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
Hide Map

This is an amazing hike with three waterfalls and gorgeous views of Honolulu, Kaneohe, Kailua, Diamond Head, and Ka'au Crater

Craig Opie
1 day ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

Great hike with amazing views, as always, can get really muddy on the back side of the loop. I recommend going counter-clockwise while hiking the loop because of mud and the steepness of the mountain. Bring snacks and plenty of water. The three waterfalls make the hike to the peak a long one. Plan for six hours if you go at a leisurely pace and desire to swim at the first large falls. Have fun.

Kameko Byrd
2 days ago

9 Completed1 Reviews

Great go while raining to get the most out of the waterfalls you will get wet be prepared

Lisa A.
4 days ago

Super muddy and slippery in areas, today. Great moderate hike. We completed it in 3.5 hours. Visiting from WA and very much enjoyed this hike.

Blaire Langston
4 days ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

Wonderful! Challenging even for an experienced hiker. Definitely not easy. Took 5 hours for two very athletic individuals to finish. Muddy, slippery, vertigo looking down. Use the ropes and leave early. It's takes awhile.

Dave Siegal
7 days ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

The trail is fairly challenging but well worth it! Go on a clear day and enjoy.

Rey Rubio
7 days ago

30 Completed4 Reviews

It was amazing. I rate it moderate, definitely not easy. Very muddy and slippery. Some areas you need to rock climb using ropes. Everything is well worth it.

Peter J. Lodge
17 days ago

18 Completed19 Reviews

Super rad jungle hike along a stream to the A few smaller waterfalls then another large waterfall that you climb up, that feels like it goes on forever. Then to the ridge. It started raining as I was on third waterfall so the ridge was insanely slippery and very steep in sections towards the top. I felt crazy for continuing lol. But got to the top, had no view because of the clouds, then went around the crater. Literally sliding down on my ass in the mud most of the way. It was a wild ride. But I loved it! Def not an "easy" hike like this app says.

Eugene Marques
1 month ago

4 Completed3 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
1 month ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

Worth it!

Ali T.
1 month ago

Amazing. Most badass hike on the island of Oahu

Anthony Dees
1 month ago

1 Completed1 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
1 month ago

7 Completed3 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.
1 month 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
1 month ago

6 Completed1 Reviews

Fulka Rebel
1 month ago

7 Completed1 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
2 months ago

1 Completed1 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
2 months ago

1 Completed1 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
2 months ago

7 Completed5 Reviews

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

Jonathan George
2 months ago

1 Completed1 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
2 months ago

2 Completed2 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.