|DIFFICULTY||LENGTH||ELEVATION GAIN||ROUTE TYPE|
|Hard||7.3 mi / 5.6 hrs||2211 ft||Loop|
The Kaau Crater Trail is a difficult but rewarding hike that starts deep in Palolo Valley and goes up to the ridgeline of the Koolau Range around the crater and back down to where you started. Throughout the hike you’ll encounter 3 waterfalls and get great views of inside the Kaau Crater, out over Palolo Valley, and along the ridgeline panoramic views of Windward Oahu including Kaneohe Bay, The Mokes, and the Windward towns of Kailua, Kaneohe, and Waimanalo. If you’re not an experienced hiker you can get to the first waterfall before turning back, but if you’re a more experienced hiker and have a spare 5 or 6 hours the complete hike is incredibly rewarding. With the rainforest setting and all the streams you’ll encounter expect to get a little muddy, and with steepness of some parts you’ll want to be careful, take your time and watch your step, it can be dangerous at times.
You can find street parking on Waiamao Rd near the trailhead.