Mauna O Ahi-Pu'u O Kona - June 20, 2009

First off, I want to thank Dustin for giving me directions to find the Mauna O Ahi trailhead. Without his info, the adventure to Pu'u O Kona for Daniel and I wouldn't have been as exciting.

This Saturday was the 2nd time I did Pu'u O Kona, but it's the first time I've done it from Mauna O Ahi Ridge. The other time was from the Kuli'ou'ou Ridge trail. The Mauna O Ahi trail is very well trodden and easy to follow. Being that it's somewhat of a secluded trail and one that is less traveled, I'm going to keep the trailhead a secret. The only hint I'll give is that it starts at the same trailhead for both the Kuli'ou'ou Ridge and Valley trails.

Mauna O Ahi consists of dropping into a valley, crossing a small stream, and climbing steeply to the Ko'olau Summit. At the summit, we turned left, eventually reaching the terminus of the Kuli'ou'ou Ridge trail. The sections along the summit offer awesome views and dangerous drop-offs. This day was hands down the most windiest day I've ever hiked, and I recommend not doing this hike with high winds. Coming down the west ridge of Kuli'ou'ou was insane! The wind felt like a hurricane in the mountains, and walking across the narrow sections felt like we were going to get blown off. Check out the video.

Words cannot express how fun this hike is. It's a short, dangerous, and beautiful loop hike. You don't have to park two cars in different places to do it either. In my opinion, it's one of the funnest loop hikes on the island. A longer write-up of the hike can be found here: http://kaleolancaster.blogspot.com/2008/06/puu-o-kona-via-kuliouou-ridge-june-11.html

Pu'u O Kona.

Mauna O Ahi trail. (photo: D. Napoleon)

View along the summit ridge, walking from Mauna O Ahi to Kulio'ou'ou Ridge.

The Ko'olau's. (photo: D. Napoleon)

The trail is cut right along the edge of the narrow ridge. (photo: D. Napoleon)

The washout. Extremely dangerous section on the ridge. Ribbons mark the safer route to the left.

The west ridge of Kuli'ou'ou Valley has some narrow spots as well. It was very windy here and a bit scary.



Keoni Napoleon said...

Eh, sorry brah, my bad on the footage, I feel kinda sick now that I didnt get better shots. Thanks for the constructive criticism. Next time guarentee. Damit....sick video edit though

Kahele said...

Hey Kaleo. I know this hike was "eons" ago, but just wanted to say thank you for featuring it. I really enjoyed this loop. It took me a while to get to it since I was more focused on trails outside of east Honolulu, but I'm certainly glad I did it.

Also, thanks for not being too detailed about accessing the trailhead and finding your way around the trail. I had a very fun time exploring my way up the ridge and down into the gulch. I'll probably never do the usual switchback trail ever again. Anyways, thanks again. Aloha!

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