Hiking Oahu on the Puu Pia Trail

A view of Honolulu from the top of the Puu Pia Trail
A view of Honolulu from the top of the Puu Pia Trail

With each visit to Oahu, Andy and I are discovering more and more that this island has an abundance of fantastic hiking trails. Last month, we experienced three more Oahu trails including the Puu Pia Trail in the thick forest of the Manoa Valley. This trial climbs 400 feet over a 1.2 mile distance (one-way). The trail’s gentle slope leads you to top of a pu’u (hill) that offers a 360 degree view around the valley and to Honolulu.

The official trail description says that you can see views of Manoa Falls. Perhaps tree and shrub growth is now preventing the view of Manoa Falls, because we could hear, but not see the waterfalls.

In addition to the sounds of the waterfall, we heard such a beautiful chorus of birds chirping. We joked that it was better than listening to one of our relaxing spa sounds CD.

To us, it’s amazing that this peaceful forest trail is just a 15 minute drive outside the crowded action of Waikiki Beach. We only saw two other people the whole time on this hike. Instead of seeing crowds of people, we saw some flowers and wildlife that we hadn’t yet seen in Hawaii. We were surprised to see a chameleon in Hawaii for the first time. Until this trip we didn’t know that chameleons lived in Hawaii. Here’s the photo of the little green fellow posing for the camera.

Chameleon on the Puu Pia Trail

Feel free to browse around the other photos we snapped from this hike.

What to know before you go:

  • Finding this trail can be a bit tricky, especially if you aren’t familiar with Oahu. To help you find your way, use a GPS navigation system or print directions aiming for the address of 3650 Alani Drive and look for the brown trail head marker near the intersection of Alani Drive and Woodland Drive. The official hike description gives specific instructions of where to park, so do take a look at that guide.
  • Wear mosquito repellent
  • Bring water
  • Wear sneakers, hiking sandals or proper hiking shoes. I wouldn’t advise hiking this trail in flip flops.
  • If it has been raining, the trail may be slippery. If you have a hiking stick or pole, bring it.

Have you hiked the Puu Pia trail? What other thoughts would you add about this trail?

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