Crouching Lion to Kahekili Ridge
Crouching Lion is a short 0.4 mile out and back hike on O'ahu's east side just before Kahana Bay Beach Park coming from Kaneohe. Parking for Crouching Lion is a small dirt parking lot on the right side of Kamehameha Highway just before the beach park when coming from Kaneohe or on the left after the beach park coming from the North Shore.
The actual trailhead begins at a series of signs warning of the dangers ahead on the mauka side of the highway heading toward Kaneohe. The first set of signs is the trail for Pu'u Manamana (the summit of Crouching Lion), but if the view from Crouching Lion is your only goal for the day ignore the first set of signs and proceed up the trail at the second set. The trail itself can be muddy, slippery, and steep but can be accomplished in a short amount of time. When you reach a flat dirt area where you get your first views of both sides Crouching Lion will just be a short walk to your left to see all the famous views. For the more adventurous type a right will take you to the summit of Pu'u Manamana which can be completed in a loop ending on Huamalani Road. The full hike is roughly 5 miles, features a hidden waterfall, and views of Makaua Valley from the top of Makaua falls.
For those wishing to continue on go right from the flat dirt area as described before. At first the trail will take you through some low lying bushes but will become very defined as it follows the ridge up to the summit. From the first summit follow the ridge back for quite some time before you see a split in the trail. When you come upon this split GO LEFT, AND DO NOT GO STRAIGHT. Straight will take you back towards that pyramid looking mountain called Pu‘u‘ōhulehule, but the trail will become so overgrown with Uluhe that you might get lost possibly require rescuing. I am speaking from experience. Going left will take you on the more defined trail down to the stream with the waterfall as mentioned earlier.
Once on the other side of the stream you have officially begun the Kahekili side of the hike which should be mostly downhill from here. There should be a series of ribbons along the entire trail on the way down. On your way down Kahekili you will come across an old WWII bunker or in Hawai'i they are known as pillboxes around the same elevation as Crouching Lion. Continue on the steep trail down until you are at the bottom, and then follow the trail toward the ocean to meet up with Huamalani Road. Going left when this trail meets the other will take you to Makaua Falls which only flows after heavy rains. This hike could just as easily be completed in reverse just take into account you will need to walk back to your vehicle along Kamehameha Highway whichever way you choose.
Notable safety about this loop is the cliffs are very steep and certain death if one were to fall. Also be careful not to get to close to the edge of Makaua Falls once you cross the stream, and the Uluhe ferns are known to leave your legs with lots of cuts and even tear clothing so long pants may be recommended.
All hikes in Hawai'i are extremely dangerous and require caution when attempting. Hawai'i is known for hot humid weather, steep dramatic cliffs, and flash floods which can occur at anytime. It is important that you check the local weather, and understand the physical condition of your entire group before attempting any hike. All being said, this blog is for information purposes only and I ACCEPT NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY INJURY, LOST INDIVIDUALS, OR LEGAL TROUBLE ENCOUNTERED WHILE FOLLOWING THE INFORMATION POSTED HERE.