Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Kuliouou Ridge Trail

The only other versions of these pictures I could find are only a bit bigger, so let's just go with the thumbnail version. Oh well.

Through much of July and August over summer break, I and a classmate met each Wednesday morning to go on a hike. With one exception, we explored the mountain ridges of the Ko'olau Mountain Range (one of the two ranges on Oahu) from central Honolulu to the eastern tip of the island. You've already seen Makapu'u Point and the Koko Head Crater hike pics. In the end, we did about 5 or 6 hikes.

My favorite was the Kuliouou Ridge Trail. It was our biggest hike as it ascends 2,000 feet, but it was definitely worth it. All of the pictures you see below are from my classmate, not me. I was too lazy and just went with a water bottle, while she carried stuff and I mooched.

It starts off in the back corner of a subdivision and you end up somewhere on the top of those thing.

The first two-thirds looks kind of like this. It's basically switchbacks up the ridge.

When you get to the top of the ridge, there's these stunning forests of ironwood trees, which are evergreens with tiny needles, and then end up carpeting the entire forest in a gray brown snow.

Unfortunately, there are idiots up on top who destroy the mood.

At the end of this, you get to a little hut with a picnic bench that industrious boy scouts built. After this, it gets much steeper and more dangerous. N, B, and I actually came back a few weeks later and hiked to the picnic bench. It took 6 hours to get all of us up there and back down, but we did it.

Anyway, as soon as you leave the stand, things get narrower and their can be drops a foot to either side of you. This is one portion.

Somehow this tree by itself on the ridge looked like an immediate landmark.

Of course, one must take an obligatory photo of Diamond Head when on this part of the island.

And what's special about this ridge trail is that it takes you all the way up to the cliffs of the windward side, making everything worth it. Yeah, we are on the top of those cliffs here.

Yeah, Oahu.


December/Stacia said...

Wow. I love these posts.

Church Lady said...

Quite beautiful! Do you belong to the Sierra Club? I joined recently, and take my 2 boys (9 and 7) on hikes. We have a great time!

Ello said...

Oh wow! That was incredible. I can't believe you hiked 6 hours. I would have died. And your pictures are great! Too bad you couldn't post them bigger the last two were beautiful.

This reminds me of a story my hubby told me of when he was in Korea. He and his friends went hiking on some famous Korean mountain where they camped at night on the mountain side. Well after a day of climbing, they come out the top of the mountain, where they are over the cloud lines and the view is incredible and my hubby is clicking madly away (this is back before digital) and wondering why his film hadn't run out yet only to realize his camera had been empty for the entire trip. Doh! At least you took some great pics!

pacatrue said...

Thanks, Dec.

I haven't joined the Sierra Club yet, though I likely should. I sometimes forget they are more than just a political organization.

There were two hikes, ello. The first was myself and a classmate. We went all the way to the cliff top and back in about 5 hours. N, B, and I later went just up to the picnic bench, which is before it gets too steep for B, had a big picnic and then came back down. The family one took 6 or so. B did remarkably well, though and hiked maybe half of it. The other half I carried.