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Hiking The Manana Ridge Trail On Oahu, Hawaii


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Hortense Bennet



Welcome to the beautiful island of Oahu, Hawaii, where lush mountains, pristine beaches, and breathtaking landscapes await you. One of the most captivating and exhilarating experiences you can have on the island is hiking the Manana Ridge Trail. This scenic trail offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding valleys, towering mountains, and the sparkling blue waters of the Pacific Ocean.


The Manana Ridge Trail is a hidden gem that takes you on a journey through the heart of Oahu’s natural beauty. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner looking for an adventurous escape, this trail promises an unforgettable experience.


As you venture along this trail, you’ll be immersed in the serenity of the lush green forests, encounter unique wildlife, and be treated to breathtaking vistas at every turn. The trail is not just an opportunity to explore the raw beauty of Oahu’s landscape but also a chance to challenge yourself physically and mentally. The sense of accomplishment you’ll feel when you reach the summit or conquer a steep incline is unparalleled.


While the trail offers a thrilling adventure, it’s important to note that proper planning and preparation are essential to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. In this guide, we’ll provide you with all the information you need to know to make the most of your hiking excursion on the Manana Ridge Trail. From trail difficulty and safety tips to camping options and breathtaking views, we’ve got you covered.


So, get ready to lace up your hiking boots, pack your water bottle, and embark on an unforgettable journey through one of the most picturesque trails in Hawaii. Let’s dive in and discover the wonders of the Manana Ridge Trail on Oahu!


Overview of Manana Ridge Trail

The Manana Ridge Trail, also known as the Waimano Ridge Trail, is a popular hiking route located on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. This trail offers hikers an opportunity to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the island and experience breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.


The trail is approximately 9 miles long, round trip, and is rated as moderate to difficult, making it suitable for experienced hikers or those looking for a challenge. It typically takes around 6-8 hours to complete the entire trail, depending on your pace and the stops you make along the way.


The Manana Ridge Trail begins at the end of Komo Mai Drive in Pearl City and ascends along the ridge line, offering stunning vistas of the lush valleys and distant mountains. The trail meanders through dense forests of eucalyptus and bamboo, providing shade and a sense of tranquility.


As you hike along the trail, you’ll encounter rocky terrain, steep inclines, and narrow sections, adding an element of adventure to your journey. It’s important to proceed with caution and wear appropriate footwear to ensure stability and reduce the risk of injuries.


One of the highlights of the Manana Ridge Trail is the panoramic views it offers. From various viewpoints along the way, you’ll be treated to sweeping vistas of the Waimalu Valley, Pearl Harbor, and even the distant Waianae Mountain Range on clear days. These breathtaking sights make the challenging hike well worth the effort.


It’s important to note that the Manana Ridge Trail is a relatively less crowded hiking option compared to some of the more popular trails on the island. This allows for a more peaceful and secluded experience in nature, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the serenity of the surroundings.


Overall, the Manana Ridge Trail is a must-do for hiking enthusiasts visiting Oahu. It offers a unique blend of adventure, natural beauty, and breathtaking views that will leave you with lasting memories of your time on the island.


Planning and Preparation

Before embarking on your hike along the Manana Ridge Trail, it’s crucial to have a well-thought-out plan and make the necessary preparations. Here are some key factors to consider to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience:

  • Research and gather information: Start by researching the trail, reading up on other hikers’ experiences, and familiarizing yourself with the route. Look for any recent updates or changes that may affect your hike.
  • Check the weather forecast: Keep an eye on the weather conditions leading up to your hike and on the day itself. Heavy rain can make the trail slippery and dangerous. It’s best to avoid hiking during inclement weather.
  • Map out your itinerary: Plan your hiking itinerary, including the estimated start time, expected duration, and any stops you may want to make along the way. This will help you manage your time efficiently and ensure a smooth hike.
  • Obtain permits, if needed: Check if permits are required for hiking the Manana Ridge Trail and obtain them in advance if necessary. Some trails may have limited access or capacity restrictions, so it’s essential to comply with any regulations.
  • Pack essential gear: Bring along the right gear and equipment for your hike. This may include sturdy hiking shoes, a backpack, a map, plenty of water, sunscreen, a hat, insect repellent, a first aid kit, and snacks or meals, depending on the duration of your hike.
  • Wear appropriate attire: Dress in layers and wear moisture-wicking clothing to stay comfortable during your hike. Be prepared for changes in temperature and conditions as you ascend and descend along the trail.
  • Inform others of your plans: It’s always a good idea to let someone know about your hiking plans, including your intended route and estimated time of return. This ensures that someone is aware of your whereabouts and can take appropriate action if needed.
  • Stay hydrated and pack enough water: Hydration is key during any hike, so make sure to pack enough water to last you throughout your journey. The trail can be challenging, and it’s essential to keep yourself hydrated to prevent dehydration or heat-related illnesses.

By taking the time to plan and prepare adequately, you’ll be setting yourself up for a successful and enjoyable hike along the Manana Ridge Trail. It’s important to prioritize your safety and be mindful of the natural surroundings throughout your journey. Now that you’re equipped with the necessary information, get ready to tackle this scenic trail and create unforgettable memories in the stunning landscapes of Oahu, Hawaii.


Trailhead and Parking

The starting point of the Manana Ridge Trail can be found at the end of Komo Mai Drive in Pearl City, Oahu. The trailhead is well-marked, making it easy to locate and start your hiking adventure.


When it comes to parking, it’s important to note that there is limited parking available near the trailhead. Due to the popularity of the trail, it’s recommended to arrive early in the day to secure a parking spot. If the designated parking area is full, you may need to find alternative parking nearby, but be sure to adhere to any parking regulations.


Another option is carpooling with fellow hikers or utilizing rideshare services to minimize the number of vehicles and reduce parking congestion.


It’s essential to park safely and responsibly, ensuring that your vehicle is not blocking any driveways or access points. Be mindful of the local residents and their properties in the area.


As always, remember to lock your vehicle, secure any valuables, and take any necessary precautions to prevent theft or damage.


Once parked, make your way to the clearly marked trailhead and ensure that you have all the necessary gear and supplies before starting your hike.


Keep in mind that parking regulations and availability may change, so it’s always a good idea to check for any updated information before your hike. Oahu’s parks and recreation websites or local hiking forums can often provide the latest details regarding parking and trail access.


By planning ahead and being mindful of parking considerations, you can start your hike on the Manana Ridge Trail without any unnecessary delays or complications. Get ready to explore the striking landscapes and immerse yourself in the beauty of this Oahu hiking gem!


Trail Difficulty and Safety

The Manana Ridge Trail offers a moderate to difficult level of difficulty, making it ideal for experienced hikers or those looking for a challenging adventure. It’s important to assess your fitness level and hiking experience before attempting this trail.


The trail presents various challenges, including steep inclines, rocky terrain, and narrow sections along the ridge. It’s crucial to proceed with caution, wear proper hiking shoes, and use trekking poles for added stability, especially on slippery or uneven surfaces.


Here are some key safety tips to keep in mind while hiking the Manana Ridge Trail:

  • Stay on the marked trail: Follow the designated trail at all times and avoid any off-trail explorations. Straying from the trail can be dangerous and may harm the delicate ecosystem.
  • Be mindful of the weather: Check the weather forecast and avoid hiking during heavy rain or storms. Slippery conditions can make the trail treacherous and increase the risk of accidents.
  • Stay hydrated and fuel your body: Carry plenty of water and stay hydrated throughout your hike. Additionally, pack high-energy snacks or meals to keep yourself fueled and energized.
  • Wear appropriate clothing: Dress in layers and wear moisture-wicking clothing to regulate your body temperature. Be prepared for changes in weather and temperature as you ascend and descend along the trail.
  • Protect yourself from the sun: Apply sunscreen, wear a hat, and use sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun’s rays. The trail offers limited shade, and prolonged exposure to the sun can lead to sunburns and dehydration.
  • Watch your step: Be mindful of your footing, especially on steep or rugged sections of the trail. Use caution when navigating rocky areas and be aware of loose gravel or debris that may cause slips or falls.
  • Respect wildlife and vegetation: The Manana Ridge Trail is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. Respect the natural environment by refraining from removing or damaging any plants or disturbing wildlife.
  • Hike with a buddy or a group: It’s always safer to hike with a partner or in a group. If you’re hiking alone, inform someone of your plans and expected return time.
  • Follow Leave No Trace principles: Practice responsible hiking by leaving the trail as you found it. Pack out all trash and follow Leave No Trace principles to minimize your impact on the environment.

By adhering to these safety tips and using common sense, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable hiking experience along the Manana Ridge Trail. Remember to prioritize your well-being and the preservation of the natural surroundings as you embark on this thrilling adventure.


Scenic Views along the Trail

The Manana Ridge Trail offers an abundance of breathtaking and panoramic views that make the challenging hike well worth the effort. As you make your way along the trail, be prepared to be mesmerized by the stunning vistas and natural beauty that surround you.


One of the highlights of the trail is the picturesque view of the Waimalu Valley. As you ascend along the ridge, you’ll be treated to sweeping vistas of the lush green valleys below, with the Waianae Mountain Range towering in the distance. This stunning panoramic view is a perfect photo opportunity and a chance to immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring beauty of Oahu’s landscapes.


As you continue along the trail, you’ll also catch glimpses of Pearl Harbor and the nearby naval base. The elevated vantage point offers a unique perspective of this historic site and allows you to appreciate its significance in World War II history.


Throughout the hike, you’ll be surrounded by dense forests of eucalyptus and bamboo. As you walk amidst these towering trees, you’ll feel a sense of tranquility and connection with nature. The cool breeze rustling through the leaves and the scent of the forest adds to the immersive experience.


The Manana Ridge Trail also provides opportunities to see unique wildlife and bird species. Keep an eye out for colorful native birds, such as the ‘I’iwi and ‘Apapane, as they flit among the trees. You may even spot some native Hawaiian plants and flowers, adding a touch of vibrant beauty to the trail.


As you reach the summit of the trail, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking 360-degree views of the surrounding landscape. On clear days, you can see as far as the Waianae Mountain Range to the west and the Ko’olau Mountain Range to the east. The panoramic vista encompasses the lush valleys, sparkling ocean, and neighboring islands, creating a truly awe-inspiring sight.


These scenic views along the Manana Ridge Trail provide ample opportunities to pause, reflect, and capture the beauty of Oahu’s natural landscapes. Remember to take your time, savor the moments, and soak in the stunning vistas that await you on this remarkable hiking adventure.


Flora and Fauna

The Manana Ridge Trail is not only a treat for the eyes, but it also offers a fascinating opportunity to observe the diverse flora and fauna of Oahu. As you hike through the trail, you’ll encounter a variety of plant species and may even spot some unique wildlife along the way.


The trail is surrounded by lush forests that are home to a range of native Hawaiian plants. Among the notable flora you may come across are the towering eucalyptus trees, which provide shade and create a serene atmosphere along the trail. The fragrant aromas of eucalyptus fill the air as you hike, enhancing the overall sensory experience.


The forests of Manana Ridge are also adorned with a variety of ferns, mosses, and vines, adding to the lushness and beauty of the surroundings. These plants thrive in the consistently moist and humid climate of Oahu, creating a vibrant green backdrop against the clear blue skies.


As you explore the trail, keep an eye out for colorful native Hawaiian birds. The ‘I’iwi, with its vibrant red plumage, and the ‘Apapane, with its deep crimson feathers, are among the bird species that call the area home. These birds can often be seen darting between the trees, adding a touch of natural beauty and a melodic soundtrack to your hike.


Other bird species you might encounter include the ‘Amakihi, the ‘Elepaio, and the ‘Oma’o. Remember to observe them from a respectful distance and avoid disturbing their natural habitats.


If you’re fortunate, you may even catch a glimpse of the Hawaiian Hoary Bat, a rare and endangered species that roosts in the trees along the trail. These bats are nocturnal, so spotting them can be a rare and special experience.


While the focus of the trail is on the natural plant and animal life, it’s crucial to remember that the preservation of these ecosystems is essential. Stay on the designated trail to avoid damaging any plants or disturbing wildlife habitats. Appreciate the beauty of the flora and fauna from a distance, ensuring their continued protection for future hikers to enjoy.


The flora and fauna of the Manana Ridge Trail offer a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the natural wonders of Oahu. Take your time to observe and appreciate the beauty that surrounds you as you hike through this remarkable trail.


Camping and Accommodation Options

If you’re looking to extend your hiking adventure and spend a night under the stars, there are camping options available near the Manana Ridge Trail. Here are some options to consider for camping and accommodation:

  • Camping on the trail: The Manana Ridge Trail does not have designated camping areas along the trail itself. However, if you’re an experienced backpacker, you may choose to camp at a suitable spot along the trail. Remember to practice Leave No Trace principles and leave the area as you found it.
  • Campgrounds nearby: There are several campgrounds located within a short drive from the Manana Ridge Trail. One popular option is the Keaau Beach Park Campground, which offers beachfront camping with facilities such as restrooms, picnic tables, and barbecue grills. Make sure to check availability and any required permits before planning your camping trip.
  • Hotels and accommodations in the area: If camping is not your preference, there are various hotels and accommodations available within a reasonable distance from the trailhead. Pearl City and nearby areas offer a range of options to suit different budgets and preferences. Booking in advance is recommended, especially during peak seasons.
  • Hiking clubs and organizations: Some hiking clubs or outdoor organizations may organize multi-day hiking trips that include the Manana Ridge Trail. These trips often include camping arrangements and experienced guides to enhance your hiking experience. Research local clubs or organizations to see if they offer such opportunities.

Whichever option you choose, it’s essential to plan and prepare accordingly. If you plan to camp, ensure you have all the necessary camping gear, including a tent, sleeping bags, cooking equipment, and appropriate clothing. Familiarize yourself with the local camping regulations and obtain any required permits in advance.


If you opt for a hotel or other accommodations, consider the proximity to the trailhead and transportation options. Having a comfortable place to rest before and after your hike can greatly enhance your overall experience.


Whatever your preference, camping or accommodation near the Manana Ridge Trail allows you to fully immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Oahu while having a safe and comfortable place to unwind and rest after a long day of hiking.


Day Hiking vs. Overnight Hiking

When planning your adventure on the Manana Ridge Trail, you’ll need to decide whether to embark on a day hike or opt for an overnight hiking experience. Both options offer unique benefits and considerations to keep in mind. Here’s a comparison of day hiking and overnight hiking:

  • Day Hiking: Day hiking involves completing the trail within a single day, without overnight camping. Day hiking is ideal for those who prefer a shorter time commitment and want to experience the trail’s highlights without overnight camping gear or logistics.
  • Benefits of Day Hiking: Day hiking allows you to travel light, carrying only essentials for the hike. It’s a great option for those with time constraints or limited camping experience. You can enjoy the stunning views, challenge yourself physically, and return to the comforts of your accommodation at the end of the day.
  • Considerations for Day Hiking: Day hiking may require an early start to make the most of daylight hours. It’s important to plan your hike according to the trail’s duration and be mindful of your pace. Ensure you have enough water, snacks, and protective gear for the duration of your hike. It’s also crucial to keep an eye on weather conditions, as changes can impact your experience.
  • Overnight Hiking: Overnight hiking involves camping along the trail, allowing you to experience the full immersion of the Manana Ridge Trail. This option is ideal for those seeking a more immersive adventure, extended time in nature, and an opportunity to enjoy breathtaking sunrises and sunsets.
  • Benefits of Overnight Hiking: Overnight hiking allows you to explore the trail at a more leisurely pace, taking breaks and enjoying the scenery without time constraints. It offers a unique opportunity to experience the tranquility of the trail during the quiet hours of the night and the chance to stargaze under clear skies. Camping also enables you to tackle challenging sections of the trail with renewed energy on the second day.
  • Considerations for Overnight Hiking: Overnight hiking requires planning and preparation for camping equipment, supplies, and permits. It’s important to be familiar with Leave No Trace principles and respect the natural surroundings. Remember to check campground availability and any regulations before setting up your camp.

Whether you choose day hiking or overnight hiking, both options offer a chance to connect with nature, challenge yourself, and appreciate the beauty of the Manana Ridge Trail. Consider your preferences, time availability, and level of experience when deciding on the best approach for your hiking adventure.


Regardless of the option you choose, be prepared, stay safe, and take the time to fully embrace the enchanting landscapes and captivating views that the Manana Ridge Trail has to offer.


Tips for a Successful Hike

Embarking on a hike along the Manana Ridge Trail requires careful planning and preparation. Here are some essential tips to ensure a successful and enjoyable hiking experience:

  • Start early: Begin your hike early in the day to make the most of daylight hours and avoid hiking during the hottest part of the day. This will also give you ample time to complete the trail and enjoy the scenic views along the way.
  • Stay hydrated: Carry plenty of water and drink regularly to stay hydrated throughout your hike. The trail can be challenging, and it’s important to replenish fluids to prevent dehydration. Consider bringing electrolyte-replenishing drinks or water purification methods if needed.
  • Wear suitable footwear: Choose sturdy and comfortable hiking shoes or boots that provide good traction. This will help you navigate the rocky and uneven terrain along the trail with ease and reduce the risk of slips and falls.
  • Bring essential supplies: Pack a backpack with necessary supplies such as a map, compass, sunscreen, insect repellent, a hat, sunglasses, a first aid kit, and extra layers of clothing. It’s also advisable to carry snacks or meals to keep your energy levels up during the hike.
  • Be mindful of the environment: Follow Leave No Trace principles by packing out all trash, staying on the designated trail, and respecting the flora and fauna you encounter. Help preserve the natural beauty of the trail for future hikers to enjoy.
  • Know your limits: Assess your physical fitness level and hike at a pace that is comfortable for you. Take breaks when needed and listen to your body. Pushing beyond your limits can lead to fatigue or injuries.
  • Check the weather: Before setting off on your hike, check the weather forecast for the area. Avoid hiking during severe weather conditions to ensure your safety and enjoyment on the trail.
  • Be aware of wildlife: Enjoy observing the wildlife from a distance, but do not approach or feed them. Remember that you are a visitor in their natural habitat, and maintaining a respectful distance ensures their safety and reduces the risk of any encounters.
  • Hike with a buddy: Consider hiking with a companion or in a group for added safety and company. If you choose to hike alone, inform someone about your plans, including your intended route and estimated time of return.
  • Stay on the trail: Stick to the marked trail and avoid any shortcuts or off-trail explorations. Deviating from the trail can be dangerous and harm the delicate ecosystem of the area.

By following these tips, you’ll be well-prepared to tackle the Manana Ridge Trail and have a successful and memorable hiking experience. Remember to plan ahead, stay safe, and take the time to appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds you on this remarkable Oahu hiking adventure.



The Manana Ridge Trail on Oahu, Hawaii, offers a captivating and challenging hiking experience that immerses you in the island’s natural beauty. From panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and mountains to encounters with native flora and fauna, this trail is truly a gem waiting to be explored.


Proper planning and preparation are key to ensuring a safe and enjoyable hike. Research the trail, check the weather, and gather all the necessary gear and supplies. Whether you choose to embark on a day hike or overnight adventure, be mindful of your limits and stay hydrated throughout your journey.


As you traverse the trail, take the time to appreciate the scenic views that await you. From the picturesque sights of the Waimalu Valley to the distant Waianae Mountain Range, each vista offers a moment of awe and appreciation for Oahu’s natural landscapes.


Be respectful of the environment, staying on the designated trail and following Leave No Trace principles. Keep a safe distance from wildlife and refrain from disturbing their habitats.


Whether you choose camping or opt for nearby accommodations, there are options to suit your preferences and extend your hiking adventures.


By incorporating these tips and insights into your planning, you’ll be well-prepared to embark on a successful hike along the Manana Ridge Trail. So lace up your hiking boots, pack your essentials, and get ready to create lasting memories while exploring the wonders of Oahu, Hawaii.


Remember, it’s not just about reaching the summit but also about the journey and the connection with nature that makes the Manana Ridge Trail such a remarkable experience. Enjoy every step, breathe in the fresh air, and embrace the beauty that surrounds you.


So go ahead and embark on this extraordinary hiking adventure – the Manana Ridge Trail awaits your exploration.