Birding · Views · Wildlife
This run gives you the ability to see both Nualolo and Awaawapuhi viewpoints on the same run. It's very steep and wet weather can make it challenging.
Need to Know
You'll have to walk 1.5 miles on the road that connects both trailheads. It's narrow and can be busy.
This run is best started early in the morning. I start at sunrise or just before. Two reasons, the best weather is in the morning and you can eliminate a lot of people. The best way to do this loop is to start on Nualolo and finish on Awaawapuhi. You can park in the trailhead parking lot or in the gravel lot at the meadow by the bathrooms between the campground and the museum which means a short run to the start of the trail but a longer run from the finish.
The Nuʻalolo Trail
has a massive tree fall at the beginning that required going through or around it. There was another further down the trail. Everything was wet from condensation and the trail has looked like it had not been used much by many people because it was very narrow and overgrown in places. Within a mile my feet and pants were soaked. This continues for a mile or so.
I was surprised given that I think the view at the end of this trail is much better than Awaawapuhi. There was a lot of fallen strawberry guava along the first couple miles of the trail and lots of evidence of pig activity. This trail is all downhill and some of that downhill is steep and slippery. I always run with trekking poles and really needed them here.
A couple of miles in and pines trees start to emerge along with the koa. It's really unusual to see these trees in this forest.
The Nualolo Cliffs trail starts off with a down tree you have to navigate. The path is navigable but not as clear as the main two trails. Once you get to the Shelter there are a few trail options. The high grass is very overgrown so it is difficult to find the right trail. I went down to the rim to the old trail for pictures. You have to be careful because it is very steep at the edge.
This trail follows the contours of the ridges around and up and down. There are three dry streams to cross then connect with Awaawapuhi and back up towards the trailhead. This trail is wider and more obviously well traveled as evidenced by the people running down and the overfill parking lot.
The run back to the truck at the lot is around 1.5 miles on the narrow road. You have to be careful and choose the right side of the road to run on.
Flora & Fauna
Possibility of seeing Hawaiian forest birds. Evidence of pig activity. Koa, 'Ōhi'a lehua and some pine trees along with the invasive strawberry guava.
Shared By: Steve Jackson