Poamoho Trail & Poamoho Hele Loa Access

Image Credit John Game|https://www.flickr.com/photos/47945928@N02/5861943560
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Phone (808) 973-9782
Address 694 Mccormack Ave, Wahiawa, HI 96786
Seven mile round trip hike with amazing views. Requires 4x4 vehicle and permit.

• General: Cost: Free • General: Photo Opportunity • Hiking: Hiking • Hiking: Length: 3-4 Miles • Hiking: Level: Difficult
• Hiking: Level: Moderate • Hiking: Major Elevation Changes • Hiking: Out & Back Trail • Hiking: Ridge Hike • Sightseeing: Great Views

The Poamoho Trail is a 3.5 long (each way), out and back style ridge hike in the Wahiawa area of O'ahu with amazing views along the way as well as at the Ko'olau Summit end. But there's more to it than that as it also requires a 5 mile (each way) drive along a dirt road that requires a 4x4 vehicle as well as a permit.

On that note, let's cover the access situation first. You can only access this hike on weekends and federal holidays, you can thank the US Army for that restriction. You then need to apply for a permit (at least 10 business days in advance) from the Division of Forestry and Wildlife, specifically the Makiki branch. Their located at 2135 Makiki Heights Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822 and can be reached at (808) 973-9778.

They only issue 20 permits per allowed day where each permit grants five people and one 4x4 vehicle access. Note that a 4x4 vehicle is required. If you get a permit you cannot apply again for 30 days. Only you and your vehicle are allowed in so no bikes, ATVs, horses, etc. No camping is allowed and hours are sunrise to sunset.

Once you've jumped through all of those hoops you'll start where we've pinpointed our map (see directions page). This is where the hiker check in area is and marks the start of the first locked gate you'll find (you'll get the combination with your approved permit). This also starts the 5 mile (one way) journey in your 4x4 vehicle. Obey the 15 MPH speed limit or they'll boot you out.

Once you've gone in five miles (shown in green on our map above) you'll start the 3.5 mile trail (shown in blue on our map above). The total hike will be 7 miles round trip.

The trail itself is very well maintained and while you're gaining around 800 feet in overall elevation, it's such a long trail that it often feels fairly flat. Since this is a ridge hike, it's not recommended for children or novice hikers and should be considered a moderate to difficult hike overall. Be sure to read Hiking Safety & Essentials before you go as well.

If it rained recently then you can expect a very muddy trail. Make sure you're wearing proper hiking shoes and clothes that you don't care about ever being clean again. When wet and muddy, this will be a slow trail. If it's dry, the trail will be much easier and go much faster.

Along the way you'll spot plenty of native plants, some of which are very rare. You'll see strawberry guava, native koa, and Lehua Blossoms And Ohia Trees along the way. Views along here will include the Kahana Valley, Punalu'u Valley, and the northeastern shores of O'ahu.

Near the end of the trail, as you approach the Ko'olau Summit with incredible views, you'll find the Poamoho cabin on your right and a memorial on the left. Enjoy your reviews and make sure you leave plenty of time to be out before sunset.