Malaekahana to Laie - July 2, 2011

I had my sights set on connecting Malaekahana Ridge and Laie Ridge for well over a year. I don't know why it took me so long to do it, but I finally completed it recently. It's a beautiful twelve mile loop that reaches far into the remote and undeveloped section behind Laie Town. This particular loop hike was awesome because it included a short section along the Ko'olau Summit Trail (KST). It was a first for me, for I had never topped out along the Ko'olau summit in the Ko'olauloa district. The summit trail section was in good shape and well marked thanks to a crew of four that did some minor clearing on a backpack trek from Pupukea Heights to Waikane a few weeks prior. Although it was a bit overgrown at times and extremely muddy, the swath was very obvious as it contoured leisurely around the numerous hills of the Ko'olau summit ridge. An hour-and-a-half jaunt along the summit trail and we were at the Laie Ridge junction. The hike down Laie Ridge was a breeze compared to the hike up Malaekahana. Malaekahana is an ungraded ridge hike, where the trail follows the crest of the ridge, undulating all the way to the KST; Laie is graded, its trail contoured below the crest of the ridge, making for easy going on the hike up or down. The hike took us a total of nine hours to complete.

*Note: In order to hike either trail, a permit must be obtained by Hawaii Reserves, Inc. located in the Laie Shopping Center. For more information, contact Hawaii Reserves, Inc. at 808-293-9201.

To view previous hikes to Laie Falls and Malaekahana Falls, visit the following links:
Laie Falls - March 28th, 2009
Malaekahana Ridge and Waterfall - May 31st, 2009

photo: L. Yamasaki

photo: L. Yamasaki

photo: L. Yamasaki

About 20 minutes before the summit, an alternate route to the KST heading toward Pupukea comes into view.

The upper sections of  the Malaekahana Ridge trail passes through areas abundant with native palm trees.  (photo: L. Yamasaki)

Walking on the ridge.  (photo: L. Yamasaki)  [Photo credit is wrong indicated in the picture.]

The view along the upper section of the Laie Ridge trail looking toward Hau'ula.  (photo: L. Yamasaki)

Lei calls this section of the Laie Ridge trail "The Green Waterfall."

photo: L. Yamasaki

The signed junction to the waterfall.  From here it is an hour-and-a-half to the starting point.  (photo: L. Yamasaki)