Ualaka'a Trail

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Phone (808) 973-9782
Address 3280 Nutridge St, Honolulu, HI 96822
Short, easy loop trail at Pu'u 'Ualaka'a State Park

• General: Cost: Free • General: Photo Opportunity • Hiking: Hiking • Hiking: Kid Friendly • Hiking: Length: 1-2 Miles
• Hiking: Level: Easy • Hiking: Loop Trail • Hiking: Nature Walk • Sightseeing: Great Views

The Ualaka'a Trail is a short, loop trail hike located at Pu'u Ualaka'a State Wayside Park in the Honolulu area of O'ahu. We've pinpointed the main trailhead on our map / directions page and you'll find some off-street parking in that area or follow the road just a bit further up and you'll find a large lot of the Pu'u Ualaka'a State Wayside Park.

The total length for the Ualaka'a Trail loop is around 1.4 miles with around 400 feet worth of elevation gains along the way so it's a pretty easy and family friendly hike. The park area has restrooms, drinking water, and trash cans as well and you'll want to view the lookout while you're here!

When you reach the far end of the Ualaka'a Trail it will interested with the Maunalaha Trail and the Makiki Valley Loop Trail / Makiki Valley Trail. You now have some options and you will find a trail system map at this intersection. First, you can simply head back the way you came and make this an out and back style trail rather than a loop. If you have small kids then this may be the best option.

Second, if you head left you'll be on the Maunalaha Trail, which will connect to the Kanealole Trail and take you clockwise in another loop (eventually connecting with the Makiki Valley Loop Trail / Makiki Valley Trail) and then bring you right back to the same point you header left on the Maunalaha Trail. You could also follow this same extra loop by heading right at the intersection and doing a counterclockwise loop. This will greatly extend your hike.

Third, and the most common route, is to just make a right onto the Makiki Valley Loop Trail / Makiki Valley Trail and follow that trail to the right again (sort of making a u-turn but onto a new trail) which will have you doing the Ualaka'a Trail loop. Keep walking and the Moleka Trail will fork into the path you're on and then it will intersect with Round Top Drive. When it does that you'll head to your right down the street (watch for cars here) for a short distance to the Ualaka'a Trail sign on your left.

Follow that back into the forest where it will force you to cross Round Top Drive and pick up the trail again across the road (just a bit to your left). Follow the trail again and it will take you back to your starting point at Pu'u Ualaka'a State Wayside Park. If you have small kids just note that you are walking along the side of the road and crossing it a second time and tourist filled cars likely aren't looking out for you.

This trail, either as an out and back or the main loop, should be pretty easy for most people. It's well shaded and you're up a bit in elevation so not terribly hot most of the time. Those large pine trees you see early on are called Cook Pines, named after Captain James Cook (see The History of Captain James Cook). Birdwatchers should look for the White-Rumped Shama which is black on the top and light brown colored on the underside with a long black and white tail. These birds are native to Malaysia and tend to mimic the sounds of others birds.

If you bring a dog it must remained leashed at all times as hunting dogs may be in this area. Be sure to also read up on Hiking Safety & Essentials before you head out.