Time: 2-3 HOURS
Distance: 5 MILES
Elevation Gain: ~200 FEET
Foot Traffic: LOW
Challenges: Potentially muddy
Sights: Maunalei Valley, Maui, Molokai
What to Bring: Water, Hiking Shoes
An ridge trail on the island of Lana'i, this hike offers spectacular views with relatively little effort. The hike begins along the Munro trail before heading up Koloiki Ridge. The majority of the trail takes place in the trees until you reach the ridge where you will be rewarded with an awesome vantage point of the Maunalei Valley as well as the islands of Maui and Molokai. This is a great way to experience some of the beauty of the small island of Lana'i.
It had been a year since my last island hop. A four day weekend for Labor Day meant I had to break that streak. The destination--the small and secluded island of Lana'i. After my friend Danielle and my plane landed Saturday morning and we procured our rental car, we immediately headed for the Koloiki Ridge Trail, the first activity for our Lana'i weekend.
A sketch of the hike. The first part begins along the Munro Trail, often used for offroad adventures. You will then finish the hike along the Koloiki Ridge Trail.
There's a couple of ways to start this hike. Most sources will tell you to park at the Four Seasons Lodge since the official trailhead starts from there. If you use the AllTrails track, it will tell you to start from this location. However, at the time of writing this, the Lodge was under renovation (this old picture was downloaded from the Googles) and there were several signs indicating you were not supposed to park here to access the trail. Whether that is enforced or not, I do not know.
The alternative, is to begin at the start of the Munro Trail. You have the ability to park your car at the Cemetery and walk from there, which would make this more of a 6 mile hike. However, if you have a 4WD and the conditions on Munro are good, you can simply drive some of the road and save yourself some time. This is the path we chose. We drove a bit up Munro, parked on the side of the road, and began our hike.
The portion of the Munro trail we hiked was straightforward. Just a dirt road through the trees.
There was only one section that had a decent down angle. I could see this road being really fun on an ATV.
There are a few little gems to be discovered on the Munro trail, such as this lookout of the island of Moloka'i.
And this nice little swing, alongside the trail.
After a short bit of hiking, we reached a junction for The Lodge. Had we started at the Four Seasons, this is where we would have intersected with Munro.
And soon another junction. Heading right allows you to continue along the Munro trail. The full Munro Trail is significantly farther than Koloiki, and it can lead you all the way to the highest peak of Lanai. Unfortunately, with our trip being about a day and a half, we didn't have enough time to conquer Munro. Maybe next time.
Left is the path to Koloiki.
Koloiki isn't much different than Munro. A nice level path in the trees.
And after only 15 minutes of hiking on Koloiki, we reached the trails terminus. Here's another great vantage point of Moloka'i.
The trail does wrap around to the right, marked by this trail sign.
Which is worth checking out because it gives you a magnificent of Maunalei Valley.
Gotta capture the views for the snap story. How else can you make your friends jealous?
Since the trek had taken much less time than expected, Danielle and I decided to continue down the ridge a little ways, just to see what was there. Overall, you get the same views, just a slightly different perspective. You are also forced to deal with some overgrown areas and some uneven footing. For me and Danielle, a little extra challenge is always worth it means more views.
Another perk of extra exploration, wildlife! At first I thought this was an axis deer, but upon further research, I believe it's a female Mouflon sheep, both of which exist on Lanai. This would not be the only time I saw these critters on this trip. These sheep and (as well as the deer) are actually overpopulated on Lanai. You can actually hunt them year round if you are into that hobby.
We continued down the ridge a bit further. Here's a shot revealing the island of Maui.
We finally found a good point to plop down, have a snack, and take in these incredible views before making our return trip.
But it wouldn't be a complete hike if we didn't get some aerial footage. Here is a shot of the end of Koloiki Ridge Trail (just past the trees) and beyond.
And now a little dronie. Maui, Molokai, the Maunalei Valley and the vast Pacific Ocean all in one. My first hike on Lanai and I am in awe! New ridges, new colors, and a totally new perspective. I can't wait to see what this island will show us next!
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Also Check Out:
- Exploration Hawaii's writeup of this hike
- Homey Hawaii's post about Koloiki