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Kuliouou Ridge Trail

Peter, Tina, a sliver of Koko Head, Hanauma Bay, Hawaii Kai, Aina Hina.

A couple friends, Peter and Tina, were here on vacation from Los Angeles. Peter picked up a Nikon D90 recently so I thought it would be fun to take them up Kuli’ou’ou Ridge to get some exercise and snap some pictures. I brought my LX3.

The trail takes you up about 1,700 feet and at the top you get a pretty fantastic view of Oahu’s east side.


Less than a quarter of the way up.

First tip for this hike: go on a nice day.

Now I know it sounds like I’m being cheeky and rubbing in the fact that I live in Hawaii, and I am, but — too much cloud coverage can make this hike a bit anti-climactic. Imagine hiking uphill for 2 hours, getting to the peak, and seeing nothing but white mist. I’ve actually experienced it and it sucked. (But, all was not lost actually as the clouds burned off within 15 minutes.)


Pine trees of some sort.

What I love about this hike is how the terrain and surroundings vary. You start off in a typical valley and then here in this picture, you feel like you’re in a forest.


Mound of clay.

Here the scenery changes again.


Old tree.

It’s hard to resist taking pictures of trees like this. I tend to be attracted to objects that are gnarled and grizzly looking. You can sort of see this predilection in my paintings.


White trees against dark greens.

Once you get towards the top and are walking on the narrowed ridge, your surroundings get super cool. I always make a Narnia reference. I’ve never read the book or seen the movie, but it just seems fitting. And everyone always says “Oh, yeah…it does feel like Narnia” so I must be on to something.


Almost there.

This is where the hike starts getting steep. After a steady incline for the first 3 miles, you gotta put those glutes into overdrive to get to the peak.


Across the valley.

On the other side of the valley, is another ridge. Not sure what it’s called but all I could think about was how cool it would be to see it entirely covered in snow.


End of trail…duh.

So this is it. The top. And it feels great. The expansive view, the super strong breeze and the feeling of accomplishment.


Me and Pete.

Always great to see old friends.

This story was last modified on October 13, 2013. (Originally published in September 2009.)

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