Palehua trailhead
DATE: 24 June, 2010
TOTAL TIME: 3 hrs (I was on a picture taking frenzy!)
PARTICIPANTS: "Reef Shoes" Jason, "Sigmund Freud" Jenn, Me

Oh, so, so close to a perfect score! Wow, wow, and WOW!

Imagine all the fairy tales you had learned as a kid that involved walking through some forest, like a pansy prince going to save some ditsy princess from a badass dragon he has no business defeating, Hansel and Gretel picking questionable mushrooms in the witch’s magic domain, or Debbie doing Dallas. Only without the dragon, the witch, and neither Debbie nor Dallas. Oh, and those suspect mushrooms. Magical!

Left to right: "Reef Shoes" Jason, "Sigmund Freud" Jenn, Me

Effortless climb with gorgeous distractions
An unbelievable trek, filled with nature’s full pastel, with fallen leaves and a gentle breeze. The view, oh, the view! It continues and continues along the entire hike! The splendor of cascading sun rays upon every mountain range, ridge and valley, none of which could escape the shining countenance of the Almighty. All at His mercy until the fading light of sunset spills over the western horizon. Gushes… oh gush…. Why haven’t they invented 100,000 megapixel cameras yet???!!! The torture! This is the lazy hiker’s ultimate wet dream, being only two miles total and
mostly flat. Plus, the instant gratification! Gush… My pants are tingling, and I’m not even lazy!

Walking through a small rock tunnel

Nature's art gallery
The Palehua trail ends at a mountaintop with a green awning covering a water tank of some sort and a bunch of ti / ki plants. Beyond that, it connects with the Palikea trail which is so overgrown and the total opposite of Palehua. I have been absolutely spoiled with views this week and what a way to end my weekday hikes. Gush…

Jason claims that the ridge is moving

The view is just sick
The only drawback is that you have to obtain a permit and pay a $100 deposit for a key to unlock two gates on the 5 mile road to the trailhead. You’ll get your money back once you’ve returned the key, but the trouble keeps this one from reaching a perfect score. If you are willing to go through the trouble, this is a hike you just cannot miss.

Crap, where did I put that key again…?

Although random, leaves seem to fall in the perfect places

Vertigo has hit high gear

Walking through art

Greener in the sunset

Southwest shore in the sunset


  1. Where do you apply for the permit? Through Camp Timberline? DLNR? I lived in Makakilo all my life and didn't know about this trail.

  2. There are three doable ways to get to the trail. You can climb from Nanakuli but that's super dangerous and will take all day. You can go without the key but will have to walk 5 miles to get to the trailhead, jump over three gates, and 'trespass.' If you get the key and a permit, you can drive all the way to the trailhead. I won't post the contact on the blog but I'll be happy to email you the details.

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  4. A big mahalo to you for sharing this wonderful trip you had.I haden't heard popular trailing in Hawaii than Palehua.I had been planning on going there,but firstly I want to search for some reviews from people who'd been there.Thanks to your blog I finally had the familiarity to the place.

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    1. @trisha hope. Sorry, this reply came a little late. I hope you had the chance to see the place. It's a great hike.