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Mt Ka'ala Out-and-Back

Difficult
 4.5 (6) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

One of the toughest trails on Mt. Ka'ala (4,025 ft.), the tallest mountain in Oahu.


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Map Key

6.8

Miles

10.9

KM

59%

Runnable

3,989' 1,216 m

High

579' 176 m

Low

3,410' 1,039 m

Up

3,409' 1,039 m

Down

19%

Avg Grade (11°)

82%

Max Grade (39°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

Mount Ka'ala is a tough climb with 3,500 feet of elevation gain. It is recommended for advanced runners. 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.

Description

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 run starts behind the gate. In the beginning, you'll run 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 running, the grade finally levels off. Before the summit, there is a narrow boardwalk that makes running 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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Mirek Wierzbicki

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 6 votes

#1997

Overall
  4.5 from 6 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#11

in Hawaii

#1,997

Overall
258 Views Last Month
8,209 Since May 7, 2018
Difficult

0%
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83%
17%

Photos

Another breathtaking view
May 12, 2018 near Mākaha…, HI
Beautiful surroundings
May 12, 2018 near Mākaha…, HI
Breathtaking view
May 12, 2018 near Mākaha…, HI
Thank goodness for these ropes
Apr 13, 2019 near Mākaha…, HI
Easiest part of the hike
Apr 13, 2019 near Mākaha…, HI
Third times the charm!!
Apr 13, 2019 near Mākaha…, HI

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Jan 9, 2021
Britt Selvitelle