“One of the toughest trails on Mt. Ka'ala (4,025 ft.), the tallest mountain in Oahu.”
— Mirek Wierzbicki
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Mount Ka'ala is a tough climb with 3,500 feet of elevation gain. It is recommended for advanced hikers. There are slippery conditions, steep drop-offs, boulders to climb, and ropes. From above you'll see the Waianae Valley, a beautiful place surrounded by jagged green ridges and the ocean in the distance.
In the town of Waianae make a turn on Waianae Valley Rd. The parking lot and trailhead is at the end of this road. When you leave your car here be sure to remove all valuables from your vehicle because this parking lot is well known for break-ins.
The hike starts behind the gate. In the beginning, you'll hike on the paved road for 1.2 miles. At 1.2 miles the road switches to a dirt path with a slightly steeper grade passing a covered picnic shelter to the left. At 1.53 miles arrow sign tells you which direction to go and the trail begins to climb relentlessly. At 2.25 miles you'll encounter the first rope and at 2.70 miles there is a rope over some big boulders. Shortly after this you'll reach some steps that are attached to a huge boulder
After about 2.9 miles of hiking, the grade finally levels off. Before the summit, there is a narrow boardwalk that makes hiking the bog easy and interesting. There are beautiful views from the trail along this section. Be sure to take it in as there are no views from the summit of Mt. Ka'ala.
After enjoy a bit of a well-deserved break, head back the way you came.