Man, I love getting little glimpses into how rich people live. It’s just so comfortable and convenient. And it extends to literally everything. Hawaii Loa Ridge is top 3 on ‘richest neighborhoods in Oahu’ right next to Portlock and Diamond Head. I randomly know that because I blogged about it for 2 years. Despite knowing the median price, average days on market, and general selling points of the neighborhood, I’d never been inside. Turns out, all you need to do is go up to the front gate and say you’re hiking Hawaii Loa Ridge. Never be afraid to ask.
There are 10 spots available for parking, and when they’re full you have to wait for somebody to leave so I would recommend going as early as possible. The directions to this hike are incredibly simple. Type it into Google Maps. Or, use this helpful illustration:
Don’t get lost
Once you drive past all of the houses you can’t afford, you get to a tiny parking lot with 10 spots. It’s much better than Kuli’ou’ou Ridge or Mauniwili because it limits the number of people hiking with you. And it’s way, way nicer. I can’t stress enough how perfect the trail is.
Parking Lot. Notice how spotless it is.
The first part of the hike is nicely manicured with some of the widest trails you’ll find in Hawaii. There are also some mud inlets you hike up that give the illusion that you’re on a much more dangerous hike.
First section of the hike
There are some great views of the valley on the way up. If it’s cloud city on top, you at least get some good view in the first half.
As you get higher, you start to hike through some wooded areas that offer a brief respite from the sun. Wear sunscreen or be prepared to be scorched. This doesn’t have the same coverage that Kuli’ou’ou does, and on a clear day, it would be pretty brutal.
(Un)luckily for us, the clouds were in full effect on the ridge. As we got closer to the top and out of the woods, I started to realize that the clouds would fuck me yet again from enjoying the view.
Come on, GOD
Yet I remained optimistic. Trade winds make the clouds move fast in Hawaii. Maybe today would be our lucky day.
Well, at least I got a nice, flat grey instead of 360* views of the island. Truly breathtaking.
The descent is much less treacherous than Kuli’ou’ou. The rich people in Hawaii Loa Ridge keep this trail pristine. I’ve honestly never seen one like it. There are more worn trails like Diamond Head and Koko Head Crater but they’re usually pretty gross with trash/graffiti and shit. Not this one. I don’t think I even saw a water bottle in the woods. It’s immaculate.
On the way down
Despite the clouds, the hike was well worth it. It’s a much clearer, shorter, more direct hike than Kuli’ou’ou and offers views from the other side of the valley that I bet are spectacular if the fucking clouds aren’t in the way. Great workout either way. Which is what you say when the clouds ruin your hike. It doesn’t make it any better.
Man, money is so great
- Get there before 8 AM otherwise it’ll be insanely hot on your way up and you won’t be able to get a parking permit.
- Bring sunscreen or you will burn
- Total time there and back is about 2 hours and 30 minutes
- Try to go when there aren’t clouds on the ridge.