Time: 0.5-1 HOUR
Distance: 0.5 MILES
Elevation Gain: 200 FEET
Foot Traffic: LOW
Challenges: Rock Scrambling to reach peak
Sights: Waianae Mountain Range, Papaoneone Beach
What to Bring: Decent Shoes
This is the shortest hike I've done on Oahu. You basically climb to the top of a small rock located right on the coast of Waianae. However, for such a short hike, it packs a powerful punch. You will see some incredible views of the Waianae Range as well as some beautiful beach and ocean views with the sights and sounds of the waves crashing against the shore. For the daredevils, you can even boulder down the ocean side of the rock to get back to sea level. Once you get back to sea level you can simply take in the views and enjoy the beauty of the west side before making the short walk back to your car.
My friend Peter had texted me late Saturday asking me if I wanted to do a short hike the following morning. He suggested we do this hike, which he had discovered from a Not So Good Hikers YouTube Video. Not that I ever need convincing to do a hike, but I said I was in.
Here's the hike. Like I said, it's basically a rock on the coast. It's small... small but mighty.
The hike starts on Lahilahi St... hence the name. In case you were wondering, Mauna means mountain. Calling this a Mauna might be stretching it, but I don't do the naming, I just hike. If you take a right up here, you can gain access to the park.
Despite this gate, you are not trespassing. You are actually entering a public park. However, since it is located in a neighborhood, be respectful.
There's an obvious path to follow... not that you would get lost, you're just heading towards that rock.
Ok, maybe you do have to break the rules a little...
Up we go!
Oh hey, don't mind us, we are just going to climb this here rock.
We've reached the "ridge." These views of the west side were pretty amazing even on a cloudy morning.
There's still a little more climbing to get to the "summit."
And even a little bit of problem solving to find the best path (mine was better).
But ultimately, it is very easy to reach the top of the rock. In reality you can probably get up and down in about 30 minutes. This is a perfect hike if you've never done any true climbing and just feel like giving it a go. It is probably the only hike on this island that will have Beginner and Rock Scrambling together in its description.
This little structure marks the peak.
The views looking north. That complex right on the beach is the Hawaiian Princess Resort. I had no idea it was a resort until after the hike, but it seems like a pretty awesome spot to truly get away. I think I should start getting paid for this free advertising.
And another shot looking south. The waves look so gentle from here.
This Mauna extends even farther along the shore. Peter and I decided to venture a little further.
No, Peter is not executing the worst dab ever. He's just climbing down.
The views are just stunning, no matter what part of the rock you are on.
Despite me considering this Beginner hike, the dropoffs were no joke. If you have a fear of heights, this hike might cause you some trouble.
After taking in the views, and snapping some photos, Peter said he had to go as he had another obligation. Since I had driven over here from the Windward side, I decided I might as well hang out awhile. It really was a pleasant and cool morning.
And as I looked out into the ocean I saw a bunch of colorful lines moving in the water. As they got closer, I realized they were canoes. For those that don't know, paddling is HUGE out here. There are tons of different clubs and teams all over the island. From the looks of it, this must have been a pretty big race. There were about 20-30 boats. A cool sight that I just happened to end up spectating.
A close up of their return trip, pushing their bodies to the limit!
After taking in the race, I decided it was time to continue on. I thought about heading back the way I came, but as I looked down the rock, it looked quite climbable. I started to descend.
I quickly learned, this was not an easy descent. It is steep, and there are several areas that require a lot of stretching/balance to find the next hold.
Not to mention, if you fell and rolled a little bit, there's a chance you could end up in the surf... but that's just worst case scenario.
Maybe not the best hand placement...
This was the point where I was considering heading back up, it was giving me that much trouble. After a few minutes of trial and error, I finally found the next hold that let me continue to descend.
And we've reached sea level! It kind of looks like the Pali Notches, just not as big... also not nearly as dangerous.
After my slight adrenaline spike wore off, I decided to continue exploring.
This photo is 100% staged. But really, being on that point looking out into the Pacific with the waves crashing around was magical.
I followed the rocks back to the beach where I would take the trail back to my car. I had climbed a Mauna, seen some incredible views, had risked some injury, and watched a paddling race. Not bad for 9 am!
Check out my video of this short little climb!
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Also Check Out:
- The short post about the history of Mauna Lahilahi
- Not So Good Hikers YouTube video of this hike