Pauao Ridge (Trail Clearing) - July 10, 2011

So, it's open. Finally. I scouted Pauao Ridge back in October 2008. It was choked with uluhe back then, but just recently, a group of hikers decided to reopen the path.  It took the group eight long outings to clear the entire ridge, and now that it's wide open, it is hoped that the ridge will get regular hiker traffic to ensure its sustainability. The last HTMC outing along this ridge was in 2004.  All the recent hard work may finally pay off as the club might add Pauao to the club schedule once again.  Although I haven't climbed the entire ridge to the Ko'olau summit, this could possibly be one of the nicest, advanced ridge trails on the island. Pauao Ridge is a strenuous, ungraded ridge trail to the Ko'olau summit. It's goes up and down multiple times until the last steep approach to the summit.  Now that Pauao is cleared, it opens up several alluring options along the KST.  Schofield-Waikane, Waikane, and Poamoho trails are very close in proximity, creating the possibility of epic day hikes along the best windward contour section along the KST.  There are views in every direction of Punalu'u Valley and Kahana Valley, with the surrounding peaks of Pu'u Piei, Pu'u Manamana, Kanehoalani, Pu'u O Kila, and Ohulehule.

Want to help keep it open?  Here's how to get there:
The trail starts in Kahana Valley.  Walk on the paved road.  You'll see a hunter check in box.  Keep to the road on the right and go around a gate.  Walk until you reach a watertank.  A trail will veer off to the right and uphill.  Follow the ribbons.  The trail will immediately start climbing to reach the crest of Pauao.  Once at the ridge crest, turn left and follow the ridge all the way to the Ko'olau summit.

Read the past report of my 2008 outing along Pauao Ridge by clicking the following link:
Pauao Ridge - October 18th, 2008

At the back of Punalu'u Valley looking toward the ocean.

On the ridge.

Kahana Valley to the right.  Punalu'u Valley to the left.  Pu'u Piei in the middle.

Looking into the back of Kahana Valley, with Ohulehule to the left.

Pu'u Pauao in the distance.

A carving of my name back in 2008.


Unknown said...

Where in Kahana Valley exactly does this trail start??

kaleo said...

the watertank

Anonymous said...

In Punaluu there is a weird trail which I stumbled upon. I started on this dirt road that's behind this ranch house my family rented over the summer. If it helps, the ranch is called Tradewinds and the dirt road seems to connect at the end of Haleaha Road from the looks from Google Earth. A little up the dirt road is this trail with a waist high rock wall. This trail hasn't been used in a long time due to the many trees presently growing on this trail. Any idea what this trail is?

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if you could identify a ridge for me.
The first time I hiked the na koa trail, we came upon a signed junction, upon taking a right turn we shortly found ourselves ascending a steep ridge.

We came across the junction after reaching the bunkers and making the stream crossing (counter clockwise route).

We turned back and completed the trail when it became obvious we took a wrong turn.
Do you know what ridge this was?

kaleo said...

from the sound of it, you were ascending the ridge to pu'u o kila.