Hiking the loop clockwise, the trail coutours through small ravines along the left side of a ridge. At a certain point, about half an hour from the start, the trail takes a right and ascends gradually until it levels out near the junction for the route back out. Past the junction further upridge, the hike tops out at 960 feet elevation at a power line tower at the very base of the Ko'olau mountain range. Taking the junction for the route back out is mostly downhill on a broad ridge laden with ironwoods. The route is obscure at times, and the trail can be overgrown in some sections, but the trail always stays on top of the ridge crest and leads directly back to the start of the hike.
The trailhead is located on the far left corner of the Valley of the Temples Cemetery nearest to Kahekili Highway. A good landmark is the Ko'olau Center on Hui Iwa Street. Park on Hui Iwa Street. Walk across Kahekili Highway at the traffic light toward the cemetery. To the left is a pet cemetery with a low wall uphill. Walk parallel to the wall to the far end corner of the cemetery. The trail starts in the forest and is marked with pink ribbons.
To view more pictures and another write-up of my last outing along the Ulupaina loop trail, click on the folowing link.
Ulupaina - July 28th, 2009