Pu’u Ualaka’a

The most interesting tree on the planet!

The most interesting tree on the planet!

This hike is a great 1.7 mile loop suitable for kids of just about any age. There are a few sections with a little bit of a steep drop-off to the side of the trail, but lots of brush to catch those who slip. Proceed west on Ualaka’a Trail; at 0.3 mi the trail forks – to the left (a very sharp left) is the Ulaka’a Trail, continuing straight takes you on the Makiki Valley Trail. If you want to do the whole loop, continue straight (look for the tree above to your right!) and cross Round Top Drive twice. About 0.2 mi after the second road crossing you’ll come to a four-way trail junction and a bench. Go left here to pick up Ualaka’a and it’s about 0.5 mi back to the trailhead. Lots of good tree-climbing opportunities along the way.

Shade Good – at least 90% shaded.
Treachery Almost none – just use good, sensible hiking intuition.
Exertion About 400′ elevation gain over a long, gentle grade. (Our preschoolers were still running around and playing after the hike so it won’t completely wipe them out.)
Lunch spot Several opportunities along the way – the 4-way junction or back at the parking lot where bathrooms are located.

Trailhead Drive uphill on Round Top Drive. At a hairpin turn, look for Pu`u `Ualaka`a State Park on the left. Drive into the State Park looking for the trailhead sign at the end of the first curve of the road. Continue up the road to the parking area, then walk back down the road to the trailhead. (Directions courtesy of Na Ala Hele which also provides a printable topographic map.)

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