to Makapu’u. The king of O’ahu, ‘Ahuapau, during that time sent the great warrior, Palila to battle Olomana and ended up cutting him in half. His upper torso is said to be in the Pacific Ocean near Kane’ohe Bay, and his lower half is where Mount Olomana is today. Ahiki peak was named after one of Chief Olomana’s favorite “konohiki” meaning headman in Hawaiian. Paku’i was named after the keeper of the ponds.
Address for the Royal Hawaiian Golf Course-
770 Auloa Rd, Kailua, HI, 96734
Directions we researched-
From Waikiki, get on the HI West and get off at the Pali Highway exit. Follow the Pali (Highway 61) up through the mountains, pass the intersection where Kamehameha Highway meets Auloa Road, and turn right at the second Auloa Road. Turn left immediately onto Loop Road which runs parallel to the 61, just do not park on Loop Road. Park near Auloa Road and walk your way onto Loop Road.
Have fun, be safe, and never hike alone xoxo