Monday, October 19, 2009

Kalauao Trail to Kalauao Falls

Trails: Kalauao Trail via Aiea Loop Trail
Distance: About 4 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: about 60 ft
Hiking time: about 2 hours
Area: Aiea Heights, Kalauao Stream
Trailhead: Keaiwa Heiau State Park (same as Aiea Loop Trail Head)
Trailhead Coordinates: N21 23.874 W157 54.049
Sights: Kalauao Stream, Kalauao Falls
Directions via bus: Catch the 11 from Alapai Transit Center.

Directions via car: Take H1 west towards Pearl City. Take the stadium exit and head onto Moanalua Rd. Take a right onto Aiea Heights Dr and it will bring you into the park. The park is a loop and you want to drive all the way to the opposite end. You'll 3 (or 4 depending on how you count one of them) parking sections. Park by the restrooms.
Recommendations for hike: Sunscreen, bug repellent,  water. Though manageable in my walking shoes, hiking boots are highly recommended.
Trail Conditions: A bit muddy at parts especially near the falls. Most of the trail is easy but once you drop down to the stream (middle section of the hike), it's pretty steep and sometimes muddy. The last part is along the stream so prepared to get wet.


The left picture is our actual hike. The right is the one you want to take. We overshot a part of the trail that lead down to a side road on Aiea Heights Drive. So if you want a shorter hike, take the side road.

So I've been in this area before and hiked Aiea Loop Trail. It can be found here:

The trail is easy enough to begin. It's pretty flat and well marked as you're on Aiea Loop Trail. A bit before 1/2 mile, you'll see an unmarked path on the left. We found ourselves going through strawberry guava trees. It might seem like you're going in the wrong direction (heading back to town, facing South East) but it's correct. You'll be on a low lying ridge for a portion, pass some powerline towers. You'll have a decent view of Pearl City at certain angles.
So we followed this section to the end. We missed the turn. So we trekked back.

If you're following the correct path, the turn off will be on your right and it will head downhill. It'll look like a switch back. It's marked by a mango tree with an orange ribbon. This little descent is short but pretty steep. I enlisted the help of nearby trees quite often. Had to climb around rocks. Fun! Just remember you have to climb back out. It's a bit rocky and a bit muddy towards the bottom. Watch out for patches of leaves too. It took awhile to get down but we made it.

At the base of the decent, looking downstream, Kalauao Stream.

At the base of the descent, looking upstream. Fogged lens.

At this point, you should be a Kalauao Stream. You'll be heading upstream. The trail crosses the stream about 8 times. It was dry enough that I could just hop rocks and make my way up the stream. Wasn't too promising. I wondered how the falls was going to be but I've been proven wrong in the past. After another 1/2 mile, you'll reach Kalauao Falls and pool. It was pretty low. The falls was trickling and the water was stagnant. It was hardly feeding the stream. The deepest part was roughly 5 feet deep. I falls is two tiered and starts about 25 - 30 ft up. The pool is pretty wide but due to lack of rain, it recessed towards the fall. I didn't go in... a bit disappointing. From other pictures I've seen (see links below), the pool can be quite large. I'll be back after heavy rainfall.

Along the stream.


Finally! The falls. As you can see, its just trickling.
Looking down from the top of the falls. Maybe 25 - 30 ft high (from the water).

Well I'll be back after so heavier rainfall.

Hear are some other people's hikes of the trail that may give you a better idea of the trail

No comments:

Post a Comment