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A challenging run with two stunning viewpoints available.


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Map Key

7.9

Miles

12.7

KM

78%

Runnable

4,115' 1,254 m

High

2,218' 676 m

Low

2,262' 689 m

Up

1,846' 563 m

Down

10%

Avg Grade (6°)

31%

Max Grade (17°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Birding · Views · Wildlife

Overview

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.

Description

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Steve Jackson

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 3 votes

#2643

Overall
  4.7 from 3 votes
5 Star
67%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#16

in Hawaii

#2,643

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34 Views Last Month
470 Since Nov 18, 2021
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Photos

View from canyon edge
Nov 19, 2021 near Kekaha, HI
Pine trees
Nov 19, 2021 near Waimea, HI
View from shelter toward cliff edge - this is to a vista; not the continuation of the trail!
Aug 1, 2019 near Kekaha, HI
Narrow overgrown trail
Nov 19, 2021 near Waimea, HI
The trail traverses up and down.
Aug 1, 2019 near Waimea, HI
Lots of downed trees along the trail.
Aug 1, 2019 near Waimea, HI

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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Minor Issues 83 days ago
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Check-Ins

Sep 15, 2023
Vanessa Maldonado
Wild run and stunning views! 12mi — 5h 00m
Feb 13, 2023
Bryhei McCarty
Super hard- didn't have enough water or food, was dealing with a man cold. Bonked 2x. Felt better after recovering though! 7.9mi — 2h 36m
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