Kaau Crater

#1 of 1 trails in Round Top Forest Reserve
Kaau Crater is a 4.5 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Honolulu, HI that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until November.

4.5 miles 1755 feet Loop
birding hiking nature trips rock climbing walking forest river views waterfall wild flowers wildlife bugs muddy old growth over grown rocky scramble
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This is an amazing hike with three waterfalls and gorgeous views of Honolulu, Kaneohe, Kailua, Diamond Head, and Ka'au Crater

Eugene Marques
3 days ago

4 Completed0 Reviews

First off, the loop is about 7.7 miles and it should be rated Hard. Lots of mud. Officially my favorite so far. Great views and scenery!

Stephanie Ruiz
4 days ago

1 Completed0 Reviews

Worth it!

Ali T.
5 days ago

Amazing. Most badass hike on the island of Oahu

Anthony Dees
12 days ago

1 Completed0 Reviews

It was fun at first as it was my first real hike (bad idea for a first hike to go all the way to the top). But being a bigger guy had its disadvantages trying to move fast and agile through obstacles. I'll be back when I'm in better shape so it's easier to get up there and do the whole loop. Beyond all the stops to take pictures my group did. You should be prepared to climb a lot and maybe get some hiking cleats to go over your shoes if you're not as proficient or experienced as it will help when it gets nasty out there (it rained a bit on and off making it slick in a lot of spots beyond the natural moisture of the water coming off the falls. Bring snacks, light lunch and plenty of water for your trek. The Moore you hydrate and replenish the food you're burning. The lighter your load will become.

The clouds kept rolling in when I made it to the top so I couldn't see beyond 10 or 15 feet. But without going all the way up I found some amazing spots to see from the west heading back towards the south-east of the island. I would say a beginner should stop at the second falls and go no farther than the bottom of the third falls.

Though I got stranded out there and didn't walk out until 9PM (long story short, if you're a slow walker or have and medical issues. You should start your way up no later than 8 or 9 am if you plan to go to the top.). Thanks to Chris who came with flash lights as my phone battery was at 7% when he found me near elevation marker 984 headed out in the dark. A lot of the ropes need to be replaced up there as well as some of the over brush cleared. If you don't like dirt, then stay away. But there is a pool you can jump in on the way out to rinse and just have a change of clothes, lol! Chris told me he and his friends do it sometimes! Have fun!

Max Landy
24 days ago

6 Completed0 Reviews

super good hike, had tons of fun. preferable to wear shoes that have good grips on them. the view at the top is amazing as it allows you to capture the whole view of the island

Coast Guard J.
25 days ago

Challenging doing the whole hike around the crater. Spectacular views on top of the crater rim. Lots of mud, even on dry days. Poor choice if someone doesn't like heights. Did the whole loop in a little over four hours. Really enjoyed it.

Michael Kanwisher
26 days ago

6 Completed0 Reviews

Fulka Rebel
27 days ago

7 Completed0 Reviews

Challenging hike.

Tip: You can shave off some time and mileage by heading left at the top of the 3rd waterfall. You are still afforded beautiful crater views without having to scale the entire crater.

Gary Bangs
29 days ago

1 Completed0 Reviews

Awesome hike! Moderate difficulty if you're out of shape, then again you're hiking so maybe you're somewhat fit! Rock climbing, ropes if you choose to use them, the top view is worth the effort!

Debbie Jacobs
1 month ago

1 Completed0 Reviews

While the trail was amazing and included several river crossings, two anazing waterfalls, vertical climbs, crater, 360 panoramic views of the island from the the ridge and much more, it was VERY DIFFICULT. To think this is moderate trail is just wrong. The trail is wet and slippery, there are many vertical climbs that require ropes, it is steep and narrow and just HARD. Don't do it alone but if you are up to a BIG challenge you won't be disappointed.

Chelsie Moore
1 month ago

6 Completed4 Reviews

This hike is amazing and pretty actually. I would suggest gloves but only because there's lots of rope. Do it!

Jonathan George
1 month ago

1 Completed0 Reviews

Very challenging and worth the effort when you get to the the northern rim of the crater and can see 360 degrees around the island.

Our GPS logged 6 miles exactly to run the trail clockwise, approaching the crater up the southern finger vice coming up the river. Doing the trail clockwise is much easier.

And please DON'T bring kids.

John Gasman
1 month ago

2 Completed0 Reviews

This is a TOUGH hike. A review online from 2010 called it intermediate among Honolulu area hikes, and called it the best hike in the area. 6 miles, 6 hours for me yesterday. Awesome, glad I did it, be ready it is long and has some very steep sections.

Seth Gray
1 month ago

20 Completed9 Reviews

Amazing hike! NOT EASY. The crater at the top is steep and very narrow but fun over all. This part is in the sun a lot so bring sunscreen and plenty of water. Keep your wits about you, this one tougher then mentioned above especially if you include the crater rim.

One of the best falls hikes I've done here. Muddy slippery wet and awesome. Start early so you can play and take in the scenery.

Molly Pierce
1 month ago

16 Completed0 Reviews

Brian Rogers
2 months ago

27 Completed2 Reviews

Not for the weak, very rewarding!

Dan Schuetz
2 months ago

5 Completed0 Reviews

Definitely not easy- moderate at least. Bring water and courage.

Dean Jenco
2 months ago

11 Completed0 Reviews

One of my favorite hikes on island!

Kristina Phipps
3 months ago

14 Completed13 Reviews

Warning: This is not an easy hike. It's muddy and a lot of erosion on the way to the third waterfall. After the third waterfall, follow the trail to the right and it's nothing but rope climbing for 1,400 to the tallest peak of the crater rim. Follow the rim around until you come to a fork near where you started the rim, and take a right. Marked with orange and pink ties, this trail will bypass the waterfalls and eventually end back at the creek and about 15 mins from your car. Bring lots and lots of water, as well as sunscreen. While scaling the rim you are in nothing but sun! Also this hike will take you 5-6 hours if you complete the duration, be sure to come prepared and start early! Most of all this is one of the best hikes on the island! Three waterfalls, a lesser known crater, and views of the south and east side of the island!! :)

Thomas Hansen
3 months ago

2 Completed2 Reviews

Little long and hard at the end ! But it had the best view ever!