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.

Pack List

  • Hiking boots
  • 1+ liters of water
  • Snacks
  • Extra socks
  • Sunscreen/Hat
  • Backpack
  • Camera
  • Sunglasses
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RT Distance 3.4 Miles
Elevation Gain 2600 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back


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Overall rating: 

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 — 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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