Wiliwilinui Trail(Oahu), or We aren’t hiking in the whites are we?
Hikergal and hubby are hiking in Oahu for a bit. Needed a little change of pace from the hills of Connecticut and the mountains of New Hampshire. Hiking here is different and yet the same. The White Mountains have taught us well, to come prepared, carry full backpacks. Of course that generates people staring at us, like we are from another planet. People around here hike with very little gear, though the serious hikers use microspikes for the muddy/slick sections.
Today we decided to do our first ridge hike up Wiliwilinui trail. Ridge hiking here is different, not as open and with sheer drop offs. Also on this hike the trail was lined with uluhe ferns, a razor sharp fern that slices your skin. No alpine flowers to entice us, just razor ferns.
This hike starts in a Wai’alae Iki V subdivision full of million dollar homes (average price 2.1 million). You have to stop at a guard house and get a permit. Then you drive up to the trailhead.
You are requested to wipe your shoes, good practice to stop spreading invasive plants.
The trail started out on an old service road built in 1941.
There were some windows that provided lookouts on Honolulu along the road.
It was at this point I glanced up and went oh no, we are going up there. Hmmm I think I’ve said that a few times before in the White Mountains.
So we trudge on. The road ends and we finally hit the trail. The trail has these ferns that are razor sharp. Thankfully I wore long pants, long sleeves would have helped too, because the ferns are tall and I am not. I didn’t get sliced to bad from them.
We started the ridge walk. This was my view:
Yup I just had to look down. It was a bit nerve wrecking for me to look up and around. The thought of taking a tumble and sliding off the edge was to much for me.
This was Mike’s views:
We started the real climb up. The last .5 mile, the final push was an 682 foot elevation gain.
I thought at first our goal was the tower, no we had to go to a bump behind that. Ughhhhh
I will say the walk between the them was easy and not fatiguing. We did a see a foot locker up there that had a four person litter in it for rescue. We don’t need that.
Once we reached the summit we sat around for 10 minutes for refueling, picture taking and a giving our legs a rest.
It was time to head down. I was a little nervous, but I remember doing the caps ridge trail. I had way more fun going down than up. That helped me set my mind and I did have more fun going down and I was actually able to look around, just not stare at the ground.
We got off the trail after four hours. At first I was scared, but found out no need to be. It was fun trail and a great first ridge walk in Oahu for us.
The Details: 4 hours, 4.6 miles, 1200 feet elevation gain.