Hike to Mount Olympus

3.4 miles 2600 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Kenneth Rodriguez-Clisham

Distance: 3.4 miles. Elevation gain: 2600 ft. Duration: 4.5 hours. Breath-taking Views of the Manoa Valley, Waikiki, and Kaneohe.

There are several ways in which you can reach the top of Mt. Olympus, I decided to take the Wa'ahila Ridge trail. This hike nestled in the Manoa Valley takes your breath away with its view of the island as well as its difficulty. Being located in Hawaii there is no need to worry about the right time of year to hike here, however it is a good rule of thumb to hike this trail two days after it has rained for overall safety.

With a total time of about 2 and a half hours to get to the top of Mt. Olympus you have to make sure to bring plenty of water. After starting at the Wa'ahila ridge trail after about an hour you reach a sign that says "End of Trail" and "End of Maintained Trail". This is when the difficulty kicks in. You take the "un-maintained" trail which leads you to several difficult climbs but with the assistance of ropes that are left on the trail these climbs are conquerable.

Once you are in the last tenth of a mile on the hike to the top there is a fifty foot climb which is fairly steep. Take your time here, the edges of this hike become very steep at times about 1-2 feet wide. Once the climbing stops you have an easy walk to the very top. Depending on when you started the hike and the weather that day you will most likely be surrounded by cloud cover. Once at the top if you follow the beaten trail to the right you reach the official top of Mt. Olympus.

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Hawaiian Walkabout

My son and I ventured as tourists to Oahu- all he wanted was to bomb a black diamond MBT and all I wanted was to climb a mountain. This site nailed it. We rented Biki Bikes from our hotel at the beach to The Bike Shop on King Street. He rented a well equipped mountain bike and I picked up scrambling gloves and a couple packs of Clif Blocks. We caught the #1 Bus across town to Dole St and intended to catch the #14 to the Wa'ahila Ridge Recreation Area. The trailheads for the St. Louis MBT and Mt Olypus hikes are both located at this park. Well...we ended up missing the bus and trekked on foot the 2 miles through a neat residential area for a brisk warm up. There is water and restrooms at the trailheads and the paths are well marked. I read many reviews that this was a well traveled trail...but for a Tuesday afternoon in January I passed a grand total of 2 people. The trail was extremely well maintained- as in recently brushed. There are several high points that were well cleared; picnic spot style. There are certainly a few opportunities for short rock scrambling and the ropes are a necessity near the summit- which was why the gloves most definitely came in handy. It had been at least 4 days since it had rained in this area, but there was still some slick spots. The rating on most sites says this trail is "hard" and there are definitely some spots where "moderate" wouldn't be appropriate- but they are short and carefully navigable. 95% of the trail is well maintained, dirt, stable (when dry) and a moderate to steep grade. Pace yourself. Start well hydrated and take at least 32oz. If you plan to do any of the side trails- take more. The last 1/3 of the trail is a bit narrower and not as well brushed out- I had on knee-length ultra lightweight hiking shorts and got lots of little cuts from branches on the narrow trail. I might've been a bit more comfortable with ULW leggings. Also- an agressive hiking shoe. I have Altra hiking shoes. Lightweight with really aggressive tread for the slick clay. The Clif Blocks really saved me. Lightweight and the energy needed. Its challenging (no lie) and because I was on a time clock to meet my son back at the trailhead before sunset- I pushed myself. RT ~ 3.5 hours; but if you're in decent shape with the right gear this is an incredible adventure.

ūü•áTop Contributor

almost 2 years ago

Worth Every Bit

Best hiking views of Waikiki and the surrounding area. You will have a 360 degree view at the summit. It's quite the hike, take your time and enjoy!

Do It

Great views

Run it

Most of it is runnable. There are several sections though, where you have to climb rocks. You can start this xc running trail at Dole street, which connects to Wa'ahila Ridge State Park. I saw all the gear required ‚ÄĒ maybe my mom would pack that much stuff and I would have to carry it. Just run it minimalist style. From Dole street it is 9.5 miles round trip or 5.2 miles from the state park. It's a short run and can be run barefoot. I've never run this with more than a pair of shorts, sunglasses, and my vibram five fingers. I've seen other runners running this completely barefoot. I think this is only a 1-1.5 hour roundtrip run from the park. Never timed it though. Just drink something before you start and you should be fine on a hot day. Now, if I'm running over 3 hours in the mountains, then yes, water might be a good idea.

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