Monday, November 30, 2009

Maakua Ridge Trail Loop / Papali Loop Trail

Trails: Maakua Ridge Trail (also referred to as Papali Loop trail)
Distance: A bit over 3 miles
Elevation Gain:  about 700 ft

Hiking time: 1 1/2 hours
Area: Town of Hau'ula, Northern Windward side, South of Laie (Polynesian Cultural Center)

Trailhead: End of Maakua Rd
Trailhead Coordinates: N21 36.449 W157 54.976
Sights: Windward Shore, Papali Gulch
Directions via bus: From Ala Moana Center take the 55. It will go up the Pali, though Kaneohe, and up the windward coast along Kamehameha Highway. It's quite a long ride. You'll pass Koolau Ranch, Ka'awa, Kahana Valley, and Punaluu before getting in the area. Ask the driver to stop at Hau'ula Homestead Rd in Hau'ula. Follow Hau'ula Homestead Rd. Right before it curves to the left, follow Maakua Rd. After a short walk, you'll see a sign that says "Maakua Trails." Right up the road you'll see a gate to the left. This is your starting point.

Directions via car: From Waikiki, take H1 West. From here you have multiple options. You can take Likelike Highway, Pali Highway, or H2 through the mountains. Then make your way onto Kamehameha Highway going Northwest. Pass Koolau Ranch, Ka'awa, Kahana Valley, and Punaluu before getting in the area. Make a left onto Hau'ula Homestead Rd and before it curves to the left, follow onto Maakua Rd until you reach a gate on the left. I've seen cars park right around the gate but there isn't much parking available.

Recommendations for hike: Easy hike. Not much needed. Some good shoes or sandles are fine. Some water of course. Much of the trail is shaded so some light sunscreen will do depending on how sensitive you are. Not too many mosquitoes.
Trail Conditions: It's like a foothill hike but has some ridge elements. The trail is well marked and it's semi popular trail. Mostly dry but depending on the weather it might be muddy.

The yellow is the walk from the bus stop to the gate.
Green is from the gate and the loop trail.

This corresponds to the green on the above map, from the gate and the loop trail back to Maakua Ridge Trail Head.

So today, I headed back to northern windward side to check out the area. This is a good place with multiple trails. You have Maakua Ridge Trail (Papali Loop), Maakua Gulch Trail (read the next post), and Hau'ula Loop Trail (didn't have time for it). From what I hear Hau'ula is the easiest of the three and shortest.

So once I got to the gate and followed it up a bit. Almost immediately, I noticed this little tribute at the trail head for Hau'ula Loop.

Onward... followed the paved road curve to the left. I guess this is some sort of utility road. There was a concrete wall along the right with plenty of graffiti. Soon enough, the Maakua Ridge Trail Head was on the left. The hike first drops down and I crossed a dry stream bed. Soon after it starts ascending via a series of switchbacks. At this point, I was covered by the trees. Nice to have when ascending. After a couple of switchback, I had an option, another switchback or out into the open. So out into the light which gave me a nice view of the Windward coast. I ended taking the loop clockwise, following the foothill facing the ocean, then dipping back and around. It was a relatively easy trail. The ascent was gradual and a little tiring but certainly not what I understood to be a ridge hike. At one point though, there's a junction (marked on the map as "split"). It looks like it follows the ridge up even further. I wanted to do another one of the trails so I skipped it.




Some more pics on Picasa (includes the next trail as well)


1 comment:

  1. Great write up and photos! Would love your review of the Ma'akua Ridge Trail at: