Hau'ula Loop Trail

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Phone (808) 973-9782
Address Maakua Rd, Hauula, HI 96717
Relatively easy, 2.5 long hiking trail on Oahu's windward side.

• General: Camping • General: Cost: Free • General: Photo Opportunity • Hiking: Hiking • Hiking: Kid Friendly
• Hiking: Length: 2-3 Miles • Hiking: Level: Easy • Hiking: Loop Trail • Hiking: Minor Elevation Changes • Sightseeing: Great Views
• Vehicle Activities: Biking

Hau'ula Loop Trail is a 2.5 mile long loop trail on the windward (east) side of O'ahu in the town of Hauula. The trail is often considered to be easy and is one that you may find trail runners on as well.

It's also said to be a family friendly hike, though terms like that are relative to your family and how well your kids do with hiking in general. There are still plenty of steep areas where a fall off the trail could result in serious injury.

Getting here is fairly easy, see our map / directions page to get started. From the Kamehameha Highway, across from Hau'ula Beach Park, turn mauka (towards the mountain) on Hauula Homestead Road. Keep driving straight and look for a legal place to park before Hauula Homestead Road curves to the left, where the same road going straight turns into Ma'akua Road.

Now for a word on safety! In addition to all of the general Hiking Safety & Essentials that you need to read, and the fact that you need to apply sunscreen to Protect Yourself From Sunburn & Skin Cancer even though the hike is largely shaded, you'll also want to make sure you leave nothing in your car. This is a known high theft area so read up on Vehicle Theft In Hawaii so you're not a victim. That doesn't mean you shouldn't come here, it just means you need to not be overly touristy and leave stuff in your car that thieves might want. Even an empty bag could have a thief wondering what's inside. Also keep in mind that hunting takes place in this area so wear bright clothing.

Once legally parked, walk up Ma'akua Road to the end which will take you to Hau'ula Loop Trail trailhead. You should sign in (and out when you return) at the hunter / hiker check in station and then head to your right at the trailhead. If you keep going past the Hau'ula Loop Trail trailhead you'll run into the Ma'akua Ridge Trail / Papali Trail instead. You'll know you've gone too far if you pass by some large, graffiti filled retaining walls.

Once on the trail, you'll start gaining elevation and eventually climb up around 600 feet in elevation gains throughout the trail. Shortly after the hike begins you'll run into a T-intersection where you can go left or right, pick either one as this is the loop section of the trail. Head one way and you'll come back the other as you loop around.

As you hike through the ironwood tree groves you'll get clearings that offer up some incredible views of the ocean (through the tree usually) and town of Hauula below.

The trail is filled with plant life and plenty of birds to see and hear. If you see trees with oval leaves and red flowers, these are likely ohia trees which have some interesting mythology behind them, see Lehua Blossoms And Ohia Trees for more on that. The tall pine trees you see were planted here in 1933 and are called Cook Pines after the famed explorer, see The History of Captain James Cook.

The trail itself was built in 1933 by the forestry division to access the Hau'ula Forest Reserve for tree planters, pig hunters, and fence builders. They started in January and finished in April, because back then people knew how to build stuff quickly. Today, the paperwork and permitting alone would likely take years!