Hike the Olomana Trail
Hawaii › Olomana Trail
Added by Hillary + Matt
The Olomana Trail, aka the Three Peaks, on Oahu takes guts to hike! It's not for the faint of heart and definitely isn't for inexperienced hikers. (In the past four years, three people have died on the trail.) Nevertheless, if you're careful and sure-footed this hike offers views and experiences that you won't soon forget.
Named Three Peaks for obvious reasons, this spine-tingling trail allows you to hike as far as you want (picture above is the view from the 3rd peak). Don't feel comfortable about continuing? You can turn around any time. (Just remember that there's no easy exit - you have to go back the way you came.)
It takes about an hour-and-a-half to get to the top of the first peak, and, when compared with scaling the next two peaks, this portion of the hike is the easy part (i.e. not too dangerous).
Hiking to the top of the first peak is pretty straight forward. There's one clearly marked trail that you follow to the top. However, along the way, there are a few spots where you'll see hanging ropes. They're not totally necessary, but can definitely help hikers up or down some steep rocky sections.
A Note on the Ropes: There are often several ropes to choose from in a given section. Use your brain and give each rope a few good tugs before continuing to see which one is the strongest. From our experience most ropes seemed safe to use, but they're not maintained and are placed there by other hikers. Just know you're taking a risk any time you grab one.
- Sturdy hiking shoes
- Plenty of water (perhaps a Camelbak if you have it)
- Snacks or a light lunch
- Rain jacket or some type of warm clothing, as the weather in Hawaii is very unpredictable
- Camera (if you're into that sort of thing)
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Beautiful And Dangerous
A favorite with it's incredible views, and how it keeps you on your toes. Be warned, Olomana has a history of serious injuries and deaths. Hike safely and respectfully. I've hiked to the 3rd peak at back 6 or 8 times, and a few times just to the 1st and 2nd peaks. 3rd Peak: Advanced hikers/climbers only. Give yourself 4-6hrs, depending on fitness level and size of group. My first time I took me over 7hrs! 1st Peak: Moderate difficulty level. Some with a fear of heights have trouble higher up on the trail with the steep scrambles and climbing. Give yourself 2-3.5hrs. This might be the easiest part of the hike but it's physically demanding, there's some good elevation gain in a short distance. Can get very muddy. Tips If you can't check a ropes integrity, never put all your weight on it. You do not know if it was tied securely, or what its anchored to. Don't trust it just because someone else does. Past the 1st peak there's a lot of exposed trail, it gets really hot out there. Bring more than enough water and some food. Visitors: Climbing is different in Hawaii! Our rock is often waterlogged and crumbly. All it takes it pulling in the wrong direction and big rocks can come loose. Check those hand/foot holds, practice three points of contact, don't bring more than one foot or one hand off the ground at a time. Pick up your trash. Pick up others trash. Respect the land.
Very tough hike, it starts out to be easy but muddy but quickly begins a steep ascent to the first peak. The trail head is on the grounds of the royal golf club which is private property. You have to park on Maunawili Rd. which is off of the 61 and Auloa Rd then walk about 10-15 minutes through the front gate of the golf course (this is allowed). The trail head is on the side and clearly marked by an old white sign. I recommend you bring a bag to keep your shoes in after the hike as the trail is red dirt which stains everything. When I was there August 23rd 2016 there was a bee hive at the top of peak 1 so watch your hand placement and move slowly. Peak 2 and 3 are pretty sketchy but worth it, just take your time.
View is amazing, hike has a little bit of everything: walking pace areas, steep precipices, ropes and rocks, mountain and ocean views. Good tree coverage from the sun, though I would still bring sunblock. Parking is a little confusing but the gate guard was super helpful in telling us where we could park, because the trail head is past the gate entrance to royal Hawaiian golf course. Park on the street before turning onto the road that leads to the course.
Spitting Off Cliffs
Gorgeous and strenuous hike on the windward side of Oahu. We hiked all three peaks at least 10 times throughout college. The first peak is the most-hiked portion here, the second and third peaks should only be attempted by experienced hikers. First peak - It's an uphill climb/scramble the entire way. Close to the summit, you'll have to summon your inner monkey by scaling a 20 foot facade. There's a rope to help you out but try not to rely on it too much. The panoramic views extend from Makapu'u to China Man's Hat, a solid portion of the windward side. This is the best view of the three peaks. Second peak - The journey between the first and second peak is the most treacherous part of the hike. Absolutely not for the light-hearted as you will be using all fours right along eroding cliff edges. Some rocks here are loose, so make sure you grab onto secured ledges. It's especially not fun if it's windy, please be careful on this portion. As always, do not trust the ropes fully. They have been known to snap. Once again, use your inner monkey to make it through. Still a fantastic view from the top here. Third Peak - Similar but less treacherous than the journey to the second peak. Stay cautious, continue using the inner monkey. The view from up here is mostly of the Ko'olau range, remnants of an ancient volcano that once stood in what is now the windward side. This is an epic hike for experienced hikers, including the first peak. Please use caution at all times and you can label yourself an official bad-ass after completing all three peaks!
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