Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wai'oma'o Stream Trail


Welcome to another "where the hell are we" adventure. We started todays hike with the same goal as last week, Wai'oma'o Falls & Ka'au Crater. Did we find it??? No, of course not! We started out good, but evidently took a wrong turn (who'd have thought!). We ended up on the trail following the pipe, but we never saw the falls and were about 2 hours in. I have heard the falls are only about 1/2 hour in. Wrong turn somewhere. Well, I put this up there with Mau'umea Ridge Trail (Lanipo Trail), just because this is the second trail 2 weeks that was unexpected. And by unexpected, I mean it was a successful hike simply based on the fact that we lived. It was a little unnerving, to say the least, to slip and have half of your leg hanging 1000+ ft in the air. No ropes, no nets, no nothing. Anyhow, before all that, it was a nice hike. If you go prepared, and that's your thing, great. If you think you're on a casual hike, not so great.

Well, here's some pics. Hope we get the REAL waterfalls next time.

Looking back from the end of Wai'oma'o Road.

The biggest waterfalls we saw:(

The next 2 are me then Kimi on our way up Wai'oma'o Stream.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Plans for tomorrow...


Tomorrow we head out to find Ka'au Crater and Wai'oma'o Falls. This week we plan on accessing this trail through a different route than last week. The directions that we got from Google last week did not seem practical. Everything was fenced off private property, except Mau'umea Trail. And 1500ft down the mountain didn't look like a logical way. So, we will be starting our hike in Palolo Valley. This is a longer walk to get to than Google said, but then again I guess it's not shorter if you can't get there at all. We probably will not make it all the way tomorrow, as we have a carnival to go to in the evening at Magic Island, but if we can even find the trail on try #2, I will be happy!

Wish us luck!

E malama pono, a hui hou.

Koma & Kimi

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mau'umea Ridge Trail (Lanipo Trail)


Hike of the day? Well, not what we expected! Our plans today were to try to find Ka'au Crater and Wai'oma'o Falls on the way. What we got was Mau'umea Ridge Trail a.k.a. Lanipo Trail.

From the reading I have done after we got home, this is one of the most difficult trails on O'ahu. It is not the longest, on perhaps the most dangerous (although it did have a lot of loose footing and parts of the trail were no more than 1 foot wide with up to 2000ft drops on each side), but it is a rollercoaster! Most mountain hikes are up one way, and down the other. Not this little gem! Up, down, up, down... you get the point. At 3.7 miles to the summit (which we didn't make today), it takes a longer than normal time to hike. Average time estimates for this trail are about 2 1/2 hours to cover the 3.7 miles one way. We made 1 1/2 hours. Long enough for today, especially being that we were looking forward to an easier hike today, and had no idea of what to expect when we started out on this trail.

The trip there was not so bad. It was still fairly early, about 9 a.m., and was overcast with a light drizzle. The way back was another story. By this time the rain and clouds had burned off, and the beautiful Hawai'ian sun was shining in ALL of its glory. We took about 3 short breaks on the way there, and about 10 longer breaks on the way back.

Now, don't get me wrong, the views are worth it (and we didn't even make it to the summit). But, this is a hike you need to be ready for. No novice hikers here. This is considered a more difficult trail. But in retrospect, now we think we can handle anything! Well, we will see how we feel tomorrow. Already pretty sore and burned. Oh yeah, don't forget sunscreen. Not much in the way of shade along this mountain ridge.

All in all, worth it. Get back to the country every once in a while. It will put things into perspective.

Until next time, happy trails.

A view of Diamond Head just before the trailhead.

Don't know yet what's ahead, but we're going to find out!

Kimi posing at the first scenic lookout on the trail.

Waikiki Beach from the trail.

Diamond Head from the trail.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Jackass Ginger


O.K., so it's been a few weeks, and a few setbacks, but we finally made it to Jackass Ginger. Jackass Ginger is on the Judd Trail. Once you reach the trailhead for Judd Trail, simply descend to your right toward the stream. You will see a trail marker. Cross the stream at this point. On the other side of the stream, you will see another trail marker. This indicates that the trail goes upstream and downstream. Proceed downstream for a short while, and you will be at Jackass Ginger. This is a small local swimming hole. There is a rope swing, and part of the falls can be used as a slide.

*CAUTION* As with any inland water in Hawai'i, leptosporosis is always a concern. Swim at your own risk.

As for the trail, it is a loop trail. If you continue past Jackass Ginger, you will eventually come full circle back to the trailhead. About halfway through the trail, you will see another marker. This is for the Nu'uanu Trail. Continue straight past this marker to stay on Judd Trail, or go right to start a new adventure. As of this post, we have not hiked the Nu'uanu Trail yet. This will be a future adventure, and we will inform you when we make this hike.

While on the Judd Trail, keep your eyes open. Parts of the series "LOST" were filmed here. Check out for comparison photos with scenes in the show.

Happy Trails.

Someone about to slide down.

Jumping from the rope swing.

Looking forward...


We are looking forward to our next adventure. Next week we are planning to hike Judd Trail again. This time, we plan on hiking the complete trail. This hike will most likely take place on 7-15 or 7-16. If all goes as planned, which it usually dosen't, we will make the entire loop. Judd Trail is a loop trail (it begins and ends in the same place forming a loop), and is the home of Jackass Ginger. Jackass Ginger is a local swimming hole with a rope swing and a rock "slide".
In case you haven't read our other posts, we have been misdirected for 2 weeks as to the location of Jackass Ginger. On a recent hike, we finally found the trail, but went in the wrong direction. This time we think we know where we are going, and should finally make it. Wish us well, and hope we don't get chased by any more big dogs or something worse! We will keep you updated, and of course, have some new pictures to show.

A few pics...


Just to let everyone know, we take public transportation to most of our destinations. This is the extremely cheap way to go. Being that a bus pass costs $50 dollars per month per person, it is much cheaper than owning or renting a car. However, this means that we don't get "front door service". So, occasionally, we have to walk a little ways to reach the trail. No worries. Sometimes the views getting to your destination are beautiful as well. Below I have shown a few pics from the last bus stop on the way to Judd Trail to Judd Trail itself.

Now that we are caught up...

Now that we're caught up on our trips, I will be posting regular blogs on our excursions. Typically, we have been trying to go out once a week. However, weather and health do play a role. Unfortunately, we got a double whammy this week. Kimi is sick and the weather has been rainy. These things happen, even in paradise. Anyhow, check back regularly for new adventures, or feel free to leave some suggestions of your own. And as always, feel ree to contact me with any questions you might have, and I will respond as soon as possible.

E malama pono, a hui hou.
Take care, until we meet again.

Queen Lili'uokalani Botanical Gardens


Welcome to Queen Lili'uokalani Botanical Gardens. OK. So it's not really a hike. But with the small waterfall on the Nu'uanu Stream running through it, it makes a nice place for a picnic. After you finish one of the other hikes nearby (ie. Judd Trail, Kapena/Alapena Falls), this is definately a nice place to stop for lunch if you were just doing a short morning hike. On one side of the stream is the majority of the botanical gardens, and the other side is shady with lush grass perfect to throw down that picnic blanket. Or, if just relaxing with a book is your thing, there's not much better of a place in Nu'uanu. Truly a relaxing retreat from the nearby busy downtown Honolulu.

Judd Trail


Finally, we found Judd Trail. After 2 weeks of being given wrong directions, we made it. This is a nice hike that runs partially along the Nu'uanu Stream. The day we got here, we were on a limited time schedule and could only hike part of the trail. Though we didn't make it to our goal destination of Jackass Ginger, it was still a nice hike. There will definately be another segment on this trail in the future. Jackass Ginger is a locally famous swimming hole along this trail. This will have to wait for another day.

Caution about the trail: heed warning signs. There is private property very close to the trail. Stay on the trail and out of other peoples yards. Unfortunately, when going upstream, we did not know the trail was on the opposite side of the stream. We ended up running from someones large dogs as we quickly tried to hop slippery rocks across the stream. We didn't really need that adrenaline rush.

Oh, by the way, parts of the series "LOST" was filmed along this trail as well. Check out for comparisons in scenery.

Small falls near the trailhead.

This is where we should have been on the other side.

This is the area where the dogs chased us.

Kimi walking through the bamboo.

We were somewhere up there.

Kapena Falls & Alapena Falls


Hike of the day... Kapena Falls & Alapena Falls. We happened to come by these falls accidently. We were on our way to another adventure, and our bus driver dropped us off at the wrong stop. We followed directions he gave us upon getting off the bus, and ended up finding these little beauties. Located just off the Pali (virtually under it), these small falls are a favorite swimming spot for local kids. Not to mention, parts of the series "LOST" was filmed here. (Go to for these sites along with others we have hiked.) The hike is easy, and there are 2 trails leading to the falls. The upper trailhead is the most dangerous, but only because you have to walk along the busy Pali for a few minutes. The lower trailhead is through a cemetary in Nu'uanu. Nothing spectacular as waterfalls go, and the area needs some cleanup, but overall a relaxing place to go for a short hike.

Some of the locals at Alapena Falls.

Kimi posing by Alapena Falls.

Alapena Falls again.

A local kid diving into the pool at Kapena Falls.

Some local boys swimming in Kapena Falls.

'Aihualama Falls


'Aihualama Falls is the hike of the day. The easiest way to locate this trail is to start at the Lyon Arboretum next to Manoa Falls. Otherwise, it is accessable by a side trail near Manoa Falls. This hike is about 1 mile and is an easy/moderate hike. If you start at the arboretum, be careful. You can easily get distracted by the arboretum itself, as they maintain the trail up to the falls. With that being said, this was the most beautiful hike I have been on so far.

There are numerous side trails that highlight different aspects of Hawai'i's ecosystem. My advice, if you have the time, is to see this area over several visits. There is way to much to see to fit it all into one day. If you are on a restricted schedule, hike the trail to the falls first, then see the main points of interest on the way back.

'Aihualama Falls was more of a trickle on this day.

The small pool at the base of the falls.

Kimi posing at the falls.

Kimi & I at the scenic lookout. Manoa Valley is in the background.

Diamond Head Lighthouse


Well, today is another one of those "hikes" that is just off the beaten path. Diamond Head Lighthouse and Diamond Head Beach are just east of Waikiki past Kapi'olani Park. Once you pass Kapi'olani Park, there are a couple of beach parks before you get to the lighthouse. The views are great, and it's a god place to catch a lot of the locals surfing. If you're cruisin' around Waikiki, and have an extra hour or two, do yoursel a favor and check out some of Hawai'i's little seen beaches.

Kimi in the fountain at the end of Kapi'olani Park. This is as far as most tourists go.

Kimi enjoying some cool waters by the Diamond Head Lighthouse.

Diamond Head Lighthouse.

You might even learn something!

Kimi & I at Diamond Head Lighthouse.

Dole Plantation


Today we go to Dole Plantation. Dole Plantation has several things you can do, including a train ride tour of the plantation and a "walk-through" maze. The maze is in the Guiness Book of World Records for being the largest maze in the world. This is the option we chose for today.

Within the maze are several check points that you must reach in order to complete the maze. It was fun to do, plus you get your days worth of walking, being that you probably won't get the right path on the first try.

Anyway, I would recommend this adventure for a fun day out.

Kimi & I finally found all 8 checkpoints. We didn't conquer it in record time, but we made it.

Manoa Falls


Todays hike is Manoa Falls. Manoa Falls is an easy/moderate hike of about 1 1/2 miles. The hike takes you through rain forest and bamboo forest. The beauty is amazing. The falls themselves are pretty small, as are most on O'ahu. However, the hike itselsf is almost as beautiful as the final destination. This is one of the most popular waterfall hikes on O'ahu. About 15-20 minutes drive from Waikiki, this is a hike well worth it if you are staying in the Honolulu area.

Kimi & I playing tourist for the camera.

The falls are reportedly 75-150 ft tall.

The falls as seen from the trail up.

Bamboo forest.

Looking down at Manoa Valley from the trail.