Travel & Adventure

Small but Mighty – Kahekili Ridge Trail

View of the Ridge Trail – Picture by Gerardo Hurtado

Located in Kaawa the Kahekili Ridge Trail is a short ass kicking trail that should only be attempted by fit, experienced, confident hikers. Kahekili Ridge Trail completley kicked my ass and I was not prepared for it!

The husband and I tackled the Kahekili Ridge Trail a few months ago. (This post is a little delayed as we were trying to make a video to go with it and then life, aka Military, got in the way and well here we are now.) It was either a Saturday or a Sunday afternoon and we were looking for a quick short hike to do, just so we wouldn’t feel like we wasted the day. We spent some time browsing AllTrails and came across Kahekili. Although it was rated as hard, it was only 1.9 miles so we figured it couldn’t be that bad, and it took us up to a waterfall so we decided to give it a shot.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that this was a huge mistake. The first few minutes of the hike aren’t bad at all. It is a nice shaded area, pretty even and gradual incline and then it cuts off to the left straight up and doesn’t stop until you reach the end. Overall, according to my AllTrails recording, this hike is 2.4 miles round trip. It took me a total of five hours and 27 minutes to complete, three hours and 14 minutes of that was moving. The hike left me exhausted and so sore the following day I could barely lift my arms.

This hike wasn’t all bad though. It did offer some amazing views and a look into parts of the gorgeous Kualoa. The waterfall at the end was pretty and you get a nice, yet scary view of the valley from the top of another waterfall.

View of the ridge and ocean from the trail – Picture by Gerardo Hurtado

I have read that this trail can connect to Crouching Lion to make it a type of loop trail. We didn’t do that, nor did I really see where the trail would continue, but I wasn’t looking for it.

I want to emphasize, this hike is not for the faint of heart or inexperienced hikers. There are sections of this hike that involve scrambling and there are other areas where hikers have set up ropes to assist. Much of this hike is on a very narrow ridge line and the winds can get gusty. It is dangerous! I do not recommend attempting this hike if you have never hiked ridges in Hawaii or have any doubt about your own capabilities. If you decide to attempt this hike please remember to check in with yourself and if at any time you feel unsure or unsafe stop and go back. Be sure to bring lots of water and snacks and please pace yourself.

View of Kualoa Valley from the top of the ridge – Picture by Gerardo Hurtado

*This hike is challenging and can be dangerous. I am not advising nor recommending that anyone attempt this trail, I am simply sharing my experience.


  • Pamela

    Sounds like an exhausting but Amazing hike! One you will never forget! There are also many great hikes in So Ca. Have you hiked Utah’s Mighty 5? Mike and I took 16 days after retirement and hiked at all 5. Best vacation ever! Hope things are going better for you two! Have a great day!

    • Simply Alex

      We did some hiking out here right before my husband enlisted and I’m really looking forward to getting back into it soon.

      We haven’t done all the Mighty 5 yet. Last year we did day trips to Zion and Bryce on a short road trip, but we plan to go back and spend much more time in each ark as well as the rest. Utah is so pretty and has so much to offer. Originally after leaving Hawaii we planned on taking a month or so and driving around the West Coast and MidWest and spending time in a lot of the national parks. We still hope to do that sometime in the near future.

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