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Mount Olympus Hike On Oahu, Hawaii: Complete Hiker’s Guide


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Idalina Clark



Located on the island of Oahu, Mount Olympus is one of Hawaii’s most popular hiking destinations. Rising to a height of 2,486 feet, it offers spectacular panoramic views of the island and is a favorite among hiking enthusiasts.


The hike to Mount Olympus is challenging but rewarding, taking you through lush vegetation, rugged terrain, and steep inclines. It is an adventure that offers a true taste of Hawaii’s natural beauty.


The trail begins at a residential neighborhood in the Aina Haina area of Honolulu, making it easily accessible for both locals and visitors. The journey to the summit can be completed in approximately 3-4 hours, depending on your pace and fitness level.


As you ascend Mount Olympus, the scenery transforms, with breathtaking vistas of the surrounding mountains, the sparkling waters of the Pacific Ocean, and the vibrant cityscape of Honolulu. The hike is a feast for the senses, rewarding you with stunning views at every turn.


While the trail is challenging, it is suitable for hikers of moderate to advanced fitness levels. Proper preparation and hiking gear are essential to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. It is important to bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and sturdy hiking shoes.


Whether you are an experienced hiker looking for a new challenge or a nature lover eager to explore the wonders of Oahu, the Mount Olympus hike is an adventure you won’t want to miss. It offers a chance to immerse yourself in Hawaii’s natural beauty and witness breathtaking views that will leave a lasting impression.


So grab your hiking gear and get ready to conquer Mount Olympus. Experience the thrill of reaching the summit and take in the awe-inspiring sights that await you. It’s time to embark on a journey that will create memories to last a lifetime.


Getting to Mount Olympus

Getting to Mount Olympus is relatively easy as it is located on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. The trailhead is conveniently accessible from the Aina Haina area in Honolulu, making it a convenient destination for both locals and tourists.


If you are staying in Honolulu or the surrounding areas, you can easily reach the trailhead by car or public transportation. From downtown Honolulu, it usually takes around 20-30 minutes to reach the starting point of the hike.


If you prefer to drive, you can park your car in the residential neighborhood near the trailhead. However, parking is limited, so it is recommended to arrive early to secure a spot. Alternatively, you can choose to use a ridesharing service or a taxi to reach the trailhead.


If you are relying on public transportation, there are bus routes that stop near the trailhead. The local bus system in Oahu, known as TheBus, provides convenient transportation options for visitors. You can check the bus routes and schedules to plan your trip accordingly.


It is essential to note that the trailhead is located in a residential area, so it is crucial to be respectful of the local residents and their property. Please park responsibly and be mindful of noise levels when starting and finishing your hike.


Before heading out to Mount Olympus, it is advisable to check the weather and trail conditions. Heavy rain or hazardous conditions may require you to postpone your hike for safety reasons. Additionally, it is recommended to hike with a buddy or in a group for added safety and enjoyment.


Now that you know how to get to Mount Olympus, it’s time to prepare for an unforgettable hiking adventure. Pack your essentials, plan your transportation, and get ready to explore the natural beauty of Oahu’s majestic mountain.


Trailhead Information

The trailhead for Mount Olympus is located in the Aina Haina area of Honolulu on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. It is easily accessible and serves as the starting point for the hike to the summit of Mount Olympus.


To reach the trailhead, you can use the address “Kaumakani St, Honolulu, HI 96821” as a reference point. The trailhead is situated in a residential neighborhood, so it is essential to be respectful of the local community and their property.


When you arrive at the trailhead, you will find a small parking area available for hikers. However, parking is limited, so it is advisable to arrive early to secure a spot. If the parking area is full, you may need to find street parking nearby, ensuring that you comply with any parking regulations in the area.


From the parking area, you will see a clear trailhead marker indicating the beginning of the hike. It is important to stay on the designated trail and avoid trespassing onto private property. Respecting the marked trail is crucial to preserve the natural environment and maintain good relationships with the local community.


As you begin your hike from the trailhead, you will immediately notice the lush greenery and tropical vegetation that surrounds you. The trail is well-maintained but can be steep and challenging at times, requiring proper footwear and hiking equipment.


Before embarking on your journey, it is recommended to familiarize yourself with the trail map and have a basic understanding of the route. Additionally, it is crucial to check the weather and trail conditions beforehand, as they can vary and impact the hiking experience.


Now that you have the necessary information about the trailhead, it’s time to start your adventure to the summit of Mount Olympus. Remember to respect the trail, follow any posted guidelines, and enjoy the natural beauty that awaits you along the way.


Difficulty Level and Duration

The hike to the summit of Mount Olympus is considered moderately difficult and is best suited for hikers with a moderate to advanced fitness level. The trail features steep inclines, rugged terrain, and sections that require some scrambling. However, with proper preparation and caution, it is an achievable and rewarding hike.


The duration of the hike to Mount Olympus can vary depending on your pace and fitness level. On average, it takes 3-4 hours to complete the round trip, including time spent at the summit to rest and enjoy the breathtaking views.


It is important to note that the duration can be influenced by factors such as weather conditions, trail congestion, and personal fitness. Some hikers may complete the hike faster, while others may take more time to reach the summit.


During the hike, you can expect to encounter sections that require careful navigation and physical effort. The trail consists of both uphill and downhill segments, so it is essential to pace yourself and take breaks when needed. A steady pace and proper rest will help you conserve energy throughout the hike.


If you are new to hiking or have limited experience with challenging trails, it is advisable to take it slow and listen to your body. Engage in proper warm-up exercises before starting the hike and stay hydrated by carrying an ample water supply.


It is also recommended to wear appropriate clothing and footwear to ensure comfort and stability. Lightweight and breathable clothing, along with sturdy hiking shoes with good traction, are ideal for navigating the trail’s varied terrain.


As you progress through the hike, remember to stay aware of your surroundings and follow any trail markers or signage. Some sections may require careful footing, especially during wet conditions, so use caution and maintain a firm grip on rocky or unstable surfaces.


By understanding the difficulty level and duration of the hike, you can better prepare yourself for the journey to Mount Olympus. Remember that your safety and well-being are paramount, so take the necessary precautions and enjoy the adventure!


Trail Conditions

The trail conditions to Mount Olympus can vary depending on weather patterns, recent rainfall, and maintenance efforts. It is essential to be aware of the current trail conditions to ensure a safe and enjoyable hiking experience.


Throughout the hike, you can expect a mix of well-maintained trails and rugged terrain. The trail is clearly marked and relatively easy to follow, but some sections may be narrow or require careful footing. Pay attention to any trail markers or signage to stay on the correct path.


After periods of rainfall, the trail can become muddy and slippery, especially in shaded areas or sections with dense vegetation. It is crucial to wear appropriate footwear with good traction to navigate these slippery surfaces safely.


Some portions of the trail may have exposed tree roots, loose rocks, or uneven surfaces, so it is essential to watch your step and be mindful of your footing. Take caution when ascending or descending steep sections, using both hands and feet to maintain stability.


During rainy seasons or after heavy rain, certain parts of the trail may experience water runoff, resulting in small streams or puddles. Take care when crossing these water features, as they can make surfaces slick and increase the risk of slipping.


Additionally, due to the tropical climate of Hawaii, mosquitoes and other insects can be present along the trail. It is advisable to wear insect repellent and protective clothing to minimize potential interactions with these pests.


Before starting your hike, it is always a good idea to check with local authorities or hiking forums for any updates on trail conditions. Some sections may require temporary closures or have specific advisories due to maintenance or safety concerns.


Remember to leave no trace by packing out any trash or litter and respecting the natural environment. Proper trail etiquette includes staying on designated paths, avoiding shortcuts, and not disturbing wildlife or plants along the way.


By being aware of the trail conditions and adhering to responsible hiking practices, you can have a safe and enjoyable hike to the summit of Mount Olympus. Take the time to appreciate the unique natural beauty of Oahu and create lasting memories along the way.


Route Description

The route to the summit of Mount Olympus takes hikers on a challenging but rewarding journey through breathtaking scenery and diverse terrain. Here is a description of the main sections along the trail:


The hike begins at the trailhead in the Aina Haina area of Honolulu. From the starting point, you will gradually ascend through a residential neighborhood before entering the lush greenery of the rainforest.


As you continue along the trail, you will encounter several switchbacks that lead you higher into the mountain. These switchbacks can be steep and challenging, so it is important to take your time and pace yourself accordingly.


Throughout the hike, you will pass through dense vegetation and canopies of towering trees, providing shade and relief from the sun’s rays. Enjoy the sounds of nature surrounding you as you make your way towards the summit.


After navigating the initial ascent, you will reach a more exposed and rocky section of the trail. This part requires careful footing, as loose rocks and gravel can be present. Take caution and use both hands and feet for stability.


As you near the summit, the trail becomes more steep and rugged. Some sections may require scrambling over larger rocks or using tree roots for support. Take your time and carefully navigate these sections to avoid any potential hazards.


Finally, after a challenging climb, you will reach the summit of Mount Olympus. At the top, you will be rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, the sparkling ocean, and the cityscape of Honolulu.


Take some time to rest, catch your breath, and soak in the natural beauty that surrounds you. It is a perfect opportunity to snap some photos and savor the accomplishment of reaching the summit.


When you are ready to descend, retrace your steps along the same trail. Take caution on the steeper sections and watch your footing, as descending can be just as challenging as ascending.


Throughout the hike, it is important to stay on the designated trail and follow any trail markers or signage. Be respectful of the environment and other hikers, and remember to leave no trace by packing out any trash.


With determination and proper preparation, the route to the summit of Mount Olympus offers an unforgettable hiking experience. Embrace the challenges, immerse yourself in the beauty of the trail, and create lasting memories along the way.


What to Bring

Preparing for a hike to Mount Olympus requires careful consideration of the essentials to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Here is a list of items to bring along on your hike:

  • Water: Staying hydrated is crucial, so bring an ample supply of water. It is recommended to carry at least 2 liters of water per person to replenish fluids during the hike.
  • Hiking Shoes: Wear sturdy hiking shoes or boots with good traction to navigate the varied terrain. It is important to have footwear that provides support and stability for your feet and ankles.
  • Sun Protection: Bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to protect yourself from the tropical sun. The exposed sections of the trail can be quite sunny, so it is essential to shield your skin and eyes from harmful UV rays.
  • Insect Repellent: Mosquitoes and other insects can be present along the trail, especially in the forested areas. Carry insect repellent to minimize the chances of bug bites and discomfort.
  • Snacks/Energy Food: Pack lightweight snacks or energy bars to keep your energy levels up during the hike. Choose nutritious options that provide sustenance and easily fit in your backpack.
  • Backpack: A comfortable backpack is essential to carry your essentials. Choose a backpack with adjustable straps and enough room to hold your water, snacks, and any additional items you may need.
  • Extra Layers: Hawaii’s weather can be unpredictable, so it’s wise to bring extra layers of clothing. Lightweight, moisture-wicking layers are ideal to regulate body temperature as you ascend and descend the trail.
  • First Aid Kit: Carry a basic first aid kit with essentials such as band-aids, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and any personal medications you may require.
  • Map/Guidebook: While the trail is well-marked, having a map or guidebook can provide additional information and help you navigate your way to the summit and back.
  • Camera/Phone: Capture the stunning views and preserve memories by bringing a camera or smartphone. Make sure to have enough storage space and a fully charged battery.

Remember to pack your items strategically and keep the weight manageable. It is also advisable to let someone know about your hiking plans and estimated return time for safety purposes.


By taking the necessary items mentioned above, you will be well-prepared for your hike to Mount Olympus. Stay safe, enjoy the experience, and take advantage of the opportunity to connect with nature in the beautiful Hawaiian landscape.


Safety Tips

When embarking on a hike to Mount Olympus, it is crucial to prioritize your safety and well-being. Here are some essential safety tips to consider before and during your hike:

  • Plan and Research: Familiarize yourself with the trail map, route description, and current trail conditions. Research the difficulty level and assess if it matches your fitness and hiking experience. Check weather forecasts and be aware of any advisories or closures.
  • Hike with a Buddy: It is advisable to hike with a buddy or in a group. Having a companion ensures that you can watch out for each other and provide assistance if needed. If hiking alone, make sure to inform someone about your plans and expected return time.
  • Stay Hydrated and Nourished: Carry enough water to stay hydrated during the hike. Drink water regularly to prevent dehydration. Bring snacks or energy food to maintain your energy levels throughout the hike.
  • Wear Proper Gear: Wear appropriate clothing and footwear for the trail conditions. Opt for lightweight, moisture-wicking clothing, and sturdy hiking shoes with good traction. Use sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to protect against the sun’s rays.
  • Stay on the Trail: Follow the designated trail and avoid deviating onto unauthorized paths. Straying from the trail can lead to accidents, potential injuries, and harm to the local environment.
  • Watch Your Step: Pay attention to your footing, especially on steep and rocky sections. Use handrails or tree roots for stability and take caution on slippery surfaces, such as mud or loose rocks.
  • Wildlife Awareness: Hawaii is home to unique wildlife. Respect the natural habitat and observe animals from a distance. Avoid feeding or approaching wildlife, as it can be harmful to both you and the animals.
  • Carry Essentials: Pack a first aid kit with basic supplies, including band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and any necessary medications. Bring a map, compass, or GPS device to help navigate the trail.
  • Leave No Trace: Preserve the natural beauty of the trail and practice “Leave No Trace” principles. Pack out any trash or litter and respect the environment by not disturbing plants or wildlife.
  • Be Weather Aware: Keep an eye on the weather forecast before and during your hike. Hawaii’s weather can change rapidly, and unexpected rain or storms can impact trail conditions. Postpone your hike if there is inclement weather or seek shelter if conditions worsen unexpectedly.

By following these safety tips, you can minimize risks and have a safe and enjoyable hike to Mount Olympus. Remember to be prepared, stay vigilant, and prioritize your well-being throughout the entire journey.


Recommended Fitness Level

The hike to Mount Olympus requires a reasonable level of fitness and stamina due to the challenging terrain and steep inclines. While the trail is accessible to hikers with a moderate to advanced fitness level, it is important to assess your own abilities and prepare accordingly.


Having a good baseline level of cardiorespiratory fitness will greatly benefit you during the hike. Being able to sustain an elevated heart rate and have adequate endurance will help you tackle the ascent and enjoy the journey to the summit.


The trail includes sections with steep and uneven terrain, switchbacks, and rocky surfaces. It requires a certain level of balance, coordination, and strength in your lower extremities. Regular strength and conditioning exercises can help build these necessary skills before attempting the hike.


It is highly recommended to engage in regular exercise and physical activity leading up to the hike. Incorporating cardiovascular exercises such as walking, hiking, jogging, or cycling will improve your overall fitness and endurance.


In addition to cardio exercises, it is beneficial to incorporate strength training exercises that target your leg muscles, including quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. Strengthening these muscle groups will provide better stability and support during the uphill and downhill sections of the trail.


While previous hiking experience is not required, it can be helpful to have some familiarity with challenging trails or similar terrains. This will give you a better understanding of what to expect and help you mentally prepare for the hike.


It is important to listen to your body and take breaks when needed. Pace yourself, and if you start to feel overly fatigued or experience pain or discomfort, it is advisable to rest and assess whether you should continue or turn back.


Remember that hiking to Mount Olympus is not a race, and it is more important to enjoy the journey and stay safe. Take the time to appreciate the surroundings and the stunning views along the way.


If you have any underlying medical conditions or concerns about your fitness level, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before attempting the hike.


By assessing your fitness level and taking appropriate steps to prepare, you will have a more enjoyable and successful experience hiking to the summit of Mount Olympus.


Scenic Views and Points of Interest

The hike to Mount Olympus offers an abundance of scenic views and points of interest that showcase the natural beauty of Oahu. Here are some highlights along the trail:


Panoramic Vistas: As you ascend Mount Olympus, prepare to be mesmerized by breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. From the summit, you will be treated to sweeping vistas of the lush green mountains, the sparkling waters of the Pacific Ocean, and the vibrant cityscape of Honolulu. These awe-inspiring views offer the perfect backdrop for memorable photos and moments.


Lush Rainforest: The trail to Mount Olympus takes you through a lush rainforest, immersing you in the beauty of Oahu’s vibrant nature. The dense foliage, towering trees, and exotic flora create a magical atmosphere that enhances the hiking experience. Keep an eye out for unique plant species, colorful flowers, and tropical birds that call this rainforest home.


Waterfalls and Streams: During periods of rainfall, the trail showcases small waterfalls and streams that cascade down the mountainside. These natural features add a touch of serenity and beauty to the hike, creating picturesque spots to rest and rejuvenate. Take a moment to appreciate the soothing sounds of the flowing water and the refreshing mist that fills the air.


Rock Formations: Along the trail, you will encounter interesting rock formations that have been shaped by nature over time. From towering boulders to unique geological features, these rock formations add intrigue to the landscape. Marvel at the forces of nature that have sculpted these impressive formations and take in their beauty as you make your way to the summit.


Cityscape of Honolulu: As you near the summit of Mount Olympus, you will be rewarded with stunning views of the cityscape of Honolulu. The sight of high-rise buildings, bustling streets, and the iconic Waikiki Beach in the distance create a striking contrast against the backdrop of the natural surroundings. It is a unique perspective that allows you to appreciate the harmonious blend of nature and urban life in Oahu.


Sunset or Sunrise: If you plan your hike strategically, you may have the opportunity to witness a stunning sunrise or sunset from the summit of Mount Olympus. The golden hues painting the sky, coupled with the panoramic views, create a truly magical spectacle. Be sure to check the sunrise or sunset time for the day of your hike and plan accordingly to enjoy this unforgettable experience.


These scenic views and points of interest make the hike to Mount Olympus an unforgettable adventure. Take the time to appreciate the natural beauty and embrace the wonders that await you along the trail. It’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in the majestic landscapes of Oahu and create lasting memories of your time in Hawaii.


Wildlife and Flora

The hike to Mount Olympus provides a unique opportunity to encounter a variety of wildlife and immerse yourself in the diverse flora of Oahu’s natural environment. Here is a glimpse of the wildlife and flora you may encounter along the trail:


Avian Fauna: Hawaii is home to a rich bird population, and Mount Olympus is no exception. Keep an eye out for native bird species such as the ‘apapane, the ‘amakihi, and the ‘elepaio. These colorful and melodious birds can be spotted flitting among the trees and singing their, sometimes unique, songs.


Insects and Butterflies: As you traverse the trail, you may come across various insects and butterflies that add to the vibrant ecosystem of the area. Look out for dragonflies, grasshoppers, and perhaps even the rare Kamehameha butterfly, an endemic species of Hawaii.


Invasive Species: While Hawaii boasts incredible biodiversity, it also faces challenges from invasive species. Keep an eye out for animals such as feral pigs or invasive plant species that may have made their way into the area. It is important to be mindful of these impacts on the local environment and do your part to minimize their spread.


Tropical Flora: The trail to Mount Olympus takes you through a lush rainforest, teeming with a rich variety of tropical plants and trees. You will be surrounded by towering kukui trees, vibrant hibiscus flowers, fragrant plumeria, and countless other fascinating plant species. Take the time to appreciate the unique colors, scents, and textures of the tropical flora that make Hawaii’s landscape so captivating.


Ferns and Mosses: The damp and shaded areas of the trail provide the perfect environment for ferns and mosses to thrive. These delicate and verdant green plants create a carpet-like covering on rocks and tree trunks, adding to the enchanting atmosphere of the rainforest.


Endemic Species: Hawaii is known for its high number of endemic species found nowhere else in the world. While hiking to Mount Olympus, you may come across some of these unique plant and animal species, such as the endemic lobeliads or the Koa tree. Spotting these endemic species is a special treat and a reminder of the ecological significance of Hawaii’s biodiversity.


It is important to remember that wildlife should be observed from a distance. Avoid feeding or approaching the animals to ensure their safety and the conservation of their natural behaviors.


As you hike through the trail, take the time to appreciate the intricate web of life that exists in the Hawaiian rainforest. Along with the scenic views, the wildlife and flora of Mount Olympus contribute to the enchanting experience and create lasting memories of your time in this remarkable natural environment.


Nearby Attractions

Exploring the area around Mount Olympus in Oahu opens the door to a wealth of nearby attractions and activities that complement your hiking experience. Here are some notable attractions to consider visiting:


Hanauma Bay: Located just a short drive from Mount Olympus, Hanauma Bay is a stunning marine reserve known for its pristine turquoise waters and vibrant coral reefs. Snorkel in the bay’s calm, protected waters and discover a diverse array of tropical fish and marine life.


Sandy Beach: This picturesque beach is renowned for its stunning golden sand and powerful shore breaks. It attracts both sunbathers and experienced bodyboarders who come to catch thrilling waves. Spend some time relaxing on the beach or simply enjoy the coastal scenery.


Waikiki Beach: One of the most famous beaches in the world, Waikiki Beach offers a vibrant and bustling atmosphere. Take a leisurely stroll along the shore, go for a refreshing swim, or learn to surf at this iconic destination.


Diamond Head State Monument: Just a short distance from Mount Olympus, Diamond Head is an extinct volcanic crater that offers breathtaking panoramic views of the coast and Honolulu. Hike to the summit and marvel at the sweeping vistas as a reward for your efforts.


Manoa Falls: If you crave more waterfalls and lush scenery, a visit to Manoa Falls is a must. Located in the Manoa Valley, this beautiful waterfall can be reached via a short hike through the rainforest. Admire the cascading water as it plunges into a small pool.


Pearl Harbor: Pay a visit to the historic site of Pearl Harbor, where you can explore the USS Arizona Memorial, the Battleship Missouri Memorial, and the Pacific Aviation Museum. Learn about the events of December 7, 1941, and honor the memory of those who lost their lives.


Iolani Palace: Immerse yourself in Hawaiian history by visiting the Iolani Palace, the only royal palace in the United States. Take a guided tour to learn about the Hawaiian monarchy and the state’s fascinating past.


Lanikai Beach: Situated on the windward coast of Oahu, Lanikai Beach is renowned for its soft white sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters. Relax, swim, or kayak in this idyllic setting and soak up the breathtaking views of the Mokulua Islands.


These nearby attractions offer a diverse range of experiences that complement your hike to Mount Olympus. Take advantage of Oahu’s captivating beauty and explore the natural wonders and cultural landmarks that make the island such a remarkable destination.



The hike to Mount Olympus on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, is an unforgettable adventure that showcases the natural beauty and diverse landscapes of the region. From the challenging ascent to the breathtaking panoramic views at the summit, this hike offers hikers a fulfilling and rewarding experience.


With its easily accessible trailhead in the Aina Haina area of Honolulu, Mount Olympus is a popular choice for both locals and tourists seeking a memorable hiking adventure. The lush rainforest, stunning vistas, and unique rock formations along the trail create a captivating and immersive journey.


However, it is important to respect the trail, follow safety precautions, and be prepared for the challenges that the hike presents. Prioritize your safety by hiking with a buddy, carrying essential supplies, and being aware of the current trail conditions.


While the hike requires a moderate to advanced fitness level, it is a chance to push your limits and connect with nature in a profound way. Take the time to appreciate the wildlife, flora, and scenic views that make this hike truly remarkable.


Moreover, the surrounding attractions, such as Hanauma Bay, Diamond Head State Monument, and Waikiki Beach, offer opportunities to further explore the beauty and history of Oahu.


Whether you are an experienced hiker or someone looking to challenge yourself, the hike to Mount Olympus is a must-do adventure that showcases the unique beauty of Hawaii’s natural landscape. So, pack your hiking gear, plan your trip, and get ready to embark on a journey that will create lasting memories and leave you in awe of the island’s wonders.