Seven people (Ryan Imai, Alisson Hiyami, Tessie Hale, Rio Laigo, Brandi Tranter, Albert Cacrueva, and Ryan Chang) joined me on my second outing along the Wahiawa Hills loop trail this past Friday, August 20th, 2010. It was first for everyone besides myself, for I had completed the loop back in April 25th, 2009. Located at the top of California Avenue in Wahiawa, the hike consists of several uphill and downhill jaunts that are guaranteed to work up a sweat. The reward is a large, deep pool about half way into the hike.
I'm not aiming to intimidate, but Wahiawa Hills can be a bit confusing. There are many junctions along the five mile route, especially in the beginning. My previous write-up about the trail offered the wrong directions, so I will try to redeem myself this time around.
The trail begins along a fence that encloses two large water towers at the top of California Avenue in Wahiawa. The trail soon breaks out into a grove of paperbark trees. While bearing the left, the trail soon heads down a shaded hill that is broad and rooty. At the bottom of the hill, turn right and reach a stream. Cross the stream and head uphill gradually. Another junction comes into view. The right junction rounds the loop in a counterclockwise direction; the left round the loop in a clockwise direction. Taking the left jucntion will eventually reach another junction. This junction turns right and descends a short embankment to Kaukonahua Stream. Do not take this junction. Instead, keep going straight until you see the stream again. This is where the second stream crossing will be made. Across the stream, negotiate a short but steep embankment and start heading uphill through uluhe ferns. The steep grade eventually levels out and the trail is now very obvious. In a grove of eucalyptus, another junction comes into view. Take the left junction and not the right junction. Follow the trail a bit futher until another junction is reached. A faint left trail that was once a dirt road is not the junction to take; take the right junction. Continue a ways along the ridge until a point is reached where a view of the Ko'olau summit is in the distance. Turn right at this point and descend through plenty of eucalyptus trees; this right is marked with a ribbon, for it is a critical turn that heads down to the swimming hole. The stream soon comes into view below on the left and right. Reach another junction to either go straight or take a right to head to the rest spot and swimming hole. After taking a dip, backtrack to the junction and turn right. Cross the stream and pick up the trail that climbs steeply away from the stream. The trail eventually levels out and then undulates at times in yet another long stretch of eucalyptus and uluhe. The trail is very obvious here. Another junction will be reached with the stream in view on the right; this right junction can be taken, for it connects with the trail heading straight as well. Heading straight another junction is reached, and it is a junction you have been at before. Take a sharp left, meet the stream once more, cross it, and turn right. The first hill that was descended at the beginning of the hike will come into view on the left. Ascend the hill and retrace your steps back towards the water tanks.