Hawaii Mom Blog: Hawaii Loa Ridge Trail

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December 10, 2020

Hawaii Loa Ridge Trail


Having finally completed Wiliwilinui and Kuliouou Ridge Trails, I felt an urgency to complete Hawaii Loa Ridge Trail - the last ridge trail in the area.  According to the All Trails app, Hawaii Loa Ridge is 4.5 miles out and back and rated as hard.  

When I hiked Wiliwilinui the week before, it was super muddy so when the hiking reports said the trails were dry I took off an afternoon off to explore Hawaii Loa Ridge.  At the guard shack, you'll need to present your Hawaii state ID and sign a waiver to obtain a parking pass.  I hear there are 10 parking passes available.  That Thursday afternoon, I had pass #5.  

The trail is well maintained and easy to follow.  Most of it is exposed so I was thankful for the cloud coverage that day.  What I liked most about this trail is that there are beautiful views right away.  I was pretty excited to be hiking a new trail so I started at a pretty fast pace and then I lost fuel 40 minutes in.  That was when I reached the first steps.  It took me another 50 minutes to reach the top as I struggled with the steep incline.  I had read that when you reach the Hazardous Cliff sign you were steps away.  I kept a look out for that sign and I was so happy and relieved when I finally saw it.  

Pretty views from the start.

Stairs to help with the steep incline.

A look back on the many stairs.

Finally, steps away from the summit!

There was no view at the summit as we were covered with clouds, but experiencing the same thing a week before at the Wiliwilinui summit just made me laugh.  I met a couple of other hikers at the top and they were so nice to take my picture.  I had to rush back home so with that motivation, I got to my car in about an hour.  It was a challenging hike, but totally possible, especially if you take it slow and steady.  The least thing I liked about the trail were the narrow mud walls in some sections.  As you can tell, I am not a fan of mud.     

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