Tuesday, May 1, 2018

OAHU - OTHER NEAT PLACES: TREKKING THE HONOLULU MOUNTAINS

VISITED APRIL 2016

Honolulu's MANOA VALLEY and distant WAIKIKI from the top of the KO'OLAU RANGE

ATTENTION: THIS IS A LENGTHY PAGE - PEOPLE SEEKING INFO ON ONE PARTICULAR SPOT WILL FIND:
MANOA FALLS - immediately down page
AIHUALAMA TRAIL - 25% down page
WA'AHILA RIDGE TRAIL-MT OLYMPUS - 30% down page
LULUMAHU FALLS - 55% 
JUDD (GINGER-JACKASS) CIRCUIT - 80%
PAUOA RIDGE/NU'UANU RIDGE TRAIL - PAUOA/PALI FLATS - 85%

THERE IS A HOST OF GOOD HIKES IN HONOLULU'S MOUNTAINOUS BACKDROP

HONOLULU AND THE KO'OLAU RANGE
The GREATER HONOLULU URBAN AREA spreads across much of of the southern OAHU coast and is backed by the impressive KO'OLAU RANGE which separates the south coast from the south-east WINDWARD COAST. As a matter of fact many HONOLULU SUBURBS stretch up lower KO'OLAU ridges + the gullies between.
On the modified GOOGLE EARTH image above, pale purple represents PEARL HARBOR, YELLOW - AIRPORT, CHARCOAL - DOWNTOWN, lower WHITE -WAIKIKI, ORANGE - DIAMOND HEAD and upper WHITE- LEEWARD COAST.
Note I have rotated image about 30 degrees anti-clockwise so that NORTH-EAST is straight up, not the usual NORTH Linear scale? It's slightly under 12miles/19km in a direct line between the tips of the 2 white arrows. 
There's a bunch of good destinations along those ranges. Below are some of the ones I managed to visit (or in a few cases; TRIED AND FAILED to visit). 


MANOA FALLS

This has to be the most visited waterfall and trek in OAHU'S mountain areas - on account of PROXIMITY TO WAIKIKI/HONOLULU- A SHORT EASY SCENIC WALK to the falls - and an OK FALLS (last point dependent on recent rainfall).

It hadn't rained too much prior to my APRIL visit and there was little flow (see pic down page) so I had to lift this one from HAWAII.COM. via GOOGLE IMAGES.

I later found this good pic on WIKEPEDIA - shows the whole 150ft/45m drop. Nice. 

LOCATION ON OAHU
ATTENTION -the MANOA FALLS marker is correct but all others are too far west. Waikiki is actually under its last "i", and the Honolulu CBD is just above the last "k" in "Waikiki".



MORE DETAILED LOCATION
The falls are at the head of the MANOA VALLEY, not far from its most northern housing area. This is a little over 4 miles/7km from DOWNTOWN HONOLULU which is just out of image bottom center - 5mi/8km from central WAIKIKI.
Note the position of the NORTH SYMBOL - this is in the PALI PASS gap, a major route from the south to the WINDWARD COAST.
Note too I may have cranked in too much VERTICAL EXAGGERATION - but those mountains sure are rugged. And high (highest point 3100ft/945m). 
Places may be clearer if you click-expand image.

GETTING TO THE TRAILHEAD  - PLUS THE TRAIL LAYOUT
Details may be clearer if you can click-expand.
I caught bus 5 from downtown's ALA MOANA BUS INTERCHANGE (if you are coming from WAIKIKI lotsa buses go to ALA MOANA - keep your ticket transfer stub; you can get all the way to the falls for $2.50). I got off where the bus terminates at the top of MOANA RD (see above image). From there it is a short (under 400m) walk to the last suburban house, beyond which a paved road leads 300m to the PARKING AREA.
Note this parking area is pretty small and MANOA FALLS is one of the most popular treks on the island. I seem to remember a $5 parking charge too. There is NO PARKING on the access road - but drivers will find plenty of free curbside parking back on the residential streets of upper MANOA.
A turn-in to the LYON ARBORETUM (sp wrong on map) is a short distance past the parking area - I have no idea what that attraction is like: fact is the upcoming walking track to the falls has some EXCELLENT NATURAL RAINFOREST - who needs an arboretum?

THE TRAIL

This is a very USER FRIENDLY TRAIL. Short (1.3km/0.8mi each way), no gradients above moderate and a many more gentle, walking surfaces pretty good, and some of OAHU'S better rainforest along the way.


This is a slightly tilted GOOGLE EARTH IMAGE of the access track to MANOA FALLS which begins a short distance north of the car park. The WHITE line represents the main MANOA FALLS TRAIL, the LIGHT BLUE to the upper left, the AIHAULAMA  TRAIL which according to trek reports moves across the mid-mountain slope to the west and joins other trails leading to various WINDWARD COAST overlooks. Trouble is I LOST THE TRACK not too far from its start (more down page).
Note once again the "R" absent from "ARBORETUM" on image - very time consuming to correct.
Linear scale? Straight line distance between the markers for ARBORETUM and FALLS is approx. 1150yards/1060m


This rather good schematic of track features was set up at the car park end.

The first 20% of the track is a sealed service road. 
Pretty good rainforest even at this early stage.

The next 60% is chipped rock over a dirt base - I read how this became a bit of a QUAGMIRE after rain in the past (apparently it rains most days here) and so STATE PARKS dumped a whole load of chipped rock to rectify the problem. Okay, so now the traditionalists are moaning about how hard it is on bare feet! Jeez, get a life - I spent all my childhood in bare feet (including elementary school: schools were different in the 1950s) but these days if I trek a track I make sure I have proper footwear.

Next was a 50m stretch of step-ups (very widely spaces stairs).
Step-ups widely spaced with a reasonable gradient.

Following was a short root-strewn/rocky area and finally a limited repeat of the chipped-rock on dirt thing. 

No steep gradients along this track. I reckon wheelchairs will be able to make it to the start of the step ups - you may say WHY, if they can't reach the falls? Well the fact is there is some excellent rainforest along the trail to that point - with giant emergent trees, climbing woody liana vines, epiphytes such as orchids clinging to upper branches and trunks, strands of bamboo etc. 







I'm trying to think if there was anywhere else I went on OAHU which had easier access to such good stuff - don't think so. Thing is, scenes from JURRASIC PARK, other movies and TV's LOST have been shot here.

VEGETATION ZONES ALONG THE MANOA FALLS TRAIL
I cropped the trail schematic to try and bring out main features. 1 thru 4 are the vegetation areas before the step-up area. Maybe you can click-expand image to make things clearer. 
Start of trail is a very short distance out of frame lower left.
Note seats for unfit dudes/nature ponderers at frequent intervals along the trail. 
Note too the turn left onto the AIHAULAMA  TRAIL very close to the falls.


THE FALLS ZONE

UNDERWHELMING DROP WHEN IT HASN'T RAINED MUCH


Maybe i was unlucky - several reports mention the mountains act as natural barriers to the passing trade winds resulting in rain most days, even in drier months. But my pre-Easter stay on OAHU didn't see much precipitation in the mountains at all, meaning that when I reached the falls barely a trickle was making the 150ft drop.
I didn't worry too much - I'd enjoyed the rainforest on display coming up the track, the backing area to the above pix was a nice place to spend time and I still had the side AIHAULAMA  TRAIL to explore - more on that little disaster down page....

LESS ENJOYABLE - - - - THE NANNY STATE STRIKES AGAIN
The falls pool area was ineffectively blocked to public access by these measures. Sure there is the occasional rock fall (most likely during and just after heavy rain), underfoot can be slippery and there is danger of the bacterial infection LEPTOSPIROSIS to swimmers. But in the litigation crazy US, gun-shy public authorities and others refuse to let people use their common sense, resulting in the above.

THE BACKING AREA TO THE DROP WAS A NICE PLACE TO SPEND TIME.


The falls pool area is a good place to sit, catch some breath even though it's only a 30 minute max trek from the car park. Even with little flow, it's a great spot to contemplate nature - plus do a bit of people-watching.
Thing is, the only other trek I saw as many people was for the iconic DIAMOND HEAD. I don't think that place had more. I can't get over how unprepared lotsa people were at both - we are talking bare-feet (OK - some dudes are trying to impress withe the back to nature thing), swim-suits, platform sandals and the big 4 inch heels/tight minnies - MANOA is an easy trek but maybe not that easy. 
On both I passed numerous TOUR GROUPS complete with guides doing the big commentary. I think a lot of tours to MANOA would include a visit to the ARBORETUM - could be interesting. 

The group of kids immediately above were no doubt some school excursion, They were speaking FRENCH. Jeez, we didn't do excursons like that back in my school days. As a matter of fact - we didn't do excursions.

HINT - if you are an unfit dude, MANOA FALLS is way easier than DIAMOND HEAD.




THE AIHUALAMA  TRAIL - LOST!! ...,(WHAT'S NEW?)

About 20m from the falls is a turn to the left where you can take the AIHUALAMA. I was looking for an extended work-out (the MAIN TRAIL is that easy) - according online hiking maps the AIHAULAMA works its way across the lower mountain slopes and then meets several other trails which head up the mountains to some pretty good viewpoints. I'm a sucker for viewpoints.

AIHUALAMA TRAIL JUNCTION WITH THE MANOA FALLS TRAIL
The turn up the AIHUALAMA TRAIL is very close to the falls.

The first 30m or so is fairly steep and rough with some big rocks....




...followed by a couple of hundred meters of flat well surfaced trail thru a neat bamboo grove....

....after which is a similar length with hundreds of tree roots. Looks kinda benign but I found this a real hassle to cross.Then the trail dived into a fairly dry creek bed. I HATE THIS! Invariably the track leaves the creek at some undetectable spot (a feature of OAHU TREKS is a scarcity of sign-posting). The AIHUALMA did just that. Doubtless you up to date dudes with yer GPS TRACKERS and online trail maps/instructions would have few problems, but I'm a seriously old geezer and GPS - yada just aint hiking in my book.



THE DRY CREEK BED LOOKS EASY
.....but wasn't. Much steeper than appears in this pic, almost semi bush-bashing UPHILL. Not much fun, particularly when there was no sign of an exit to the left (something tells me not many people use this section of the AIHUALAMA)....so after 15 minutes or so...I GAVE UP AND HEADED BACK (tezza trekking motto - WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, THE TOUGH TURN AROUND).No worries - I had all that great rainforest down the MAIN TRAIL to revisit, and I could spend the time saved not hiking into the clouds, sipping an icy-cool beer or three at the retro KOA OASIS BOOZE SHACK at beautiful FORT DERUSSY BEACH on the WAIKIKI strip.


Not lost here - I knew exactly where to find this place. Sweet.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



WA'AHILA RIDGE TRAIL
WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH......THE TOUGH TURN BACK. AGAIN.

LOCATION WA'AHILA TRAIL
MISTAKE ABOVE - the WAIKIKI marker is too far west - in the location of the AIRPORT. WAIKIKI is some 5miles/8km SSE of the airport - it's more or less directly south (on the coast) of the "H" in "WA'AHILA".
The HONOLULU marker IS ALSO MISLEADING. Greater Honolulu is a fairly big city and extends across most of the southern coast in this image, with offshoots going up mountain ridges and the gullies between. WAIKIKI is a coastal part of HONOLULU. The natural place to put a HONOLULU place marker is in the DOWNTOWN/CITY/CBD AREA which is just above the last"i" in "Waikiki" above. I have it too far west - just east of the PEARL HARBOR entrance.
My apologies - as a map maker I'm a great retired economist.

MORE DETAILED LOCATION - WA'AHILA TRAIL
The ridge trail begins at the WA'AHILA RIDGE STATE PARK not far from the very top residential streets of the ST LOUIS HEIGHTS area, so called because it stretches up the lower WA'AHILA RIDGE and has some fine views down over the CITY- WAIKIKI/across to DIAMOND HEAD.
WHITE ARROW is the KALIHI VALLEY where the LIKELIKE HWY links the HONOLULU COAST to the lower WINDWARD COAST (seen upper image). YELLOW is the PALI GAP where the PALI HWY does similar. INDIGO points to the MANOA VALLEY. Featured up page, the MANOA FALLS is in the major fissure upper left from arrow. PALE PURPLE points at upper ST LOUIS HEIGHTS suburban area.

The trail itself: YELLOW SECTION is the LOWER WA'AHILA TRAIL. The PALE BLUE continuation is the UPPER TRAIL. The WHITE side trail down into MANOA is the KOLOWALU TRAIL which is apparently a popular alternative starting track to climbing the ridge.


WA'AHILA STATE RECREATATION AREA - STARTING POINT
This is a nice destination in itself - lotsa trees, picnic facilities, rest rooms etc. Very few people on my nice weekday call-in.

Situated at the end of RUTH ST, just past highest part of the ST LOUIS HEIGHTS residential area. BUS 14 terminates at the lower end of RUTH ST. You are looking at a walk of 650m to the park area. Bus 14 starts in EAST WAIKIKI fer you bucks down travelers - I was staying in a nice Airbnb room in upper ST LOUIS HEIGHTS and had only a few stops to the final point. 
Most of you will have cars - the parking area at the park has only 20-25 spots, wasn't crowded my visit but I don't know about weekends. Check closing time when visiting - various at time of writing between 1645 amd 1945 depending on time of year. Thing is this trail is kinda time consuming and you can get back late if like me you want to push on

THE TRACK STARTS
The trailhead is well signposted from the STATE RECREATION parking lot top of RUTH PLACE. Car drivers will find plenty of parking most times - if full, park outside on RUTH PLACE. 
BUS 14 terminates at start of RUTH PLACE - comes up from EAST WAIKIKI except for peak when you need 13 to connect.

The climb is in 2 parts - the LOWER RIDGE TRAIL and the UPPER.

The LOWER RIDGE TRAIL took abt an hour - I'm fit but at 71 a bit slower than average. General trajectory is of course upwards but this track undulates with several quite steep downhill sections


A downhill section - only here I can understand user complaints of lack of helper ropes.
Generally underfoot, things were pretty good - few roots, no steps I can remember, mainly gravel but not slippery except on the steepest downhill sections. Upwards slopes moderate to steep at most - no heart-breakers. But if rain had created mud I may have been less whelmed.


There are 4 knolls giving great views back over the MANOA VALLEY and COAST. Charcoal - DIAMOND HEAD - yellow - start of RIDGE TRAIL (behind hill). Orange - WAIKIKI. White - CITY.

Fit dudes will gallop straight up the first section. However my circumferrentialy-enhanced online buddy KANANGA, the only person still alive who as surrounded a full BBQ pig in one sitting, may need one or two rest stops - K has 2 rest benches and a defibrilator station on the 6 steps to his front door - he will be hoping his seriously sensual squeeze, the sensational SIAM SOONAY, has brushed up on her CPR.


The seriously sensational SIAM SOONAY. Readers think I have some antipathy to KANANGA - I assure you it's ENVY.

THE UPPER TRAIL
The LOWER TRAIL may be rated moderate but I'd rate the UPPER TRAIL above that - into "A GOOD WORKOUT"


TRAIL JUNCTION - sign says "end of maintained trail". Yellow indicates continuation on the UPPER TRAIL White is side trail which leads down into the eastern side of the MANOA VALLEY. This KOLOWALLU TRAIL is a popular alternative starting point for the climb to MT OLYMPUS..

For a terrific cover of trekking the KOLOWALLU check this page on DODDS on-walkabout.
Of extra value because he kept going to MT OLYMPUS and then onward across the ridge almost as far as I went. Has way more maps and pix than my account plus the pix are of much better quality.

The UPPER TRAIL (sometimes referred to as the MOUNT OLYMPUS TRAIL) might not be maintained but it seems to be frequently used in that it was well defined. However it was narrower, steeper and met the definition of a ridge trail in that it often went along the top of the narrow ridge with steep drops each side (although at no time did I feel there was a chance of a fall and thick vegetation would arrest the descent of the careless). 
The surface varied from dusty dirt, dried mud, and gravel, with roots and other debris fairly common. I can't remember any steps. The undulating continued with another 3 or 4 knolls featuring increasingly more distant views of the HONOLULU coast. The second section took me 90 minutes.


MT OLYMPUS (758M/2458ft) beckons - shot from about half way along the UPPER TRAIL. Took me 2.5 hours to reach from the initial trailhead but most fit trekkers will be faster - like thankfully they aint 71 like me.

HELPER ROPES


The UPPER TRAIL featured several short, steep slopes where thankfully climbing groups had installed HELPER ROPES (God bless 'em!!). Unfortunately there were still a few similar areas with no help.
I was impressed on the return trip at a similar un-roped descent to the one immediately above - I was inching down on my bum when a young dude (one of 2 trekkers I saw all the 6+ hours I was on the trail) slid by me on a sort of controlled express 'skateboard' on his joggers - took him 10 seconds vs my 2 mins+. 
At the same time I was thinking - what are these slopes like, either UP or DOWN, when muddy?? And it rains up here a real lot. 
I was lucky.

THE SUMMIT!!
The view back to the HONOLULU COAST (and the MANOA VALLEY in this shot - to the left out  of frame it is still possible to see DIAMOND HEAD) is impressive.
Yellow arrow indicates TRAIL-HEAD below ridge line.
There may be a little telephoto in this pic.


Turn 180 for this north-eastern outlook over the WINDWARD COAST (so called because the prevailing NORTH-EAST TRADE WINDS blow on-shore much of the time).
Not real clear, but that peninsula upper middle is MOKAPU  - area most known for its big US marine corp. base. The coastal region to left looks a lake but is in fact KANEHOHE BAY with a distinctive offshore barrier reef. The suburban area near the coast top right is KAILUA. Suburbia closet camera is MAUNAWILI.
Details may be clearer if you CLICK-EXPAND image.


MT OLYMPUS (upper areas in cloud) from the excellent LANIKAI PILLBOX TRAIL on the WINDWARD COAST.



RIDGE TOP TREKKING 
Online maps had shown a likely looking trail heading WEST from near the MT OLYMPUS summit to points overlooking the PALI GAP between HONOLULU and WINDWARD coasts. I was real keen the see this overview.

WHERE'S THE TRAIL??
Well in this shot from MT OYLYMPUS the westward ridge trai is real clear, right on the edge of the ridge. But here's the thing - darned if I could find the start!! Maybe it is down-slope from the summit (yep - DODDS has a pic) and I missed it going both ways. 
So....

.....I TOOK OFF IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION

Thing is, there was the promise of a trail heading in that direction.
I aimed for that mountain top in the distance (far yellow).....Who was I kidding?  90 minutes later I was near the pastel purple arrow 500m past thospower stanchions  in the near distance (:"NEAR DISTANCE"??? - took me 60 minutes to get there!!) when things got so difficult I gave up and turned back.
But first I had to negotiate the eastern downslope of MT OLYMPUS - looked steep. It was.


Like many amateur camera pics, this one fails to bring out how steep and difficult this descent was. I'd say I dropped about 65m/200ft - most of it slipping and sliding on my bum. No helper ropes here gang. 


Maybe this shot I took from near the bottom on the return journey better indicates the slope.
I dreaded the climb back but was surprised that this was a lot easier taking abt half the time of the descent.

CONTINUING THE OUTWARD TRIP - At the bottom the suggestion of a track disappeared into thick scrub and I had to bush-bash. I HATE BUSH BASHING!! Then I hit a fairly serious upslope followed by more bush bashing. Thisup-down-bush-bahing sequence continued for the next 30 minutes to the power staunchions - the last 5 minutes was a sustained climb on a super steep and slippery slope - with helper ropes thank goodness.


The undulating nature of the ridge can be seen from this point still well short of the stanchions.
Note that the ridge line is a bit narrow in some areas. With less-thick vegetation to arrest an inadvertent slide, this became a bit of a worry. 


The stanchions support power cables from the HONOLULU side to the WINDWARD COAST. That's the KA'AU CRATER down there - I followed a track from the stanchions heading in that general direction for 5 minutes - I later read of a trail which comes up from HONOLULU'S PALALO VALLEY to the crater - maybe it continues up to the stanchions.

WESTWARD HO!
The up-down on the narrow ridge continued past the stanchions. It got progressively harder to bash thru the undergrowth. And painful too - sharp bushes had cut my shins to bits (tip - don't wear shorts if bush-bashing is a possibility). 500m on and 20 minutes later I gave up - too hard and I figured at the glacial rate of progress it would take me over 3 hours to reach my destination near that ridge-top tower top right. This would leave me returning after dark - not a good idea with no torch. So I did a 180 and retraced my steps.
Call me a wimp, but I'd been on the track for over 4 hours and at 71 was beginning to feel a little used up. 

THE RETURN
As said, the ridge top return to the summit of MT OLYMPUS was easier than I dreaded. So too was the descent on the WA'AHILA TRAIL - downhill helps heaps but I gotta say that those frequent uphills on the undulations had me less than whelmed. The 13km/8miles on the trails had taken 6,5 hours.
Back on RUTH PLACE I found I'd just missed the hourly bus 14 so I trudged another 2km down the road to my digs on ST LOUIS DRIVE. After more than 7 hours on the hoof it was great to sit back with a beer watching the sun set west of DIAMOND HEAD.


Nice.


A few beers later.....even nicer. WAIKIKI mid right.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------


LULUMAHU FALLS

MISTAKE ABOVE - the WAIKIKI place marker too far west - actually the location of the AIRPORT. WAIKIKI is some 5miles/8km SSE of the airport - more or less immediately past the  last "i" of "Waikiki" above.
The HONOLULU place marker IS ALSO MISLEADING. Greater Honolulu is a fairly big city and extends across much of the southern coast in this image, with offshoots going up mountain ridges and the gullies between - WAIKIKI is actually parts of HONOLULU. The natural place to put a HONOLULU place marker is in the DOWNTOWN/CITY/CBD AREA which is just above the last"i" in "Waikiki" above. I have it way too far west - just east of the PEARL HARBOUR entrance.
My apologies - a map maker I'm not.

The day before I was underwhelmed by the trickle coming over the nearby and super popular MANOA FALLS (it had been unusually dry on the KO'OLAU RANGE backing HONOLULU the past week or so). But no problem at LULUMAHA - there was a good but not fantastic spill of water over the 30m/100ft 85 degree drop into the shallow pool (deep enough for a wade, not swimming). Seemed the locals were in the know - despite being "off limits" there was a crowd of people here, mainly locals.


Lower LULUMAHA FALLS - on account I forgot my camera this day, I had to get this shot from YELP

CONTRAST WITH NEARBY MANOA FALLS THE PREVIOUS DAY


Okay, the flow over LULUMAHA was maybe 60% of the top YELP pic on the day of my visit, but it still wasn't bad. Makes sense - LULUMAHA is part of HONOLULU'S water catchment area. Naturally this would be in an area of maximum precipitation/flow.

WHAT A DIFFERENCE 800M MAKES

Yep, 800m is the straight line distance between the two falls - much further overland of course (in theory you can walk it indirectly but I tried part of the way the previous day and got hopelessly lost).
WHITE ARROW points to the PALI HIGHWAY. YELLOW is NU'UANU PALI DR. PASTEL PURPLE is KAHO'OHOMOE, the third highest peak on the KO'OLAU RANGE at 2780ft/847m.
In contrast the PALI HIGHWAY at its highest point in the pass between HONOLULU and the WINDWARD COAST is at approx 1200ft/280m - the LULUMAHA TRAILHEAD around 1000/305 and the FALLS abt 1690/515.

OBLIQUE VIEW OF LULLUHAHA FALLS AREA.
I tilted this Google Earth image to bring out the relief (I cranked in too much vertical exaggeration, but this is one rugged area) and also spun it 90 degrees anticlockwise so that EAST is straight up, instead of the normal NORTH.
THE FALLS in the LULUMAHA GORGE is approx indicated by the BEIGE ARROW. WHITE is the NU'UANU RESERVOIR, YELLOW the PALI HWY, PASTEL PURPLE - top of MT KAAHOHOMOE and ORANGE - MT OLYMPUS (see ridge trek up page). The WINDWARD COAST can be seen in background.

THE ROUTE.
The trailhead  is next to the car park at the junction of the PALI HWY. and NU'UANU PALI DR.
At the time of my visit there was a lot of publicity re the WATER AUTHORITY banning trekkers without permits because numbers were threatening water quality - but when I arrived (I was on NU'UANAU PALLI to do the JUDD: JACKASS-GINGER CIRCUIT a little south and decided to walk up the road to at least see the LULUMAHA trailhead) a whole bunch of locals were pouring thru the gate - I'm a great fan of civil disobedience, and so I joined in.

THRU THE GATE
Gate and sign signify trailhead (image - Morgan Hiking in Hawaii)

ACROSS THE BAMBOO FOREST
The other side of the fence is a neat BAMBOO FOREST. This has several tracks to the left running thru it - I followed the mob, but on return learned of a much wider path. (image - PENSACOLA PHOTOGRAPHER )

UP THE RESERVOIR WALL AND ALONG THE PATH ON TOP
Emerging from the bush, cross an open grassed area and take one of several tracks up the southern side of NU'UANU RESERVOIR. Then turn right and follow the path along the top of the bund - (image  SALTWATERVIBES)

NU'UANU RESERVOIR
Don't annoy the water authorities by swimming here. The dam-side path in the previous shot is just out of frame to the left (another SALTWATERVIBES) image)

GO LEFT ALONG THE GRAFFITIED ESCARPMENT
Near the end of the dam-side path is a low rock escarpment (seems to have been graffitied since my visit) - (image SAVING TIME IN A BOTTLE)
DON'T be seduced by the gates etc past the right end - these belong to the water authority: sure you can use complicated tracks behind them to reach the stream and finally the FALS, but this is the HARD WAY. Indstead go to the far left side of the escarpment and.....

.....UP THE STAIRS
Climb the stairs which appear to belong to the ruins of a PUMPHOUSE (image IntentionalTRAVELER) - past here it's just a matter of following the NU'UANU STREAM behind).

OVERVIEW
The way from the entry gate to the entrance to the LULUMAHU GORGE is pretty evident from this GOOGLE IMAGE. Click-expanding image may make labels clearer.

UP THE NU'UANU STREAM
I'm not a fan of rock-hopping but for the next 500m that's mainly the drill. I got the impression that only after very heavy rainfall would the flow of water make this difficult. Occasionally a track to the side was obviously a short cut or a way to avoid people standing on key rocks for selfies or talking (image - Sheage).

THE OCCASIONAL SIDE TRACK THRU THE BUSH
Some of the side tracks had real good rainforest. Roots a bit of a challenge, but no more so than rock-hopping along the stream. Good footwear recommended although many of the locals looked like they had called in on the way to WINDWARD COAST BEACHES and had the usual flip-flops and sandals.
Slopes not too bad - nothing really steep except for a few VERY short sections. No mud in this fairly dry period but it could be an issue in these areas after rain (and it rains up here a lot).
Usually I found it dead easy to rejoin the main stream but at one stage lack of people and a lower flow alerted me I was heading up a tributary - easily rectified by back-tacking down stream a few minutes (image - IntentionalTRAVELER)

LOWER LULUMAHU FALLS
30m/100ft slightly less than vertical drop onto rocks and then into an adjacent pool (image - another from IntentionalTRAVELER)

FALLS POOL
Pool reasonably big but too shallow for swimming - great for wading/gettng wet and with lotsa rocks for people to sit and take it easy. And there were plenty of people (image - YELP)

UPPER LULLUHAHU FALLS
By moving left it was possible to see the UPPER FALLS - appeared to be abt the same drop, slightly less vertical. I could see no easy track going up there but no doubt it can be done (image - trover)



THE PEOPLE
It was almost as crowded here as at MANOA FALLS the previous day, but instead of 80/20 tourists/locals it seemed the reverse - many in beach-wear obviously on their way to WINDWARD COAST BEACHES on this fine weekend morning. Lotsa families.


No shortage of people (image - YouTube)
BTW - don't take the upwards route shown on this video link: it's way more complicated. Just head for the reservoir wall and find those pump-house steps. I noticed the video seems to go that way on the return leg.

The number of people with DOGS astounded me - in Australia authorities go mental if people bring dogs into the bush - some get lost, go feral, join packs which kill native animals and nearby farm livestock. And you don't want to meet a pack of wild feral dogs when bush-walking.

TREKKING WITH FIDO
Animal rights rule in America (image - SAVING TIME IN A BOTTLE)

SUM UP - this is a good one. Just long enough (1.7mi/2.8km) for non core hikers to think they had done some okay exercise. No heart breaking gradients (mostly benign) and with enough ROCK/TREE ROOTS hopping to satisfy that you are on a genuine bush-walk, not some stroll in the park. The FALLS themselves are not underwhelming and the countryside you move thru is attractive - pretty representative of a sub tropical non-urban landscape.



GETTING THERE 
PUBLIC TRANSPORT - catch BUS 4 from the university area and outside HONOLULU'S ALA MOANA CENTER. Lotsa buses from WAIKIKI go to/past ALA MOANA. Bus 4 diverts off the PALI HWY in the pass and heads up NU'UNANU PALI DRIVE. After a short distance it turns up OLD PALI DRIVE. Jump off at the first stop and backtrack to NU'UANU PALI DRIVE and walk abt 2.5km/1.5mi - gradient gradual, surroundings rural-urban. A nice walk.


NU'UNANAU PALI DRIVE at one stage goes thru abt 200m of a tree-canopy tunnel (image J+J Hikes - this is a very good site well worth checking)

DRIVING - there is a reasonably sized parking area at the top of NU'UANU PALI DRIVE but it seemed full on this fine Saturday morning. No worries - there is plenty of curbside parking down the DRIVE. Some local websites warn of frequent vehicle break ins up here so don't leave valuables in view. I was pleased to see a cop parked strategically in a cruiser monitoring the scene. Although he did give me the stink eye as I passed - must be my convict roots.


Great-great-great grandad Tezza - transported from England to Oz for poaching rabbits on the local Lord's estate. Dude doesn't look real gruntled at his 10 years' hard labour - but he should think of the bigger picture: after that he is a FREE MAN in a SUNNY PARADISE, compared to England's doozy drizzle. (image - http://www.albany.asn.au/)



--------------------------------------------------------------


JUDD (GINGER-JACKASS) CIRCUIT AND PALI (PAUOA) RIDGE TRAIL (AKA NU'UANU TRAIL)


LOST IN LOST COUNTRY

MISTAKE ABOVE - the WAIKIKI place marker is too far west, actually the location of the AIRPORT. WAIKIKI is 5miles/8km SSE of the airport - immediately past the  last "i" of "Waikiki" above.
The HONOLULU place marker IS ALSO MISLEADING. Greater Honolulu is a fairly big city and extends across much of the southern coast in this image, with offshoots going up mountain ridges and the gullies between - WAIKIKI is actually parts of HONOLULU. The natural place to put a HONOLULU place marker is in the DOWNTOWN/CITY/CBD AREA which is just above the last"i" in "Waikiki" above. I have it way too far west - just east of the PEARL HARBOUR entrance.
My apologies - as a map maker I'm a great retired economist.

The JUDD (GINGER-JACKASS) CIRCUIT has a lot going for it - being a short, easy loop thru some very picturesque landscape with a trail-head only 850yards/1100m down NUANUA PALI DRIVE - easily knocked over the same day you do the LULUMAHA FALLS TRAIL seeing the latter is not real time consuming either.



No great distance between trail-heads.


LENGTH OF CIRCUIT - 1.2mi/2km
You can easily stroll the YELLOW route (JUDD-JACKASS GINGER) from road-trail-head back in less than an hour.
WHITE route shows the beginning of one of the PALI RIDGE TRAILS (in this case the NU'UANU TRAIL). I was hoping it led to one of the PALI PASS overlooks - maybe it does for dudes who don't get hopelessly lost.

THE JUDD (JACKASS GINGER) CIRCUIT
Jackass-Ginger? All sorts of anecdotal explanations abound - one I heard was that houses close to the southern boundary once had some ginger plants here and one place tethered a jackass.


Just off the road you immediately drop into this rather nice glade and cross the creek (I notice GOOGLE MAPS says this is the same NU'UANU STREAM that comes over LULUMAHA FALLS). It was flowing a little better than above on my day, but I had no trouble picking good rocks to cross over without wetting joggers.
This is a very picturesque area - OAHU websites make a big deal about several scenes from the TV series 'LOST' being shot here.  Then again 'LOST' scenes were shot in suitable locations all over OAHU and other islands (we ain't even gonna talk about 'JURASSIC PARK').
Several HAWAIIAN families were picnkicng here - NATIVE HAWAIIANS are big on family picnics. (as mentioned up page, I didn't have my camera this day. And so I've had to borrow this image from  JOURNEY ERA)

Across the creek I hit the circuit proper.Route instructions say turning left is better to do it CLOCKWISE.
Soon I hit a nice bamboo forest which changed to hoop pines. The track was fine underfoot, gradients undulating but not challenging.


Hoop pines on the JUDD (GINGER-JACKASS) CIRCUIT - image JOURNEY ERA again.

Past the hoop pines the track reaches a 3 way junction. To the left-uphill is the start of the PALI RIDGE TRAIL but to keep on the JUDD CIRCUIT take the lower track curving right.
Continuing on the CIRCUIT, the trail maintainedd its undulations. There were a number of side-trails along this section but I had no problem sticking to the main track. Pretty soon a nice natural pool behind some bordering housing appeared on the left (I took this to be the JACKASS-GINGER POOL)  - the NU'UANU STREAM entered this over a small drop. 


Like the above image, some neighbourhood kids were enjoying a ROPE JUMP into the JACKASS GINGER POOL as I passed.
(image Honolulu City Dates)

From there it took little time to get back to the creek crossing near the trail-head. 



THE PAUOA RIDGE (aka NU'UANU RIDGE) TRAIL

LOST (AGAIN)
I was still keen to get up to the PAUOA FLATS OVERLOOK and so made my way back to the 3 way intersection and headed up to the left. 
Initial going was VERY STEEP on a series of switchbacks but the track was wide thru some nice bamboo forest. Surface was gravel-covered clay, not too many roots etc - but I could appreciate many online trail notes complaining how tricky this gets with mud after rain. As it was I had a lot of heel-slip going. Helper ropes would have been a boon, as would hiking poles (but I'd left mine back in Oz because I travel carry-on baggage only and every ounce counts).
I'm not sure how I lost the wide trail**, but 15 minutes later I found my way bush bashing through steep hillside scrub on what could have been a rarely used walking track but was more likely cut by local animals. It got even steeper and the bush thicker, to the point where I decided to give up and head back.
But looking left I could see daylight and thought maybe there was a clearing which would give some sort of orientating view. So I pushed my way 100m across the slope and emerged on the RIDGE EDGE. Looking down I could see sections of NU'UANU PALI DRIVE I had walked a few hours earlier. The ridge had a trail leading upwards which I took - fairly steep but not too difficult - after 15 minutes I reached a viewpoint clearing where I could see the NU'UANU RESERVOIR and the LULUMAHU FALLS TRAILHEAD PARKING AREA. But this was definitely not the PAUOA FLATS OVERLOOK.

OUTLOOK FROM THE PAUOA FLATS OVERLOOK
The overlook I reached was south of this, not quite as high, had no sign (or the wooden bench I have seen on other pix of the above). Note the NU'UANU RESERVOIR (see LULUMAHU FALLS trek up page) to the left of sign (image Kathyamen.net).

**I'm a serial tail-loser which is not a great asset for someone who prefers to hike solo. Not sure why, but given the choice between two unmarked tracks at a fork I take THE WRONG ONE two times in three. I think initially a lot of of these bum tracks were cut by local animals, widened by clueless types like me - less determined types give up so the track narrows meaning keep-on trekking brain-dead persistent types like me eventually end up in a bush bashing exercise or worse - given the rate at which track-side vegetation regrows in areas like this.
Anyway I ended up completely off route on this one, which annoys me particularly when accounts from other trekkers seem relatively straightforward - read the great one with much better maps, more detail and way more pix from DOBBS: on walkabout .


I tilted and spun this modified GOOGLE EARTH image to emphasize the ridge location.
YELLOW ARROW indicates correct NU'UANU TRAIL route. It actually joins another trail (the PAOA FLATS TRAIL - upper WHITE ARROW) to reach the PAOO FLATS OVERLOOK.  The lower WHITE ARROW shows this track coming up from TANTALUS DRIVE in the high country to the west of the lower MANOA VALLEY. Note the track takes on various names along the way.
MY route goes by way of the "LOST" marker - the overlook I ended up at I call "TEZZA'S OVERLOOK" for want of a more accurate moniker. I haven't bothered to mark in my ridge edge descent to the main track. The lower and mid parts of this track look ridge edge but although close never gave an impression of being near the drop.
If you click-expand image, labels may be clearer and you can see the NU'UANU RESERVOIR at top just above the "A" of "PAUO".
Note this image points NORTH-EAST compared to the normal NORTH orientation.

HEADING BACK
 The ridge trail seemed to finish at my clearing, so I retraced my steps back down the ridge, continuing past my entry point a fair way until I could see the NA'ANU TRAIL close to the left. Cutting across, I continued descending - this is no fun on 70+ year old shot knees but I found the strong rainforest vines and bamboo stems great for arresting out of control charges down the super steep, slippery (gravel) slopes. Back down was way quicker - 40mins vs 80 going up.


MORE LOST!! 
I felt a bit wasted at the finish and decided a nice swim down at WAIKIKI would do the trick and jumped 2 buses to get there. 
 It did. 
But walking home I took the wrong road and ended 6 km east of my intended destination just west of the UNIVERSITY (it was dark and we intrepid bushmen navigate by the sun). I knew a shortcut thru the UNI but messed this up (did I say it was dark?) and popped out of the northern gate instead of the western one - still 20 minutes from my digs. 
It was one of those days.
I think I'll get me one of those GPS thingies.

GETTING THERE
Check the GETTING THERE section of the LULUMAHU FALLS section - the same goes for the JUDD except you don't have to walk/drive as far up NU'UANU PALI DRIVE. I didn't notice any car parking area but there were lotsa curbside spots - please read my section up page about thefts from cars.



NOT AS LOST AS SOME
Can't say I met "LOST" TV's EVEANGELINA LILLY when stumbling around the OAHU jungle (or city) - image GIANT BOMB


ATTENTION - IF YOU SEE MISTAKES OR HAVE EXTRA INFO PLEASE POST BELOW. BUT IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION PLEASE ASK IT ON THE FORUM PAGE WHICH I CHECK FREQUENTLY - WHEREAS I REVISIT THESE DESTINATION PAGES ONLY OCCASIONALLY.

BACK TO INDEX






2 comments:

Treks Himalaya said...

Treks Himalaya an indoor outdoor trekking and tours operative company takes you that further way to guarantee you has a memorable trip that you have been dream with Treks Himalaya is part of your choice. We have 3 days to 30 days your Nepal trekking trip to choose but it depending of your timetable. We always respect our duty to constantly your Nepal holiday. We specialize in organize Nepal travel activities excursion such as:- Trekking, Helicopter Tour, Peak Climbing, Mountain Flight, Sightseeing, Rafting, Jungle Safari, Pilgrim’s Tour, Hotel Reservation, Air Ticket, Tibet and Bhutan Tour many more.
Further information visit below:-
http://www.trekshimalaya.com
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/annapurna-panorama-trekking.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/annapurna-base-camp-trekking.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/ghorepani-trekking.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/helicopter-tour-in-nepal.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/manaslu-trekking.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/mardi-himal-trekking.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/annapurna-trekking.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/everest-trekking.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/langtang-trekking.php

Treks Himalaya said...

Treks Himalaya an indoor outdoor trekking and tours operative company takes you that further way to guarantee you has a memorable trip that you have been dream with Treks Himalaya is part of your choice. We have 3 days to 30 days your Nepal trekking trip to choose but it depending of your timetable. We always respect our duty to constantly your Nepal holiday. We specialize in organize Nepal travel activities excursion such as:- Trekking, Helicopter Tour, Peak Climbing, Mountain Flight, Sightseeing, Rafting, Jungle Safari, Pilgrim’s Tour, Hotel Reservation, Air Ticket, Tibet and Bhutan Tour many more.
Further information visit below:-
http://www.trekshimalaya.com
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/annapurna-panorama-trekking.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/annapurna-base-camp-trekking.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/ghorepani-trekking.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/helicopter-tour-in-nepal.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/manaslu-trekking.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/mardi-himal-trekking.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/annapurna-trekking.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/everest-trekking.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/langtang-trekking.php