Hike to Mount Olympus

Wa'ahila Ridge Trail

Distance

3.4 Miles

Elevation Gain

2600 Feet

Activities

Photography, Hiking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Year Round

Type

Out-and-Back

Forest
Scenic

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.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Nearby Lodging

From $67/night

Outsite Haleiwa

Haleiwa, Hawaii

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

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.

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

Distance

3.4 Miles

Elevation Gain

2600 Feet

Activities

Photography, Hiking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Year Round

Type

Out-and-Back

Nearby Adventures

Adventure

Hike to the First Waterfall on the Ka'au Crater Trail

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Hike the Aihualama Trail

Adventure

Hike to Manoa Falls

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Hike the Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail

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