Hiking the Scenic Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail in Oahu
Are you looking for a new hike to explore in Oahu?
The Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail is a fantastic hike that will take you through lush forests and beautiful island views. It’s one of the best hikes on Oahu!
If you’re looking for an adventure on your next trip to Hawaii, consider hiking this trail. You won’t regret it!
The Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail is known for its beautiful views, but it also has some steep parts that will get your heart racing!
If you want to see Honolulu from above, this is the place to go. Plus, there are plenty of other trails nearby if you want more than just one hike in a day.
Length: 4.7 miles out and back
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Time: About 3-4 hours with breaks
Elevation Gain: 1,617ft
Parking/Entrance Fee: Free
How to get to Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail
This trail is located about 20 minutes from Waikiki and is reached by entering the gated community of Waialae Iki on Laukahi Street.
You’ll eventually drive up to a security gate, at which point you’ll have to show a form of ID to obtain a parking permit.
Please note that there are limited parking spaces, so be sure to arrive early to secure a parking pass.
Follow the signs to the trailhead, and you’ll get to a parking lot right next to where the trail begins (at the end of Okoa Street).
We did this hike late in the afternoon around 4:00PM (we didn’t know any better), but the plus side to our late start was there was parking available since many people do the hike early or in the afternoon.
There were literally two other cars when we got there, and we barely saw anyone on the hike (except for four people coming down).
When we got to the gate, the security guard asked us to be back before 7:00 PM. We made it back on time, but we ran in some parts.
Definitely give yourself enough time to do the hike instead of rushing through it to get back.
Hiking The Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail
The trail starts off nice and easy on a dirt road, but quickly becomes a small set of stairs leading to the ridgeline trail.
Be careful on these stairs as they can be steep and uneven. There are ropes to hold on to in some places, so it’s not too bad.
Once you’ve reached the trail, be sure to take your time and enjoy the panoramic views. Be careful of falling rocks while hiking this trail, especially during periods of rain.
Do take caution because there are some steep drops offs on both sides of this trail. If you’re afraid of heights, this part could prove challenging.
There is a bit of a scramble near the top, and it can also be a little slippery, so be sure to take your time and watch your footing!
Once you’ve reached the lookout platform, you’ll have an incredible view over the surrounding valleys and mountains. The lookout platform is my favorite part of the hike and a great place to rest and refuel.
The 360-degree view of the surrounding mountains is incredible, and you can also see planes coming into Honolulu Airport.
This trail has lots to offer hikers. It’s not just for fitness—it’s also great because it offers views that are unobtainable anywhere else on the island!
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The weather in Hawaii can be unpredictable, and the average temperatures are usually anywhere between 65-87 degrees.
When we hiked here, it started off a little cloudy, then we were hit with some mild rain and fog on the way down.
Luckily we made it out before it got too muddy because the steep sections would have been very slippery if they were even slightly wet. Be sure to check the forecast prior to starting your hike.
Essential Items to Bring on the Hike
There are lots of spots that are not shaded on this trail, so be sure to wear sunscreen or a snorkeling rashguard, a hat, sunglasses, and pack lots of water.
Pack some food and snacks if you can, as the lookout at the top is perfect to rest and eat before making the journey back down.
Proper hiking shoes are highly recommended, as the steep sections would be much more challenging without good traction.
Do some research and make sure to wear the best hiking shoes for Hawaii. Proper hiking shoes can make or break a hike.
Last but not least, remember to bring your camera because the views from the top are incredible!
Additional Things to Note
The Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail can get muddy and slippery after periods of rain.
If you’re planning on going during a time that it’s likely to rain, be aware that the trail’s conditions can quickly turn bad. I would not recommend doing this hike after heavy rainfall.
The ridge trail can get windy and chilly since it is at a decent elevation, so bring layers if you’re planning on hiking during colder months.
The Wrap Up: Hiking The Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail
The Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail is popular for a reason. Some say it offers the best views on the island of Oahu. It’s also one of the most challenging hikes around, but many hikers say it’s worth it for how stunningly beautiful the view at the top is.
This trail should be attempted by experienced hikers only—if you’re new to hiking or not comfortable with heights, this may not be as enjoyable as some of the easy hiking trails in Oahu that are more forgiving.
That said, if you’re looking for an adventure you won’t be disappointed!
Mahalo for reading our post. Until next time, and happy hiking in Hawaii!
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