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Olomana Trail ‘Three Peaks Hike’ On Oahu, Hawaii


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Angil Heffner



Welcome to the Olomana Trail, a thrilling and picturesque hiking experience located on the beautiful island of Oahu in Hawaii. This trail, also known as the “Three Peaks Hike,” offers adventurers the opportunity to explore the stunning natural landscapes of the Hawaiian Islands while challenging their physical and mental endurance.


The Olomana Trail is not for the faint of heart. It requires hikers to navigate steep and rugged terrain, scramble over rocky ridges, and climb to breathtaking heights. However, the reward for conquering this trail is unparalleled: panoramic views of the lush green valleys below, the sparkling blue Pacific Ocean, and the majestic Ko’olau Mountain Range.


What makes the Olomana Trail truly unique is its three distinct peaks: Mount Olomana, Ahiki, and Paku’i. Each peak offers a different level of difficulty and presents its own set of challenges. Whether you are a seasoned hiker seeking an adrenaline rush or a nature lover yearning to explore Oahu’s raw beauty, this trail has something to offer for everyone.


In this article, we will take you on a virtual journey through the Olomana Trail, providing a comprehensive guide to help you plan your hike. We will discuss the trail’s location, the preparation required, safety tips, and the thrilling experiences you can expect along the way. So lace up your hiking boots, pack your water bottles, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure on the Olomana Trail in Oahu, Hawaii!


Overview of the Olomana Trail

The Olomana Trail is located on the southeastern side of Oahu, near the town of Kailua. This challenging hike spans approximately 4 miles round trip and takes hikers on an exhilarating journey through lush forests, steep ridges, and rocky peaks.


As mentioned earlier, the trail is made up of three distinct peaks: Mount Olomana, Ahiki, and Paku’i. Mount Olomana stands at an elevation of 1,643 feet and offers awe-inspiring views of the surrounding landscapes. Ahiki, the second peak, reaches a height of 1,520 feet and presents hikers with a thrilling ridge walk. Finally, Paku’i, the third and final peak, stands at 1,433 feet and provides sweeping vistas of the island’s eastern coastline.


Each peak presents its own set of challenges, with increasing difficulty as you progress. The trail is considered to be of moderate to difficult level, requiring a good level of physical fitness and endurance. Hikers can expect steep ascents, narrow paths, and sections that require scrambling and careful footing. It is essential to come prepared and be aware of your limits.


One of the highlights of the Olomana Trail is its stunning natural beauty. Lush vegetation, vibrant flowers, and breathtaking panoramic views will surround you throughout the hike. The trail is also home to diverse wildlife, including native birds and occasional sightings of endangered species.


It is important to note that the Olomana Trail can be treacherous and should only be attempted by experienced hikers who are comfortable with exposed and challenging terrain. Proper hiking gear, including sturdy footwear with good traction, is a must. Additionally, it is recommended to bring plenty of water, sun protection, and snacks to fuel your energy during the hike.


Overall, the Olomana Trail offers a thrilling and rewarding experience for those seeking an adventure that showcases the stunning natural beauty of Oahu. With its challenging terrain and breathtaking views, this hike is perfect for avid hikers who want to push their limits and explore the unspoiled landscapes of Hawaii.


Preparation for the Hike

Before embarking on the Olomana Trail, it is crucial to adequately prepare for the challenges and demands of the hike. Here are some essential tips to help you prepare for a safe and enjoyable experience:

1. Assess your fitness level

The Olomana Trail is a strenuous hike that requires a good level of physical fitness. Before attempting this trail, assess your fitness level and consider your experience with hikes of similar difficulty. Regular exercise and cardio activities can help improve your endurance and prepare your body for the demanding terrain of the trail.

2. Plan your timing

Start early in the day to allow plenty of daylight for your hike. This will give you ample time to complete the trail and descend before it gets dark. Additionally, starting early means you can avoid the midday heat, which can be intense, especially during the summer months in Hawaii.

3. Check weather conditions

Prior to your hike, check the weather forecast to ensure favorable conditions. Avoid hiking if heavy rain is expected or if there is a risk of flash floods. Slippery conditions can make the already challenging trail even more treacherous and unsafe.

4. Pack the essentials

Ensure you have the necessary gear and supplies for the hike. Pack a backpack with essentials such as plenty of water, snacks, a first aid kit, a fully charged cellphone, a trail map or guide, sun protection (including sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses), insect repellent, and a lightweight rain jacket. Proper hiking shoes or boots with good traction are also crucial for navigating the uneven terrain.

5. Know your limits

Be realistic about your own abilities and limitations. The Olomana Trail is challenging and should only be attempted by experienced hikers who are comfortable with exposed and demanding terrain. If you are unsure about your fitness level or your ability to handle the trail, it may be wise to choose a different hiking route that better suits your skills.

6. Inform someone of your plans

Inform a friend or family member about your hiking plans. Provide them with details on when and where you will be hiking, as well as an estimated time of completion. This way, someone will know your whereabouts and can raise the alarm if needed.


By following these preparation tips, you will maximize your chances of having a safe and enjoyable hike on the Olomana Trail. Remember always to prioritize your safety and make informed decisions throughout your hiking journey.


Trailhead and Parking

The trailhead for the Olomana Trail is located in the town of Kailua, on the southeastern side of Oahu, Hawaii. Here are some important details regarding the trailhead and parking options:

1. Location

The trailhead is situated on Auloa Road, just off the Pali Highway. To reach the trailhead, take the Pali Highway from Honolulu. Once you pass the tunnels, be prepared to make a right turn onto Auloa Road. The trailhead is located at the end of this road.

2. Parking

There is limited parking available near the trailhead, so it is essential to plan your parking in advance. There is a small gravel area near the trailhead where hikers can park their vehicles. However, due to limited space, this parking area can fill up quickly, especially during weekends and holidays.


If the gravel area is full, you can try parking on Auloa Road itself, making sure to follow any parking restrictions and being considerate of residents in the area. Alternatively, you can park at nearby public parking lots, such as those at Kailua Beach Park or Lanikai Beach Park. Be aware that these lots may require a short walk to reach the trailhead.

3. Safety of Vehicles

While the majority of hikers have a safe and incident-free parking experience, it is always important to take precautions to secure your vehicle and belongings. Ensure that you lock your vehicle and do not leave any valuable items visible inside. It is also recommended to take note of the parking location, including nearby landmarks or the parking lot name, to make it easier to find your vehicle after completing the hike.

4. Alternative Transportation

If parking availability is a concern or if you prefer not to drive, there are alternative transportation options to consider. You can hire a taxi, ride-sharing service, or book a guided tour that includes transportation to and from the trailhead. These options will eliminate the hassle of finding parking and allow you to focus on the hiking experience.


It is important to respect the surrounding area and be mindful of any parking regulations or restrictions. Always park in designated areas and be considerate of the local residents. By planning ahead and following these guidelines, you can ensure a smooth start to your Olomana Trail adventure.


Safety Tips

When embarking on the Olomana Trail, it is paramount to prioritize your safety. The challenging nature of the hike, combined with the rugged terrain, makes it essential to be well-prepared and aware of potential risks. Here are some important safety tips to keep in mind:

1. Hike with a buddy

It is highly recommended to hike the Olomana Trail with a partner or in a group. Having someone by your side not only adds to the enjoyment of the hike but also provides crucial assistance in case of emergencies or accidents. If possible, try to hike with someone who has prior experience on the trail.

2. Research the trail and conditions

Before setting out, take the time to research the Olomana Trail and familiarize yourself with the route. Study trail maps, read trip reports, and educate yourself about the current conditions. This will help you anticipate any challenges you may encounter and make informed decisions throughout the hike.

3. Dress appropriately

Wear appropriate clothing and footwear for the trail. Dress in layers, as the weather can change quickly in Hawaii. Opt for moisture-wicking and breathable fabrics to keep yourself dry and comfortable. Choose sturdy hiking shoes or boots with good traction to navigate the uneven and slippery terrain.

4. Stay hydrated and fueled

Carry plenty of water and hydrate regularly during the hike. The tropical climate of Hawaii, coupled with the physical exertion of the trail, can lead to dehydration. Pack energy-rich snacks to keep your energy levels up throughout the hike. It is best to avoid alcohol the night before the hike and limit your caffeine intake on the day of the hike.

5. Pace yourself

Take the hike at a steady and sustainable pace. Do not push yourself beyond your limits. Allow yourself ample time to rest and take breaks to catch your breath. Listen to your body and be mindful of signs of fatigue or discomfort.

6. Be cautious of the weather

Stay informed about the weather conditions before and during your hike. If there are reports of heavy rain or the possibility of thunderstorms, consider postponing your hike. Slippery conditions can make the trail dangerous and increase the risk of accidents.

7. Watch your step

Be cautious of your footing at all times. Parts of the trail can be steep, narrow, and rocky. Take your time and watch out for loose rocks or debris that could cause you to slip or lose balance. Use hiking poles if needed to provide additional stability.

8. Stay on the trail

Stick to the designated trail and avoid straying off-course. Venturing off the trail can be dangerous and potentially damage the delicate ecosystem. It is also easier to get disoriented and lost, especially in densely forested areas.

9. Respect wildlife and nature

As you hike, respect the natural environment and wildlife. Do not disturb or feed any animals you encounter. Avoid littering and leave no trace of your presence. Preserve the beauty of the Olomana Trail for future hikers to enjoy.


Remember, your safety is paramount. Always prioritize caution and preparedness for an enjoyable and incident-free hike on the Olomana Trail. By following these safety tips, you can minimize risks and fully appreciate the beauty of this challenging hiking adventure.


First Peak: Mount Olomana

Mount Olomana, the first peak of the Olomana Trail, is the highest and most challenging section of the hike. Standing at an elevation of 1,643 feet, reaching the summit of Mount Olomana offers hikers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.


To begin the ascent to Mount Olomana, hikers will encounter steep inclines and rocky terrain. The trail can be quite strenuous, requiring good physical fitness and agility. As you ascend, you will pass through lush forests, with glimpses of the stunning Ko’olau Mountain Range in the distance.


One of the highlights of the Mount Olomana section is the famous “Knife Edge.” This narrow ridge separates the first and second peaks, offering an exhilarating and slightly daunting experience. The Knife Edge requires hikers to carefully navigate along a narrow path with steep drop-offs on either side. It is essential to proceed with caution and focus during this section, ensuring a firm footing and using support from the surrounding rocks.


Once you conquer the Knife Edge, you will continue the ascent to the summit of Mount Olomana. The views from the top are truly awe-inspiring, offering a sweeping vista of the island, including the sparkling blue ocean, verdant valleys, and the bustling cityscape in the distance.


While ascending Mount Olomana requires physical effort, descending can be equally challenging. The steep slopes and loose rocks can make for a slippery descent, so it is crucial to take your time and carefully choose your steps.


It is important to note that hiking to the summit of Mount Olomana is not recommended for beginners or those with a fear of heights. This section of the trail demands confidence, agility, and a respect for safety.


Remember, weather conditions can impact the hike, so be sure to check the forecast and avoid hiking in inclement weather or when the trail is wet and slippery. Always prioritize your safety and be prepared with appropriate gear and supplies.


Ascending Mount Olomana is a thrilling feat, providing hikers with a sense of accomplishment and jaw-dropping views. Just be sure to take your time, be mindful of your surroundings, and savor each moment as you conquer the first peak of the Olomana Trail.


Second Peak: Ahiki

After conquering the first peak, Mount Olomana, hikers on the Olomana Trail will continue their exhilarating journey towards the second peak, Ahiki. Standing at a height of 1,520 feet, Ahiki offers its own unique challenges and rewards.


The trail to Ahiki begins after navigating the famous “Knife Edge” section, where hikers carefully maneuver along a narrow ridge. This thrilling portion provides a sense of accomplishment as you pass between the first and second peaks.


As you progress towards Ahiki, you will encounter a ridge walk that offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. The ridge walk can be quite steep and exposed, requiring steady footing and careful navigation. It is essential to be mindful of your surroundings and focus on the trail ahead.


While ascending Ahiki, hikers will traverse rocky terrain, ascend steep inclines, and scramble up rock faces. The challenging ascent serves as a testament to your physical fitness and determination. Throughout the climb, you will be rewarded with stunning vistas of the lush valleys, turquoise waters, and the sprawling Ko’olau Mountain Range.


Reaching the summit of Ahiki presents hikers with a sense of accomplishment and an opportunity to take in the awe-inspiring views. From the top, you can marvel at the beauty of Oahu’s eastern coastline, with its pristine beaches and sparkling waters stretching as far as the eye can see.


Descending Ahiki requires caution and careful footing, as the trail can be steep and slippery. Take your time and use established handholds and footholds when necessary. As you make your way down, you will continue to be treated to beautiful vistas and unique perspectives of the surrounding landscapes.


It is important to note that the Ahiki section of the Olomana Trail, like the rest of the hike, requires a good level of physical fitness and comfort with exposed and challenging terrain. Hikers who fear heights or have limited climbing experience may find this section particularly challenging and may consider turning back at this point.


As with any outdoor adventure, it is crucial to prioritize safety and be prepared for the conditions. Check the weather forecast, wear appropriate footwear, and bring plenty of water and snacks to fuel your energy. Additionally, be aware of your own limits and hike with a partner or group for added safety.


Ascending the second peak of Ahiki on the Olomana Trail is a thrilling experience that rewards hikers with unique challenges and unforgettable views. So, take a deep breath, steady your footing, and enjoy the journey as you conquer the Ahiki peak.


Third Peak: Paku’i

Continuing on the challenging Olomana Trail after conquering the first and second peaks, hikers will face their final ascent towards the third peak, Paku’i. Standing at a height of 1,433 feet, Paku’i offers its own set of exhilarating experiences and stunning views.


After completing the ridge walk from Ahiki, hikers will encounter a descent before beginning the ascent to Paku’i. This section of the trail can be steep and may require scrambling over rocks and navigating through narrow paths. Take your time and be cautious with your footing as you make your way towards the final peak.


As you ascend Paku’i, the trail becomes narrower and more exposed, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. Glimpses of lush valleys, cascading waterfalls, and the vast Pacific Ocean reward your efforts as you climb higher.


Reaching the summit of Paku’i is a true accomplishment. From this vantage point, hikers are treated to spectacular panoramic vistas of the eastern coastline, verdant mountains, and the vibrant hues of the Hawaiian landscape. Take a moment to savor the beauty and soak in the sense of achievement.


It is important to exercise caution during the descent from Paku’i, as the trail can be steep and challenging. Use sturdy handholds and footholds and take your time to carefully navigate the rocky terrain. As you make your way down, be sure to appreciate the unique perspectives and stunning views that unfold before you.


Similar to the first and second peaks, reaching the summit of Paku’i requires a good level of physical fitness and comfort with exposed and demanding terrain. It is essential to be prepared with appropriate hiking gear, including sturdy footwear, ample water, and snacks to refuel your energy.


Take note of your surroundings and be mindful of your own limits. If you are feeling fatigued or uncomfortable with the trail conditions, it is entirely acceptable to turn back before reaching the summit. Your safety should always be the top priority during any hiking adventure.


The third peak of Paku’i offers a fulfilling end to the Olomana Trail, showcasing the natural beauty of Oahu’s eastern coastline and providing hikers with a true sense of accomplishment. So, push through the challenges, embrace the adventure, and savor the striking views as you conquer the final peak on the Olomana Trail.


Challenges and Difficulties

The Olomana Trail, also known as the “Three Peaks Hike,” presents hikers with a range of challenges and difficulties that contribute to its reputation as a physically demanding and exhilarating adventure. Here are some of the main challenges you can expect on the trail:

1. Steep and rugged terrain:

The trail consists of steep ascents, uneven surfaces, and rugged terrain. Hikers will encounter sections that require scrambling, careful footing, and navigating through narrow paths. The steepness of the trail, combined with loose rocks and slippery surfaces, adds to the challenge.

2. Exposed sections:

Throughout the hike, there are exposed sections with steep drop-offs and narrow ridges. The famous “Knife Edge” between the first and second peaks of Mount Olomana and the ridge walk towards Ahiki and Paku’i require careful navigation and can be intimidating for those with a fear of heights.

3. Fitness level and endurance:

The Olomana Trail demands a good level of physical fitness and endurance. The steep ascents, challenging terrain, and long stretches of uphill hiking can be physically demanding, requiring strength, stamina, and cardiovascular fitness. Prior hiking experience or regular exercise can help prepare for these physical demands.

4. Weather conditions:

The weather in Hawaii can be unpredictable, and it’s important to be aware of the conditions before embarking on the hike. Heat and humidity can be intense, especially during the summer months. Additionally, rain can make the trail slippery and hazardous. Check the weather forecast and plan your hike accordingly.

5. Navigation and trail visibility:

The Olomana Trail may have sections where the trail is not well-defined or marked. It is important to pay attention to your surroundings, follow the established paths, and use caution where necessary. Having a trail map or guide can help with navigation, as well as hiking with someone who is familiar with the trail.

6. Time and energy management:

The length and difficulty of the Olomana Trail require proper time and energy management. It is recommended to start early in the day to allow ample daylight hours for the hike and to avoid hiking during the hottest hours. Pace yourself, take breaks when needed, and ensure you have enough water and snacks to stay hydrated and fueled throughout the journey.


Despite these challenges, completing the Olomana Trail is an incredibly rewarding experience. The stunning views, feeling of accomplishment, and the opportunity to connect with nature make it a hike that is well worth the effort. Just remember to always prioritize safety, be prepared, and respect the natural environment as you embark on this exciting adventure.


Enjoying the Scenic Views

One of the most rewarding aspects of hiking the Olomana Trail is the opportunity to immerse yourself in the breathtaking and picturesque scenery that surrounds you. As you make your way through the trail, take the time to pause, appreciate, and fully indulge in the stunning views that unfold before you.


The entire hike presents a series of panoramic vistas that showcase the natural beauty of Oahu, Hawaii. From the verdant valleys and cascading waterfalls to the sparkling blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, the Olomana Trail offers a visual feast that will leave you in awe at every turn.


Each peak along the trail provides its own unique vantage point and vantage points. The summit of Mount Olomana offers sweeping views of the island, including the lush valleys and towering mountains in the distance. Ahiki rewards hikers with vistas of the eastern coastline, with its pristine beaches and turquoise waters stretching out as far as the eye can see. Lastly, Paku’i offers views of the vibrant hues of the Hawaiian landscape, painting a breathtaking picture of the island’s natural beauty.


Take the time to soak in these magnificent views, capturing the memories in your mind and with your camera. Find a comfortable spot to sit, breathe in the fresh air, and marvel at the wonders of nature. The Olomana Trail offers a unique perspective of the island, allowing you to appreciate the scale and grandeur of the stunning landscapes.


Be sure to bring a camera or smartphone to capture the beauty of the scenery. Whether you are an amateur photographer or simply wanting to share the experience with others, the Olomana Trail provides countless opportunities for stunning photographs.


Keep in mind, however, that safety is paramount when enjoying the scenic views. Stay on designated paths and avoid venturing too close to cliff edges or other dangerous areas. Take care to protect the natural environment and leave no trace of your visit.


Remember, the Olomana Trail is much more than a physical challenge; it is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring beauty of Hawaii. So, take your time, embrace the scenery, and create memories that will last a lifetime as you revel in the stunning views along the Olomana Trail.


Descending and Finishing the Hike

As you near the end of your journey on the Olomana Trail, it’s important to focus on descending safely and wrapping up your hike. Here are some key points to keep in mind as you make your way back to the trailhead:

1. Take your time:

Descending can be just as challenging as ascending, particularly on steep and rocky terrain. It’s crucial to slow down, carefully choose your footing, and maintain a steady pace. Rushing can lead to accidents or injuries, so exercise caution and stay aware of your surroundings.

2. Use proper technique:

When navigating a descent, consider using techniques such as “butt-sliding” or “shuffling” on steeper sections to maintain stability. Use your hands to stabilize yourself if necessary, taking advantage of rocks or other natural features for support.

3. Stay hydrated and refuel:

Continue to drink water and snack on energy-rich foods during your descent. Maintaining hydration and fueling your body will help prevent fatigue and keep your energy levels stable as you complete the hike.

4. Mind your surroundings:

Be aware of other hikers on the trail and be courteous to those coming up. Communication and cooperation with fellow hikers can help ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for all. Give right of way when necessary and use hand gestures or vocal cues to alert others of your presence.

5. Clean up after yourself:

Take care to leave no trace of your visit on the trail. Collect any trash you may have and dispose of it properly at the trailhead or designated bins. Respect the environment and leave it as pristine as you found it for future hikers to enjoy.

6. Reflect on your accomplishment:

As you approach the end of the hike, take a moment to reflect on the challenging but rewarding journey you have undertaken. Appreciate the physical and mental strength it took to conquer the Olomana Trail and celebrate your accomplishment.

7. Celebrate and recover:

Once you reach the trailhead, take a few moments to celebrate your achievement. Treat yourself to a refreshing snack or beverage, stretch your muscles, and bask in the memories of your adventurous hike. Be sure to take the time to rest and recover from the physical exertion, allowing your body time to rejuvenate.


Completing the Olomana Trail is an accomplishment to be proud of. By descending safely and respecting the environment, you can finish your hike on a strong note. So, take in the final moments of this unforgettable journey, cherish the memories you’ve made, and revel in the sense of achievement as you complete the Olomana Trail.



The Olomana Trail, also known as the “Three Peaks Hike,” offers a thrilling and unforgettable adventure for those seeking a challenging outdoor experience on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. From the steep ascents to the breathtaking panoramic views, this trail is a true testament to the natural beauty of the Hawaiian Islands.


Throughout the hike, you will encounter a range of challenges, from navigating rocky terrain to traversing narrow ridges. The physical demands of the trail require a good level of fitness, endurance, and a sense of adventure. However, the rewards are plentiful. Sweeping vistas of lush valleys, cascading waterfalls, sparkling blue waters, and the majestic Ko’olau Mountain Range will leave you in awe at every turn.


Remember to prepare adequately for the hike, both physically and mentally. Assess your fitness level, gather the necessary supplies, and familiarize yourself with the trail and its challenges. Hike with a buddy or a group for safety, and be mindful of weather conditions and the potential risks of the terrain.


As you conquer each peak, Mount Olomana, Ahiki, and Paku’i, take the time to appreciate the scenic beauty that surrounds you. Capture the memories with your camera, but also take mental snapshots of the breathtaking landscapes that unfold before you.


Take note of the challenges you overcome, the physical and mental strength you demonstrate, and the sense of accomplishment that comes with completing this rewarding hike. Whether you’re an experienced hiker seeking a new adventure or a nature lover yearning to explore the raw beauty of Hawaii, the Olomana Trail is sure to leave a lasting impression.


As you descend and finish the hike, cherish the sense of achievement and take a moment to reflect on the incredible journey you’ve undertaken. Clean up after yourself, respect the environment, and be proud of the memories you’ve made. Finally, take the time to rest and recover, allowing your body to rejuvenate and recharge for future adventures.


The Olomana Trail offers more than just a physical challenge; it provides an opportunity to connect with nature, challenge yourself, and create memories that will last a lifetime. So, lace up your hiking boots, pack your sense of adventure, and embark on an unforgettable journey on the Olomana Trail in Oahu, Hawaii!