Hiking the Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail
Hey guys! Today we have another Oahu hiking blog post to share with you 🙂 During our 5th day on the island, we chose to go on the Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail because we wanted to go HIGH up into the mountains 🙂 Since Oahu is known for it’s iconic, steep mountain ridges, we thought we would check this hike out to see them up close and personal for ourselves! What we didn’t expect was just how enduring this hike would be! We were super glad we did (link) hike first because it really did prep us for this one! Anyways, let’s break it down and give you guys the inside scoop below!
Depending on where you are staying on the island, plugging in the Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail, in any search engine will automatically pull up directions. It is located in the Honolulu area so it wasn’t that bad of a drive at all for us, maybe 20 minutes just to arrive in the residential area. The hike itself is located up top in a secluded gated housing community, so upon your arrival, you will be stopped at a guard shack where your license plate number and name will be taken down in exchange for a hiking pass. (Arriving at a reasonable time will ensure you will get a pass and a parking spot, only so many are given at one time, which is kinda nice in my opinion.)
After you receive your parking pass, you will make your way up to the top of the residential area where only a few designated parking spots are available for you to park. Again, timing is everything with this hike, once you have gotten a spot make sure you have some bug spray and other hiking necessities before embarking on this hike. An access road is clearly visible from the parking area and that is where your hike will begin!
What to expect
Expect MUD. Right from the very start be aware that you will be stepping and dodging mud the entire time. For the first mile of the hike you will be going slightly uphill but nothing too bad. After a mile in, you will notice an increase in the incline the farther you go. The hike is mostly covered along the way, and as you get higher up, you will see beautiful views of the city below. We kept a pedometer app on our phone to see how far we were going and at about 2 miles in you will finally arrive to your first set of stairs. In my opinion, you have almost reached the halfway point. From this point on, is a series of muddy stairs that take you high up on the iconic Oahu ridges.
At a certain point going up these stairs you may feel like quitting, stairs are hard but I encourage you to keep going! I will say there are some parts that feel a little sketchy, especially if its muddy, most of the time on this hike, depending on weather, it will be very slippery because of the mud. Some parts the trail gets very close to the edge and you must be extremely careful, sometimes there will be a rope to assist you and sometimes not. Since Scott and I carry all of our camera equipment and like 3 cameras at all times, we found it very difficult towards the end climbing our way up.
Once you’re “at the top” you should expect to see some killer views but depending on the weather, you may get to the top and just see clouds in front of you so you never really know with this one! The hike back down is still a little tricky, being super wet and all, so taking your time and really enjoying the view is key in this hike.
Our take away
We really enjoyed this hike because it definitely gave us the experience we were looking for. Being that we didn’t have the energy or will to attempt the “stairway to heaven” hike this was our version of that 😉 LOL We got some awesome photos and had quite the adventure making our way up and down. There were plenty of times Scott wanted to kill me because I was a wimp most of the time (hey at least I admit it) 🙂 The only thing I have to say that is negative about this hike (not so much for Scott) was just feeling scared of falling off the edge. The mud is so unbelievably slippery at times that towards the very top of the hike, you feel like you could slip and fall off the edge. Another thing about our experience on this hike is that Scott and I didn’t technically finish it! We got to a certain point where we would have to climb up a rope that was very steep and having all our equipment with us made it even harder, we decided to call it quits just because we didn’t want risk hurting ourselves or the cameras.
After the hike we were super hungry and feeling super accomplished. The shots we got were super rad and Scott even got some really cool drone shots in the process. We checked our pedometer back when we arrived to the car to see that we hiked a total of 5 miles, pretty good for us. I believe the key to this hike is just going at your own pace, it is a challenge but you can totally do it! We loved this hike and totally recommend it if you’re visiting Oahu 🙂