Kolekole Pass Hike

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Kolekole Pass on Schofield Barracks is a short, reasonably easy family hike along the Waianae Mountains with spectacular views of the Lualualei Valley on leeward Oahu.  It is a quick and enjoyable family hike perfect for a weekend afternoon!  The first portion of the trail is a short steep section up some wooden stairs.  As you climb the stairs, be sure to look to the left for some views of central Oahu and watch for guava berries along the trail.  At the top, you come to an intriguing rock called Pohaku Hupeloa.  The boulder has an unusual bowl-shaped depression on one side.  According to Hawaiian legend, Hupeloa represents a female spirit who guards the pass and her warriors used the rock to dispose of defeated enemies and unfortunate travelers.  An ethereal tension fills the air nearby as you move past it.  From the rock, continue to the left (south) down some more wooden steps towards a small field with a communications tower.  Stay to the left and cross the field keeping the tower on your right, taking the rutted road leading up the windward side of the mountain.  The right fork takes you a short distance up the mountain to a peak, but the view to the leeward coast is blocked by foliage.  Stay on the rutted road as you gradually ascend the trail.  Close to the top, there are a few side trails going off to the right that offer spectacular views of the leeward coast towards Nanakuli, Maili, and Waianae.  Be extremely careful when exploring this area.  The overlook is full of loose dirt and gravel and there are no guard rails preventing you--or curious children--from a very nasty tumble.  Back on the rutted road, continue the short climb to the top, stopping to check out another view of central Oahu to your left.  Take the right fork at the top and continue downhill a short distance to your destination, a small, rather lovely meadow.  Cross the meadow and before you lies the entire Lualualei Valley with an amazing view all the way to the leeward coast.  The meadow can be very windy so be prepared to grab onto your hat and hold onto it and watch your family as you creep to the edge to look out at the valley!  The trail actually continues along the Waianae Mountain Range to its summit and then along its ridge for a few more miles, but it becomes narrow and ambiguous and should only be attempted by experienced hikers and not those toting young children with them.  The hike to the meadow, however, is relative short, taking only about 30 minutes (1 hour round trip) depending on how long you stop to enjoy the views along the way and very manageable for children!  From the top of the wooden stairs at the beginning of the trail, the ascent is gradual and children should not have any problems handling the terrain.  Our child (2 1/2) got tired about halfway up the stairs, though, which are steep, so be prepared to assist or carry them through this portion.  Fortunately, it’s a very short section! Because of the stairs, using a stroller is not practical.  We recommend a baby backpack or carrier depending on the age of the child.  Middle school age children and older should have no problem with the trail. The trail is well marked and maintained.  Wear some sturdy shoes, bug spray, and bring some water.  There are no restroom facilities at the trailhead or along the trail so we recommend stopping prior to getting to the trail.  Bring your camera!  You will definitely want to take pictures of the views!  To get to the trail, you will need to access the Army post at Schofield Barracks.  The guards at the gate will issue you a pass upon request if you are not a member of the armed forces.  To drive there, take H-1W to H-2N.  Follow the H-2 to the end and turn left on Kunia Road.  Enter Schofield Barracks through the Foote Gate and stay on Foote Ave which turns into Kolokole Ave.  Turn right on Humphries Road which turns into Trimble Road.  Stay on Trimble Road which will turn into Kolekole Road. Stay on Kolekole Road as it winds its way through the base and up to the pass.  You will come to a parking lot on the left side of the road just prior to the gate leading to the Naval Radio Transmitting Facility Lualualei and Naval Magazine Lualualei on the other side of the Waianae Mountains.  Park there and head up the trail leading south from the parking lot.   This is a fun family hike!  It is quite popular with folks in the Schofield/Wahiawa area particularly on the weekend--we passed numerous families and dog walkers along the trail.  It is easy enough that the whole family can enjoy it and the view of the leeward coast is marvelous.  

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