Explore Hawaii: Life in Oahu – Hiking Kawa’ewa’e
April 30, 2016
Boating: Spearfishing on The Swell Life (Hawaii)
May 26, 2016

Explore Hawaii: Hiking - Ka’au Crater

QUESTION: What’s your favorite hike in Oahu?

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Waterfalls to Ridge Summit Loop

Elev. Gain

1,551 - 1,678 ft.


4 hours

Starting Point

End of Waiomao Road in Palolo Valley

I plan on hiking the shorter, less intense Ridge Loop versus the Summit Loop which would add another 1.25 mile plus intenseness. I heard a handful of gracious HTMclub members had been clearing the summit loop trail, when one member almost fell off in an eroded section of the ridge. Luckily his weed whacker saved him.

Hike to First Waterfall

Although, I came with members of the HTMclub, I met Bernadine (with another group she called, Solemates) where she encouraged me on my first visit to Ka’au. We stuck together through the upstream crossings… following pink ribbons tied to trees, in the thick, lush tropical forest, for hints of the route...

Stream crossings are just fun! Walked alongside some large water pipes, too.

Finally, we arrived at the falls. If you’re not afraid of the cold, many cooled off underneath the falls here before continuing on. Beginner hikers can be happy right here, turn around and call it a day with a smile.

This hike was not easy by any means. It was hot, humid and the thick, deep mud tried to swallow your feet/boots entirely. You're concentrating not to trip over roots or slip on the wet rocks. Locals are seen barefoot hiking here but I haven’t trained my feet for that type of abuse so I do have my Hillsound Trail Crampons (Affiliate Link) strapped onto my trail boots.

UPDATED: Returned 3-days later (05/18/2016) and guided Nicole and Rob... her brother visiting Oahu... on the hike.

Hiking Upwards Besides the Falls

I forged forward… started to scale up adjacent to the terraced waterfalls. Here is where you really have to stay focused on your every step which you can VERY EASILY slip.

At the top of the second waterfall looking down:

To get to this spot, we had to get around a large boulder with a memorial plaque for a Heidi Marie Page who "who lost a battle with depression... chose to end her life."

There were a few ropes to safely scale up. (Climbing Safety: Remember, the three points of contact rule. Don’t put all your weight on the ropes as you don’t know how long ago they were installed. Always maintain contact with one hand and two feet.)

Glimpse of the Rope Climb Route

Stayed left and came upon a great view of the crater. Eventually, it led to get a glimpse of the hidden, marshy Ka’au Crater - the origin of the falls as water drains out of it. Looking towards the Summit Loop hike I’m passing on today.

Heading back down... Happily exhausted from being immersed in nature for 4 hours.

On This Day in History

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